Eleanor Lee

Cello

Hometown: Washington, PA
Alma maters: Eastman School of Music, Trinity High School
Awards/Competitions: Howard Hanson and Edna McLaughlin Merit Scholarships, Eastman School of Music; master class performances for distinguished artists, including the Dover and Pacifica Quartets, Joseph Silverstein, and Amir Eldan
Appearances: Meadowmount School of Music; National Orchestral Institute; Credo Chamber Music Program; Castleman Quartet Program; Brevard Summer Music Festival; solo appearances with the Pittsburgh Youth Symphony, Pittsburgh Civic, and Washington Symphony Orchestras
Musical origins: I began playing cello at age 7.  I had started on piano when I was 5, but deep down, I really wanted to play the harp.  However, my parents, dreading the idea of renting a harp and the subsequent pain of toting the instrument around, convinced me to try out a different string instrument to see if I would even like them.  I couldn’t play the violin because my older brother had already been playing the violin for a few years at that point, and I didn’t want to do what he was doing.  So, I chose the cello and have been very happy with my choice.
Favorite thing about TŌN: What excites me about TŌN is that it is brand new.  As the inaugural class, we are a part of the genesis of a program that is unlike any other program out there.  A lot of times we are compared to the New World Symphony, a training orchestra based in Miami Beach and lead by Michael Tilson Thomas.  However, given our proximity to New York City (and other cities, like Boston) and given that we are a Master’s degree program at Bard College, TŌN is in a prime position to innovate graduate-level career preparation, networking, and advancement in the ever-competitive field of classical music.
Favorite piece to play: Rachmaninoff’s Cello Sonata
Favorite composer fact: In addition to being a composer (and a self-taught cellist), Alexander Borodin was also a chemist and is credited for being a significant source of encouragement to his friend, Dmitri Mendeleyev, in his efforts to create the Periodic Table of Elements.
Which composer would have had the best social media: J.S. Bach – but only because he’d be calling people “nanny-goat bassoonists,” left and right.
Favorite fact about your instrument: No other acoustic instrument more closely imitates the sound of the human voice. I think this is why everybody loves the cello so much.
Favorite non-classical musician: Ella Fitzgerald
Musical guilty pleasure: I secretly love to listen to what I call “angry music,” which is basically anything that is loud and fast and intense. I love classical music, but sometimes after a long day of rehearsals and practicing, I have to detox with music that isn’t quite so careful; something that gets the blood pumping in a more primitive way.
Best music to have on repeat: Chopin’s Complete Piano Works
What recording would you take to a deserted island: Janos Starker’s recording of the Kodály Sonata for Solo Cello—it’s INCREDIBLE.
Proudest accomplishment: Well… I’m still alive, aren’t I?
Favorite non-musical activity: Food
Last book read: Far From the Maddening Crowd by Tom Hardy.  I’m currently working on a non-fiction book by Harriet A. Washington called Medical Apartheid: The Dark History of Medical Experimentation on Black Americans from Colonial Times to the Present. It’s pretty out of my normal reading comfort zone of primarily fiction, but I’m enjoying having my mind blown.
Favorite painting: I’m pretty ignorant in the visual arts field, but I like both Salvador Dali’s Swans Reflecting Elephants and, most recently, Vassily Kandinsky’s Composition VII.
Piece of advice for a young classical musician: You are your own best teacher.
Time travel destination: Easy. I’d want to see some dinosaurs!

MORE MUSICIANS

Kyle Anderson

Cello

Hyunjae Bae

Violin

Lara Baker-Finch

Violin

Coline Berland

Violin

Andrew Borkowski

Cello

Regina Brady

Oboe

Philip Brindise

Horn

Ethan Brozka

Horn

Micah Candiotti-Pacheco

Clarinet

Grace Choi

Violin

Gabe Cruz

Trombone

Milad Daniari

Bass

Joshua DePoint

Bass

Clara Engen

Violin

Michael Franz

Bass

Diego Gabete

Violin

Carl Gardner

Bassoon

Sasha Haft

Flute

Shannon Hagan

Horn

Bonnie Heung

Viola

Dan Honaker

Tuba

Casey Karr

Bass

William Kaufman

Percussion

James Jihyun Kim

Oboe

Szabolcs Koczur

Trumpet

Emmanuel Koh

Viola

Chi Lee

Viola

Eleanor Lee

Cello

Haemi Lee

Violin

Sangwon Lee

Clarinet

Anna Lenhart

Horn

Fangxi Liu

Violin

William McPeters

Bass

Emily Melendes

Harp

Yurie Mitsuhashi

Violin

Jiyoung Moon

Violin

Scot Moore

Viola

Christopher Moran

Trumpet

Kelly Mozeik

Oboe

Dávid A. Nagy

Bassoon

Paul Nemeth

Bass

Lauren Peacock

Cello

Leonardo Pineda

Violin

Danny Poceta

Cello

Yuan Qi

Viola

Youyang Qu

Violin

Federico Ramos

Bass trombone

Michael Rau

Violin

Aleh Remezau

Oboe

David Riker

Viola

Elias Rodriguez

Clarinet

Adam Romey

Bassoon

Matthew Ross

Flute

Miles Salerni

Percussion/Timpani

Lili Sarayrah

Violin

Denis Savelyev

Flute

Alana Shannon

Cello

Omar Shelly

Viola

Jinn Shin

Cello

Zachary Silberschlag

Trumpet

Luke Stence

Bass

Jiayu Sun

Violin

Adina Mu-Ying Tsai

Violin

Lila Vivas Blanco

Violin

Matt Walley

Trombone

Zhilin Wang

Cello

Thomas J. Wible

Flute

Caleb Wong

Viola

Weiqiao Wu

Violin

Hao Xing

Violin

Zhenyuan Yao

Bass

Drew Youmans

Violin

Hui Zhang

Cello

Yuqian Zhang

Violin