Julianne Lee Is Named New Violist of the Dover Quartet

February 23, 2023, 10:00 AM · Boston Symphony violinist Julianne Lee will join as the violist of the Dover Quartet, starting in September, the Curtis Institute of Music announced Thursday.

Julianne Lee
Violinist-Violist Julianne Lee. Photo by Roy Cox.

The Dover Quartet is the Ensemble-in-Residence at Curtis, with other members including violinists Joel Link and Bryan Lee and cellist Camden Shaw. Lee will replace the Dover Quartet’s founding violist, Milena Pajaro-van de Stadt, who left the quartet in August 2022, and violist Hezekiah Leung, who was appointed for the 2022–23 season. Leung will continue to perform as the quartet’s violist through August 2023.

Currently the assistant principal second violinist of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and principal second violinist with the Boston Pops Orchestra, Lee has forged a career as both a violinist and violist, frequently appearing as a soloist, chamber musician, and orchestral player. She has been a member of the BSO violin section since 2006, serving as acting assistant concertmaster from 2013 to 2015. She also served as principal second violinist of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra from 2017 to 2019.

Lee earned her bachelor’s degree from the Curtis Institute of Music, where she studied violin and viola, and her master’s degree from the New England Conservatory, where she double majored in violin and viola. She also is a faculty member at the New England Conservatory Preparatory School and the Berklee College of Music.

Originally formed at the Curtis Institute in 2008, the Dover Quartet's name pays tribute to "Dover Beach," the piece for voice and string quartet by Samuel Barber, one of Curtis's most distinguished alumni. As a part of the Penelope P. Watkins Ensemble in Residence, Lee also will join Curtis’s faculty beginning in the 2023–24 academic year.

Dover Quartet
The Dover Quartet. Photo by Roy Cox.

"To say it was ‘love at first sound’ might sound silly, but that’s exactly what we experienced when we first read with Julianne," said Dover Quartet cellist Shaw. "There was the uncanny feeling that we had already played together for years; and yet at the same time, the group sounded uniquely fresh and inspired. We are so fortunate and grateful to be welcoming her into our family and look forward to taking the Dover Quartet to new musical heights."

In addition to its Curtis residency, the Dover Quartet holds residencies with the Kennedy Center, Bienen School of Music at Northwestern University, Artosphere, and the Amelia Island Chamber Music Festival. The group’s awards include a sweep of all prizes at the 2013 Banff International String Quartet Competition; grand and first prizes at the Fischoff Chamber Music Competition; and prizes at the Wigmore Hall International String Quartet Competition. Honors include the Avery Fisher Career Grant, Chamber Music America’s Cleveland Quartet Award, and Lincoln Center’s Hunt Family Award.

"We are thrilled to welcome Curtis alumna Julianne Lee back to the school as she joins our faculty and the Dover Quartet,” Curtis President and CEO Roberto Díaz said. “Throughout Curtis’s nearly 100-year history, we have emphasized training young musicians to excel at chamber music, in addition to orchestral and solo repertoire, which makes the Curtis experience so unique. I am delighted to see Julianne and the quartet carry on this legacy, and inspire generations of students and audiences."

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