Adam Lee is a Scottish clarinettist, composer, and teacher. He enjoys a busy career of orchestral, solo and chamber performance, writing and performing new music and teaching. He is a postgraduate student at the Royal College of Music, studying a Master of Performance in Clarinet with Tim Lines and Richard Hosford. Adam is a Rhona Reid Charitable Trust Award Holder.
His musical journey began in Primary School, aged 8, with Rachel Considine before continuing his studies with Alison Waller at the RCS Junior Conservatoire from 2015-2017. He chose to stay at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland for his undergraduate studies, gaining a BMus Performance degree with Honours of the First Class upon graduation in July 2021, passing his final recital with full marks. During his time at the RCS, Adam studied clarinet with John Cushing and Tim Orpen, bass clarinet with Heather Nicoll and E flat clarinet with Joe Pacewicz.
Adam was awarded a Robertson Trust scholarship in recognition of his potential upon audition at the RCS and enjoyed great success throughout his undergraduate degree. In February 2018, he was awarded a Yamaha Music Foundation of Europe Clarinet Scholarship, performing in a final with clarinettists from all UK Conservatoires. He won the 2020 Governors Recital Prize for Woodwind at the RCS - the first online edition of the competition. In June 2021, he won both concerto prizes at the RCS with his performances of Crusell's Clarinet Concerto No. 2 and Nielsen's Clarinet Concerto. Other achievements include winning Distinction in the 2021 Tunbridge Wells International Music Competition, First Prize in the CASSGB Clarinet Soloist Competition, and receiving The Principal’s Prize
for All Round Excellence in the School of Music at RCS. After winning Distinction in the Tunbridge Wells International Music Competition, he was invited to perform as part of the winners’ recital which took place in Mayfield, November 2021.
Adam was selected, after audition, to perform Helen Grime's Clarinet Concerto with the RCM New Perspectives Ensemble in the International Women’s Day Concert in March 2021. He was selected as the winner of the RCM’s prestigious Concerto Competition, which will see him perform James MacMillan's epic Clarinet Concerto, 'Ninian', with the RCM Philharmonic Orchestra in Autumn 2022. Adam returned to the RCS in May 2022 to perform Nielsen’s Clarinet Concerto with the RCS Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Michael Seal.
2022/23 holds a number of exciting solo appearances for Adam. He is due to appear as the soloist in James MacMillan's Clarinet Concerto 'Ninian' in September 2022, as well as performing recitals at the Royal College of Music for the CASSGB Single Reed Festival in October 2022, the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland for the Scottish Clarinet Festival and at the 1901 Arts Club, Waterloo in April 2023. A further recital with the Drake Calleja Trust is in planning, with details to follow soon. Please check the events page for details of all upcoming performances.
As a freelance clarinettist, Adam has appeared with the Aurora Orchestra, London Mozart Players, and the Orchestra of Opera North. He regularly works in Glasgow with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, on trial with both for the positions of Associate Principal Clarinet and Sub-Principal Clarinet respectively. He has also participated in sit-in schemes with the BBC SSO, Scottish Chamber Orchestra and Philharmonia Orchestra.
Adam is an award-winning composer and has had his work broadcast on BBC Radio 3. He has completed commissions for the Scottish Clarinet Choir and for the clarinettist Laura Hundert, with whom he collaborated to develop a new work for clarinet as part of her “Laura in Wonderland” project.
Alongside his performance career, Adam is a committed teacher and passionate advocate of youth music in Scotland. He teaches several pupils throughout Ayrshire, Greater Glasgow and London and was selected to be the National Youth Orchestra of Scotland's Clarinet Ambassador for 2022, a training role in mentoring young musicians. From November 2022, he will serve on the Board of the National Youth Orchestras of Scotland as a Young Trustee. Adam’s commitment to performance and music education was reflected by being selected as a finalist in the North Ayrshire Provost’s Civic Pride Awards in the Arts and Culture and Young Citizen categories in 2017.
Adam was a Robertson scholar from 2017-2021. In 2021/22 he was a Leverhulme Arts Scholar and was generously supported by The Hattori Foundation, Dewar Arts Awards, Help Musicians, the Cross Trust, CASSGB and the Caird Trust.
From the 2022/23 academic year, Adam will be a Drake Calleja Trust Scholar and will be supported by the Countess of Munster Musical Trust, the Rhona Reid Charitable Trust, the NYOS Colin McLean Bursary and the McGlashan Charitable Trust. He is thankful for continued support from the Caird Trust and the Hattori Foundation and, of course, he is very grateful to all organisations for their support.