Young Canadian-born violinist Shannon Lee made a stunning orchestral debut at the age of twelve with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra in the summer of 2005, performing the Chausson Poème and Franz Waxman’s fiendishly difficult Carmen Fantasy, originally written for Jascha Heifetz. In a front page article, The Dallas Morning News exclaimed, “When she started to play, her maturity and skill suddenly placed her artistic age far beyond her calendar one.”
Further critical acclaim greeted Shannon in the fall of that year when she was featured as the soloist during the Dallas Symphony’s Texas Tour, performing the Barber Violin Concerto. She was immediately engaged by the tour’s conductor, Giancarlo Guerrero, for solo performances of Prokofiev’s Concerto in D major with his orchestra in spring of ’07. In November 2006, Shannon performed the Sibelius Violin Concerto with the Charlotte Symphony under the baton of Christof Perick, who immediately invited Shannon to open the next season with the Nuremberg Philharmonic Orchestra in Germany, where she made her European debut.
Shannon moved to Texas when she was two and began studying the violin at the age of four. Since the year 2000, she has studied privately with Jan Mark Sloman, a nationally esteemed pedagogue and Principal Associate Concertmaster of the Dallas Symphony. Her early teachers were Paul Landefeld and Ann Grosshans.
At eleven, Shannon won her first national award, the top prize among bowed instruments in the junior division of the American String Teachers Association (ASTA) Biennial National Solo Competition. Subsequent awards have included the Davidson Fellows Award, the Bayard H. Friedman Award for Outstanding Student in Performing Arts, the Texas Commission on the Arts Young Master Scholarship, the Asian American Alliance for the Arts Outstanding Achievement Award, first place in the Lynn Harrell Concerto Competition, a Silver Medal in the Stulberg International String Competition, and several top prizes in the Kingsville Competition.
Shannon has performed privately and in master class for artists such as Itzhak Perlman, Jaime Laredo, Elmar Oliveira, and Arnold Steinhardt. Her summer activities have included Mr. Sloman’s Institute for Strings in Dallas, the Heifetz International Music Institute in New Hampshire, and the ENCORE School for Strings in Cleveland, Ohio, where she studied with David and Linda Cerone.
For this recording, Shannon is playing an 18th-century Venetian violin made by Giorgio Seraphin known as the “ex-Hill.”