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Patrick Jee



Cellist Patrick Jee joined the New York Philharmonic in July 2013. A native New Yorker, he has toured extensively in the United States, Europe, and Asia, making appearances at New York’s Alice Tully Hall and Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., London’s Wigmore Hall, Paris’s Salle Gaveau, and the Seoul Arts Center. He also performed on CNN’s American Morning as well as at the United Nations at the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Korean War armistice.

As a soloist, he has performed with the Buffalo and Rochester Philharmonic orchestras, Moscow Chamber Orchestra, National Orchestra of Toulouse, Edmonton Symphony, and the Orchestre National d’Île de France. He has been a guest artist at major music festivals including Aspen, Banff, Caramoor, Casals, Kneisel Hall, La Jolla, and Olympic.

In 2006 Jee was the Grand Prize winner of the Carlos Prieto International Cello Competition, which earned him concerts throughout Mexico and a recording contract with Naxos’s subsidiary, Urtext Digital Classics. He has also won top awards at the Andre Navarra International Cello Competition, the Holland-America Music Society Cello Competition, and the Irving Klein String Competition.

An avid chamber musician, he is a member of the New Piano Trio, winners of the 2008 Fischoff, 2007 Coleman, and 2007 Plowman chamber music competitions and recipient of the Harvard Musical Association’s Arthur W. Foote Prize. Since 2001 he has performed with Sejong Soloists, collaborating with artists such as Barry Douglas, Vladimir Feltsman, Lynn Harrell, Cho-Liang Lin, and Gil Shaham. As a founding member of Ensemble Ditto, he helped introduce more than 15,000 people to chamber music as South Korea’s most popular classical musical presentation of 2008.

Before joining the New York Philharmonic, Patrick Jee served as assistant principal cello of the Lyric Opera of Chicago, principal cello of the Grant Park Orchestra, and was on faculty at Roosevelt University-Chicago College of Performing Arts. His transcription of Glazunov’s Meditation, published by International Music Company (IMC), recently won First Prize from the Music Publishers Association’s Paul Revere Awards, and his transcription of Corelli’s La Folia Variations will be released by IMC in 2013.  

Jee holds a bachelor of music from The Juilliard School and a master of music from Yale University, where he studied with Aldo Parisot. He can be heard on the Albany, Urtext, and HM record labels.

He resides on the Upper West Side with his wife, violinist Nanae Iwata, and is an ardent New York Yankees fan.

"Philharmonic Concertmaster Frank Huang and I have been friends for a very long time, and when we were both jobless and practicing for auditions we had the idea of blasting R. Strauss’s 'Ein Heldenleben' and playing along. Fast-forward to Frank’s first concert with the New York Philharmonic: here we were playing 'Ein Heldenleben' together again after all these years, but this time it was for real."

Interview with Patrick Jee

THE FACTS: Born in New York, New York. Bachelor of music from The Juilliard School and master of music from Yale University. Prior to the Philharmonic: assistant principal cello of the Lyric Opera of Chicago and teaching at Roosevelt University–Chicago College of Performing Arts. Current teaching post: New York University. At the Philharmonic: Joined July 2013.

WHAT WAS THE FIRST PIECE OF MUSIC YOU FELL IN LOVE WITH? Dvořák’s Cello Concerto. When I was eight or nine my parents recorded a Live From Lincoln Center concert of the New York Philharmonic with Yo-Yo Ma as soloist. Over the years I watched it so many times that the ribbon in the cassette nearly disintegrated, and it eventually broke down.

HOW DID YOU START PLAYING THE CELLO? My older brothers were both violinists, and my parents wanted me to try something else. The running joke is that one brother was very musical but had little technique, and the other could play some of the most challenging works for violin but wasn’t terribly musical. I am a musician today because they both “gave” me the best of their abilities.

OTHER THAN PRACTICING, WHAT ACTIVITIES DID YOU DO IN HIGH SCHOOL? I had a pretty active childhood, playing hockey, baseball, tennis, golf, and backyard football. I was born in the Bronx and am a big New York Yankees fan.

WHO WAS YOUR MOST IMPORTANT MUSICAL INFLUENCE? Aldo Parisot was my teacher for nearly ten years, from high school through Juilliard and Yale. I give him credit for really teaching me how to play the cello and giving me the freedom to develop my musical voice. Beyond that, he is such a warm and passionate man — I will always think of him as a loving grandfather.

MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT WITH THE ORCHESTRA: New Philharmonic Concertmaster Frank Huang and I have been friends for a very long time, and when we were both jobless and practicing for auditions we had the idea of blasting R. Strauss’s Ein Heldenleben and playing along. The amount of sound was deafening in my small apartment, but really fun because neither of us had ever performed it. Fast-forward to Frank’s first concert with the New York Philharmonic: here we were playing Ein Heldenleben together again after all these years, but this time it was for real.

YOU’RE ALSO AN AWARD-WINNING TRANSCRIBER. WHICH TRANSCRIPTION ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF? Glazunov’s Meditation, my first published transcription. Since childhood I have accrued more than 100 music scores published by International Music Company, and to see my name on the cover as an editor is a huge honor.

WHAT DO YOU DO IN YOUR FREE TIME? I have a one-year-old son who I enjoy spending time with.

As of March 2016

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