“Ms. Lee is new to me, yet she clearly has musicality and confidence in abundance.”

Showtime Magazine

Known for her diversity and versatility, Canadian pianist Vanessa May-lok Lee is much sought after as a collaborative pianist. Having made her Carnegie Hall (Isaac Stern Auditorium) debut in June 2014, Ms. Lee has performed with internationally acclaimed artists in a wide variety of contexts ranging from traditional duos and trios to ensembles of unique and often unorthodox instrumentations. She has appeared in recital with Jörgen van Rijen (Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra), Joseph Alessi (New York Philharmonic), Jesper Busk Sørensen (Berlin Philharmonic), and Jeffrey Beecher (Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble; Toronto Symphony Orchestra) among others.

In addition to being a Faculty Pianist at the Manhattan School of Music, Ms. Lee’s concert engagements continue to showcase her strong interest in pursuing a wide variety of projects.  She has served as the rehearsal pianist for Maestro Vladimir Jurowski and the NY Philharmonic’s performances of Ravel’s Daphnis et Chloé, released four CD’s showcasing her support of music from living composers and has presented a solo project featuring an original narrative in collaboration with puppeteers.  Ms. Lee is both the pianist and member of the Board of Directors of EnsembleNYC, an ensemble dedicated to bringing hope to the people of New York City by offering concerts which give a minimum of 10% of ticket sales to a chosen charity.  

Ms. Lee devotes much of her time as an educator of the arts. She is currently the Director of the Summer Chamber Music Workshop at Third Street Music School where she joined the Piano and Chamber Music Faculty in 2014.  Ms. Lee is also on the faculty of advanced studies with the National Children’s Chorus based in Los Angeles serving as the ear training coordinator and instructor within the Scholars program. In 2019-2020, Ms. Lee was a guest teaching artist at Carnegie Hall, Weill Music Institute, working with NYC Public School teachers.  She is a founding member of Ensemble SOL, a chamber ensemble specializing in quality educational concerts for children and families. From 2006-2013, Ms. Lee was the music director of the Etobicoke Studio, a private audition-based teaching studio for piano and theory, and has been a member of Music Makers, an educational touring ensemble at the Banff Centre. 

Ms. Lee has served as collaborative pianist for various competitions including Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal Standard Life Competition, International Women’s Brass Conference Competitions and TD Canada Trust Elora Festival Young Artist Competition. She has also been a collaborative-pianist-in-residence at the Banff Centre for the fall and winter residency programs.

Ms. Lee has been the recipient of numerous grants and accolades including a Grant to Professional Musician (Individual) and a Music Recording Production Grant from The Canada Council for the Arts. She has also received a Commissioning and Recording Grant from the Ontario Arts Council. She has been a national finalist at the Canadian Music Competition and prize-winner at the provincial level of The Kiwanis Music Festival both in Ontario and BC, Canada.

Ms. Lee graduated with a Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance with Honours from the University of Toronto where she studied with Marietta Orlov and a Master of Music from the Royal Academy of Music in London, England with Michael Young. In May 2014 she completed pre-doctoral studies at the Manhattan School of Music with John Forconi through the generous support of The Canada Council for the Arts.

Ms. Lee currently makes her home in Brooklyn, New York.


A shorter bio is available on the Media Downloads page.  

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photo – bohuang.ca