Cheng-Hou Lee

Professor and Cellist, Avalon String Quartet

Cellist Cheng-Hou Lee, a native of Taiwan, received both the bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the Juilliard School. He also earned a master’s degree in chamber music at Rice University, where he was a founding member of the award-winning Gotham Quartet. He was a full-scholarship student at New England Conservatory, where he received his Doctorate of Musical Art. Lee has worked with world renowned artists such as Yo-Yo Ma, Harvey Shapiro, Janos Starker, Mstislav Rostropovich, Zara Nelsova, Paul Katz, Steven Iserlis, Raphael Wallfisch, Gary Hoffman, Tim Eddy and members of the Juilliard, Tokyo and Alban Berg Quartets.

Cheng-Hou has won the Chi-Mei Foundation Award for Outstanding Talents, the concerto competition at the Manhattan School of Music, Tuesday Musical Club Competition in Houston and twice the National Cello Competition in Taiwan, and he has appeared on WQXR radio station in New York City, WFMT radio station in Chicago and many others in the U.S.

He was a recipient of a career grant from the Quanta Education Foundation, and he has made solo and chamber music appearances throughout the United States, as well as in Germany, Italy, Hong Kong and Taiwan. Lee served as a teaching assistant to Paul Katz for five years, and he has taught or conducted master classes at schools such as University of Michigan, University of Connecticut, University of Delaware, East Carolina University, Southern Illinois University, UCLA, Wheaton College, California State University, Northeastern Illinois University, Brigham Young University, University of Tennessee, University of Illinois Chicago, Inje University in South Korea and the Tainan Woman’s College of Arts and Technology in Taiwan.

He was also a faculty member at the Main Line Chamber Music Seminar in Pennsylvania, the “House of Cello” Festival, as well as Bay Chamber Concerts “Next Generation” Program.

As a chamber musician, Lee performed with renowned artists such as cellists Paul Katz and Yehuda Hanani, violinists Don Weilerstein, Shmuel Ashkenasi, Robert Chen, Rachel Barton Pine and Lucy Chapman, violists Kim Kashkashian, Hsin-Yun Huang, Richard Young and Richard O’Neill, clarinetist Anthony McGill, pianists Ruth Laredo, Meng-Chieh Liu and Christina Dahl, the Borromeo String Quartet, the Miami String Quartet and American composer William Bolcom.

In addition, he has appeared in concerts for the David G. Whitcomb Foundation, Ravinia Festival’s Steans Institute, Jordan Hall’s 100th anniversary in Boston, the Omega Ensemble in New York City, the Charles Wadsworth and Friends Series, Robert Kapilow’s “What Makes It Great?” Series at Lincoln Center, Cape Cod Chamber Music Festival and Summermusic at Market Square Concerts.

Recently, Lee has given solo recitals at the Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concerts Series and the Susa Marshall Memorial Concert Series, and appeared as a concerto soloist with Chicago Chamber Orchestra, Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra and NIU Philharmonic. In addition, he has performed regularly with the Chicago Chamber Musicians, and made other solo or chamber appearances in the Chicago area.

Lee is currently the cellist of the Avalon String Quartet, which previously served as string faculty at Indiana University at South Bend, and in August 2007 the Avalon Quartet succeeded the world-renowned Vermeer Quartet as quartet-in-residence at Northern Illinois University. The quartet presents its own series in downtown Chicago at the Art Institute of Chicago, and has previously showcased the complete Beethoven and Bartók cycles. During summers, the quartet has been on faculty at festivals such as the Interlochen Center for the Arts’ Advanced String Quartet program, Madeline Island Music Camp, the Icicle Creek Chamber Music Festival and the Hot Springs Festival.


D.M.A., New England Conservatory


  • Chamber Music
  • Applied Instruction in Violoncello



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