The Korean counter-tenor, David Dong Qyu (DQ) Lee, studied at the Vancouver Academy of Music with Phyllis Mailing, Rudolf Piernay and Stephen Smith and at the Steane Institute of Music in Chicago. At the age of nineteen, he was named one of the six finalists at the 1997 Rosa Ponselle International Vocal Competition and two years later was among the Grand Finalists at the Metropolitan Opera National Council Audition in New York where he performed in the Grand Final Concert accompanied by the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. He has also won the Debut Canada Auditions, placed Second in the Young Concert Artists International Competition 2000 in New York, was named a finalist in the prestigious competition: The Queen Elizabeth International Music Competition in Belgium 2000, and winner of Canada Council for the Arts Career Grant 2003.
David DQ Lee is fast establishing an enviable reputation among counter-tenors of his generation. He has been hailed as one of the three leading counter-tenors in Canada by CBC Radio among Daniel Taylor, Matthew White, and Carl Strygg. His past engagements include, Orff’s Carmina Burana with the Mexico Philharmonic Orchestra, “2001 Christmas Concert” and Leonard Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Rosa Ponselle Showcase Gala at the Alice Tully Hall, Debut Recital sponsored by Debut inc. Canada, role of Hercules from Bach Canatata BWV 213 Hercules auf dem Scheidewege accompanied by Pacific Music Festival Orchestra in Japan. His operatic roles include Athamas from Semele with the Vancouver Handel Society, Lucejo from North American premier of George Frideric Handel’s Scipione and Liscione from Scarlatti’s La Dirindina with the Modern Baroque Opera Company accompanied by Pacific Baroque orchestra, Ometh from a North American premier of contemporary Opera Golem by a British composer, John Casken at the Aspen Music Festival, and Venus from Scarlatti’s Il Giardino damore which was featured at the Battersea Opera Festival in London, England.
In 2001-2002 season, David DQ Lee made his Chicago Opera Theatre Debut in G.F. Handel’s Semele as Athamas and repeated the role of Athamas at The Toronto Opera in Concerts. Another operatic Debut took place at the Pacific Opera Victoria in the role of Tolomeo from G.F. Handel’s Giulio Cesare with raving reviews: Susan Down from the Time Colonist mentioned: “This Canadian Divo delivered with penetrating and lyrically pleasing performances. Lee exhibited prodigious vocal gifts that suited their character. He ably demonstrates his uncommon vocal agility and clarity.” He definitely received an approval of Acting and Vocal ability from critics and directors. He is equally active in concerts, was featured in the Toronto International Choir Festival for L. Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms, the title role of G.F. Handel’s Solomon with the Chorus Niagara, and a collaboration with the Vancouver Song Circle singing various lieder and French Melodies. Highlights of the 2002-2003 season include a great success in the role of Cherubino from W.A. Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro in which the role is rarely played by a male. David Lennam from News Group has mentioned: “Lee’s mischievous Cherubino gets most laughs (and the evenings loudest applause) for his sweet, clear and inhumanly high-pitched work.” J.S. Bach’s Christmas Oratorio (BWV 248) with the Bach Consort, Role of Pastore and Speranza from Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo accompanied by the Toronto Consort, G.F. Handel’s Messiah with the Nova Scotia Symphony Orchestra, and G.F. Handel’s Israel in Egypt and Antonio Vivaldi’s Gloria and Magnificat in Chicago undertaking the Second Soprano and Alto Solos. He is equally comfortable in the range of High Mezzo-soprano to Contralto. He was also a feature Artist at the Centara New Music Festival held in Winnipeg making Canadian premier of the works by G. Kancheli and Leonid Desyatnikov in which the works were broadcast on CBC Radio.
Recently, David DQ Lee began his 2003-2004 season with being a featured artist at the 20th Anniversary Gala concert of “Opera de Quebec”; feature soloist for the “Bach Concert” at the St. Catherine Laboure Cathedral in Chicago and two G.F. Handel's Messiah; one with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra and another with the Toronto Korean Choir. He made several Debut performances of Orff’s Carmina Burana with the Huntsville Symphony Orchestra, Brott Music Festival Orchestra, and Xalapa Symphony Orchestra in Mexico. And couple of Handelian works of Saul and Joshua with Calgary Festival Chorus and Ottawa Choral Society. In Summer of 2004, he was featured as one of the soloist in Vaughan Williams’ Serenade to Music accompanied by Chicago Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Christoph Eschenbach for a Gala concert at the Ravinia Music Festival. He has created a role of Seer from Barry truax’s contemporary electrocustic Opera, Powers of Two with the Modern Baroque Opera Company. He recently have received an invitation from Korean National Arts Center to appear at the New Year’s Eve Concert this year. Also, he has released his Debut Album with ATMA Classique Label which is out in Nation wide.
In the upcomings and recent performances: he sang G.F. Handel's Messiah with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra and the Vancouver Bach Choir, and an invitation from the Seoul Arts Center to appear in a New Year’s Eve Concert, he made his first Jazz concert venue with the Ronn Branton Jazz Band for the Jazz Christmas Concert in the new Incheon Arts center, and will returned to Vancouver at the Kerner Recital Hall for his Solo Recital sponsored by the Vancouver Academy of Music. In 2005-2006 season, he will make his Vienna Debut singing the role of Oberon from Benjamin Britten’s Midsummer night’s dream and Middle East concert tour sponsored by the Music in Me organization. In addition, more of his debut performances will take with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra London, Montreal Baroque Festival, Young Artist Recital in Vancouver, Peace Concert venue in Korea, and many more.