Kevin Lee (CC’14) has been the Artistic Director of the Columbia University Bach Society since 2013. In this capacity, he has mainly focused on turnaround efforts to revitalize the organization, including implementing cultural efforts to raise ensemble morale, initiating a Masterworks concert series at St Paul's Chapel (dedicated to canonic works in the early Western repertory), collaborating with student leaders to put on annual, fully staged operas, and inviting leading thinkers to give talks at the well-received Marginalia lecture-concert series. In addition, he has encouraged a spirit of student innovation, which has led to such events as an Opening Night Gala, Broadway Night at the West End, and a Valentine's Day Night of Waltzes. As a testament to his and the Society's recent success, subscriptions have increased by about 900%, members have received more opportunities to contribute to ensemble life and lead their peers, and the Society has increasingly engaged with the local community within Columbia and around the City.
Trained as a classical violinist, Kevin started his first ensemble at age 16: twenty student musicians from around the Pacific Northwest to raise funds for local charitable organizations in need of help. Since then, he has stressed the need for the arts to engage local communities as a method by which to express their continuing relevance to the 21st century. For his efforts, Kevin has received media attention through a front-page article in the Seattle Times, local TV and news attention, a blog post on Angry Asian Man, and a public broadcasting feature. Even further, he has been invited to give talks on both the East and West coast regarding classical music, consulted for a start-up involved in the arts and education space, and has inspired like ensemble models which empower student leadership.