Gail Hsiu-Wen Lee’s passion to bring live classical music to Central New Jersey was realized in 2008 when she founded Sinfonietta Nova, West Windsor’s own symphony orchestra. Now in her 11th Season as Artistic Director and Conductor, Ms. Lee’s ideas of presenting not only audience favorites, but also lesser known musical gems, new works, plus educational elements have met with critical acclaim and audience delight.
“Gail Lee is a thoughtful and imaginative programmer. There is a unity to her concerts and her seasons, which demonstrates an intellectual curiosity, which is rare.” ~ Ross Amico, host, WWFM – The Classical Network.
Under Ms. Lee’s baton, the orchestra continues to present top-notch professional musicians, as well as distinguished soloists, including Mr. Ming F. Hsin, first violinist from the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra.
“I was very delighted by the high quality and professionalism of the orchestra…. Maestra Lee’s clear technique and wonderful, efficient ways with the orchestra draw out the best in her players…. A hidden gem of an orchestra in the central Jersey area.” ~ Ming F. Hsin, violinist, Metropolitan Opera Orchestra.
Beyond New Jersey, Ms. Lee has been praised by the conductor and musicians of Seattle Symphony as “a serious talent”, “clear and musical”, and having “exceptional stick technique.” She has also worked extensively in North America, Europe and Asia. Among the orchestras with which she has worked are the Seattle Symphony, the Women’s Philharmonic (San Francisco), the National Taiwan Symphony Orchestra, the Kaohsuing City Symphony (Taiwan), the North Hungarian Symphony Orchestra, Miskolc (Hungary), the Filharmonie Hradec Králové, the Janacek Filharmonie Ostrava, the Silesian Opera Theatre (Czech Republic), and the Varna State Philharmonie (Bulgaria).
Upon returning to the United States from her post as the Associate Conductor with the National Taiwan Symphony Orchestra, she was appointed to the position of Assistant Professor at Alfred University where she served as conductor of the Alfred University Orchestra, a position that she held before returning to New Jersey in 1997. Ms. Lee has also served as Artistic Director and Conductor of the New Brunswick Chamber Orchestra for many years.
Ms. Lee is currently an adjunct professor at Cairn University, and directs the University Symphony Orchestra. She was engaged by New Jersey Music Educators Association in 2007 to conduct the New Jersey All State Orchestra and has conducted the Rutgers University Sinfonia and Opera at Rutgers in concerts. Ms. Lee holds a Master’s Degree in Orchestral Conducting from Northwestern University, where she studied with Maestro Victor Yampolsky.