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Principal Tuba

Chris Lee

A native of Toronto, Chris began playing tuba at the age of twelve at Winona Drive Senior Public School and instantly discovered a passion for performing.  During his time at Winona, Chris met Chuck Daellenbach of the Canadian Brass, and performed over 50 concerts with the Winona Brass Quintet including a tour of Japan. Chuck would serve as a role model and mentor for the remainder of Chris' career and those early musical experiences with the quintet would leave an indelible imprint on him.

After graduating from the Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan, Chris’ formal education included studies with Dennis Miller at McGill, Alain Cazes at the Montreal Conservatoire and Dan Perantoni at Indiana University. His summers were spent performing at various summer festival orchestras including the National Academy Orchestra (Hamilton Canada), National Repertory Orchestra (Breckenridge, Colorado), National Orchestral Institute (College Park, Maryland), Verbier Festival Youth Orchestra (Switzerland) and a memorable summer in the Ceremonial Guard Band performing on Parliament Hill. 

Chris’ professional orchestral tuba career began overseas in Spain, performing as Principal Tuba with the Orquesta Sinfonica de Galicia for 2 seasons from 2001 to 2003 before returning to Canada to take up the same position with the Winnipeg Symphony in 2003.  Chris served as Principal Tuba with the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra for 15 seasons from 2003 until 2018, when he started as Principal Tuba with the National Arts Centre Orchestra.

Chris has been an active teacher and enjoys sharing his passion for music.  While in Europe, Chris was the Professor of Tuba at the ESMAE School of Music in Porto, Portugal and is the former Instructor of Tuba at the University of Manitoba.  He is very proud of his former students who hold a variety of positions.

Chris has recorded with the Winnipeg Symphony, the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra, Real Philharmonic de Galicia, Montreal Symphony Orchestra, the Canadian Brass and numerous studio recordings in the US.  Chris has appeared as a soloist with a variety of ensembles including the Winnipeg Symphony, the University of Manitoba Wind Ensemble and the National Youth Band of Canada.  Chris gave the orchestral premiere of the Victor Davies Tuba Concerto in 2009 with the WSO and is always on the lookout to find new tuba repertoire to perform for Canadian audiences.  When he is not playing tuba, Chris enjoys running, playing golf and spending time with his wife, Desiree and their two kids; Evelyn and Keenan.

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