Pianist Donna Lee made her solo debut in 1990 with the National Symphony Orchestra. She has since appeared as a soloist and collaborative artist at Kennedy Center’s Concert Hall and Terrace Theater in Washington, D.C. and Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall in New York City. She has also performed in Asia, Europe, and throughout the US, with performances in Wuhan, China; Brno, Czech Republic; and Maui, Hawaii. Donna made her solo recording debut on the Azica label, with a program titled Scenes from Childhood with works by Schumann, del Tredici, Medtner, and Prokofieff. In 2011, she released a recording on the Blue Griffin label of Felix Mendelssohn’s Complete works for cello and piano with cellist Keith Robinson. Fanfare Magazine called the disc, “…quite simply, amazing.”
Critics have described Donna Lee’s performances as “elegant and refined” (Il Fronimo, Italy), “engaging” (WCLV-Cleveland), and “brilliant” (Iwate Daily News, Japan). As a soloist and chamber musician, she has performed at the Ameri-China Festival in China, Gotland Chamber Music Festival in Sweden, Brevard Music Center in North Carolina, Interlochen Arts Festival in Michigan, Kent/Blossom Music in Ohio, Maui Classical Music in Hawaii, Music-on-the-Hill in Rhode Island, and Classical Tahoe in Nevada. A frequent collaborator with cellist Keith Robinson, they have performed the complete works of Beethoven and Felix Mendelssohn for cello and piano in recent years. She also performs regularly with her husband, clarinetist Daniel Gilbert. The Gilbert-Lee duo has performed in recitals throughout the United States, including recent performances in Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Michigan, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Nevada, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, South Carolina, and Washington as well as in Chengdu, China.
A native of Silver Spring, Maryland, Donna Lee earned her doctorate from Peabody Conservatory of The Johns Hopkins University, master’s from The Juilliard School, and Bachelor of Music from the University of Maryland, College Park, where she studied with prominent artist-teachers Julian Martin, the late Rudolf Firkušný, and Thomas Schumacher, respectively. A highly sought-after teacher and clinician, she has had numerous prize-winning students. She has taught at Peabody Conservatory, Bucknell University, and Interlochen Arts Camp in Michigan. Presently, Donna Lee is Professor of Piano at Kent State University; during the summers, she serves as artist-faculty at Brevard Music Center in North Carolina. Donna Lee is a Steinway Artist.