Ruth Lee is an award-winning composer, harpist and vocalist working primarily in acoustic and electro-acoustic music. She is thrilled to have been chosen as one of the United Kingdom's Emerging Artists of 2020. A dynamic soloist, who studied with Eleanor Turner, Ruth is a graduate of the University of York (First-Class BA Hons. Music), where she was awarded both The Wilfrid Mellers Prize for Music and a Concerto Award, performing Deborah Henson-Conant’s Soñando en Español with the University of York Chamber Orchestra. Frequently inspired by historical and mythological narratives, her work often fuses folk and contemporary classical musical styles; incorporating loop machines, ambient noise and extended techniques to create a unique sound world. This year, she is looking forward to performing a programme of music featuring her own compositions at the World Harp Congress 2020.
Ruth’s original music for solo harp has received several awards, including The Iain Macleòid Young Composer Award 2019, First Prize at The Future Blend Project 2018/19 and First Prize at the Wales Harp Composition Competition 2015. Her broader compositional writing has been workshopped and performed by various soloists and ensembles, most recently being shortlisted for ‘The Night With… Call for Scores 2019’ with the Hermes Experiment. During her studies, her pieces were frequently selected for performance by The Chimera Ensemble, and last year, with the kind support of Salvi Harps, she premiered ‘Reimagined’, a multimedia concert featuring original and contemporary works for electric harp and chamber ensemble, performed by her all-female trio ‘Phantasia’.
Whilst in York, she played with the University of York Symphony Orchestra, The Chimera Ensemble and the City of York’s leading chamber orchestra, The Academy of St Olave’s, as well as the Northern Musical Theatre Orchestra, who she continues to perform with. More recently, she was named Runner Up East Coast Musician of the Year and has enjoyed collaborations with The Arc Project in which she premieres new works for harp and voice, alongside composing for other instrumentalists. Alongside her performance and compositional work, she is a private tutor and has taught on youth orchestra courses in York.