Adam Lee is a Scottish clarinettist, composer and teacher. He enjoys a busy portfolio career of freelance orchestral work, solo and chamber performance, writing and performing new music as well as teaching his pupils of all ages and stages. Adam is passionate about widening access to music, outreach work, working with diverse audiences in a range of concert settings and creating memorable, enriching musical experiences.
He is a postgraduate student at the Royal College of Music, London, studying a Master of Performance in Clarinet with Tim Lines and Richard Hosford. Adam is a Leverhulme Arts Scholar, supported by the Leverhulme Trust.
His musical journey began in Primary School with Rachel Considine before continuing his studies with Alison Waller RCS Junior Conservatoire. 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. 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 Royal Conservatoire of Scotland 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 live final at the RNCM with performers from all UK Conservatoires. He was selected as a finalist in the 2019 RCS Concerto Competition and was due to appear in the final of the 2020 Dunbar Gerber Chamber Music Prize which was unable to take place due to the pandemic. He won the 2020 Governors Recital Prize for Woodwind at the RCS - the first time that the competition took place online.
In June 2021, he was announced as the winner of both concerto prizes at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and will return to perform Nielsen's Clarinet Concerto Op. 57 and Crusell's Clarinet Concerto No. 2 with the RCS Symphony Orchestra. Other recent achievements include being awarded Distinction in the 2021 Tunbridge Wells International Music Competition, First Prize in the CASSGB Clarinet Soloist Competition, and being awarded The Principal’s Prize for All Round Excellence in the School of Music at RCS.
As a freelance clarinettist, Adam has worked with the BBC SSO, London Mozart Players, the RSNO, where he is currently on trial for the Associate Principal Clarinet position and the Orchestra of Opera North, where he is on trial for the Principal Clarinet position. He won a competitive seat in the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra apprenticeship scheme in February 2020 and later in 2020, he successfully auditioned for the Scottish Chamber Orchestra apprenticeship scheme which involved rehearsals and a recorded concert of Beethoven’s 7th Symphony arranged for Wind Ensemble.
As a composer, Adam studied with Tom Wilson, Oliver Searle, John De Simone, and Audrey McPherson. He has completed several works, one of which - “Hallaig” - won the Ten Wee Drams Competition and was premiered by Sarah Watts at the Isle of Raasay Distillery in April 2019. Since then, it has been published by the Scottish Music Centre and broadcast on BBC Radio 3. In October 2020, Adam completed a commission for the Scottish Clarinet Choir which will be premiered in Autumn 2021. He enjoyed collaborating with the clarinettist Laura Hundert, developing a new work for clarinet as part of her “Laura in Wonderland” project, due to take place in Autumn 2021.
Adam is also a passionate teacher, currently teaching several pupils throughout Ayrshire and Greater Glasgow. He has experience tutoring in bands and orchestras, giving one to one lessons from beginner to ABRSM Grade 8 and has a 100% pass rate in pupils who have been entered for an ABRSM exam. He holds a DipABRSM in Clarinet Teaching with Distinction, awarded in September 2020. Adam was selected to be the National Youth Orchestra of Scotland's Clarinet Ambassador for 2022, a role which will see him mentor young musicians enrolled on the NYOS 2022 junior courses. 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. He is thankful for support from Dewar Arts Awards, The Cross Trust, Help Musicians, CASSGB, The Caird Trust and the Hattori Foundation.
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