Ruth Lee is an award-winning composer and harpist. Frequently driven by narratives, sometimes found and at other times self-created, she has been described as a ‘musical storyteller’ with ‘her own inner voice’ (Sioned Williams, UKHA Review). Winner of the Sioned Williams Harp Prize at the United Kingdom Harp Competition, the Iain Macleòid Young Composer Award at the Edinburgh International Harp Festival and the Wales International Harp Festival Competition for Composition, her work has been recognised at many of the leading festivals across the UK.
Interested in history, mythology, nature and anthropology, she explores acoustic and electro-acoustic music in solo and chamber music; incorporating loop machines, ambient noise and extended techniques to create a unique sound world. Her compositional output from traditional western notation to graphic scores based on photography and in-situ sketches. She is a graduate of the University of York (First-Class BA Hons. Music 2019) 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. She is privileged to have studied harp with Eleanor Turner and Charlotte Seale.
Passionate about music, stories and communities, she strives to encourage young people to find their musical voice: leading workshops in schools, creating online music courses on Teachable (Kickstart Composing!) and maintaining her private teaching studio. She regularly collaborates with a range of soloists and chamber musicians, often fusing folk and contemporary classical styles and including improvision in the performance or compositional process. She is particularly looking forward to performing at the World Harp Congress in July 2022 where she will be performing a recital featuring works by herself and other contemporary composers.
Her writing has been workshopped and performed by various soloists and ensembles, including Lore Lixenberg (Krummholz), The Hermes Experiment (The Night With… Call for Scores 2019) and other international artists through collaboration with The Arc Project. During her studies, her pieces were frequently selected for performance by The Chimera Ensemble, and 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’.