Sonia Lee

When Friday the 13th in March, 2020 had all of us staying at home, I immediately assured myself that the mindset to behold would be one of resilience and fostering a peaceful yet considerate existence.

Many of my past two decades were trained to be flexible. At age 21, just two months before graduating Juilliard, I had won the International Violin Auditions with The Toronto Symphony Orchestra. Growing up in Buffalo, NY, I had many inspiring mentors, one of whom is now the Concertmaster of The Philadelphia Orchestra, David Kim, who also went to high school in my district. While in the Toronto Symphony, I had grown to love the art of being creative by recording for films and tv as well as meeting composers who inspired the orchestra to play new music. Our music director at the time took a chance on me to lead the 2nd Violin section. This was life-changing, in formulating new ways to collaborate with colleagues and be able to connect with other creative musicians and artists. After a total of 6 seasons in Toronto, I moved to Detroit, MI after meeting my now husband on a blind date. My former teacher had me immediately perform as a soloist with the Michigan Sinfonietta performing all of the  Bach Brandenburg Concerti at the Seligman, home of the Chamber Music Society of Detroit. It was then that I also started building my violin teaching studio, while raising a family. This journey of also being multi-versatile allowed me to create and record while also being able to perform as an extra musician for the Detroit Symphony, in solo recitals for many different series locally and expand my creativity to network with many artists both locally and internationally. Post-pandemic, I am working on writing two books entitled, S.T.A.R.S. & The Turtle Mom, which are books to guide others on how to win auditions and my own journey on how to allow your children to achieve their dreams by a, “slow and steady wind the race” mantra.

The pandemic has ironically been a wonderful way to Zoom with my alumni from Juilliard! I still teach students online, as many have transitioned to the remote learning format and have received consistent lessons. It has been such a great year to be able to keep composing and creating!


Sonia Lee

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