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, as well as a recital at the World Harp Congress in Cardiff, 2022.
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. She is a soloist with Live Music Now! and also creates online music courses on Teachable: Kickstart Composing! for ages 7-15yrs, suitable for all instruments. She regularly collaborates with a range of soloists and chamber musicians, often fusing folk and contemporary classical styles and includes improvision in the performance and/or compositional process. She performed a solo recital at the World Harp Congress in July 2022 which featured 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), The Chimera Ensemble, and other international artists through collaboration with The Arc Project. 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’. She continues to work with electronics in performance and teaching, offering workshops to harpists of all ages, and Ruth has recently collaborated with Harp-E to create an online course, suitable for all levels and ages, to get started with loop machines on a harp! How to use a Loop Machine for Harpists (suitable for all technical/musical abilities).