Gary Lee is a private cello teacher and freelance musician. He earned his MM in Cello Performance from the St. Louis Conservatory of Music and his BM in Cello Performance (cum laude) from Illinois Wesleyan University. His teachers include Yuan Tung, Robert Luke, Gordon Robson, and Karl Lear. His education includes training in chamber music, orchestral repertoire, contemporary music ensemble, and early music ensemble. Other instruments studied include piano and bass viola da gamba. He was a member of Missouri All-State Orchestra in the first three years of its existence, seated principal cello his senior year.
Gary teaches cello through Community Music School of Webster University, Dayspring School of the Arts, and his private studio. He also teaches beginning bass viola da gamba through his private studio. In 2016 he was honored with the Outstanding Studio Educator 2016 Award from the American String Teachers Association, Missouri Chapter.
Active as a freelance musician in both Missouri and Illinois, Gary is principal cellist and librarian of the Alton Symphony Orchestra. He is a cellist for the Landolfi String Quartet and Gateway Festival Orchestra. He was a cellist in the Rich Wappel Trio with the late Richard Wappel and hopes to revive the trio in the future. He has played as extra cellist for Town & Country Symphony, Florissant Valley Symphony, Illinois Symphony Orchestra, Masterworks Chorale, and other area ensembles. He has played as a member or extra for various Illinois and Missouri orchestras. He has played in ensembles for touring musicians, most recently Johnny Mathis, Classic Albums Live!, Bernadette Peters, Johnny Mathis, Il Divo, and Amy Grant with Michael W. Smith. He is a former principal cellist of Town Country Symphony, former associate principal cellist of University City Symphony, and former member of St. Louis Philharmonic, Webster Symphony, and Bloomington-Normal (IL) Symphony. He was involved in work for music publishers for over two decades, including one company formerly concerned with music therapy and problems of performing musicians.
Gary is a member of Musicians’ Association of St. Louis (AFM Local 2-197), Suzuki Association of the Americas, American String Teachers Association, and Viola da Gamba Society of America.