Born into a musical family, Alicia Lee grew up in Michigan, where she began playing violin and piano at the age of five and eventually switched to clarinet at the age of 12.
Before her appointment at the Mead Witter School of Music, she maintained a busy freelance career throughout New York City, performing and touring regularly with a variety of groups, including the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, the Knights, Alarm Will Sound, NOVUS, and ACME. She has performed at the Marlboro, Lucerne, Spoleto (Italy and US), Yellow Barn, Festspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, and Bay Chamber music festivals.
Ms. Lee is a founding member of Decoda, a chamber music collective comprised of virtuoso musicians, entrepreneurs, and passionate advocates of the arts. The artists of Decoda first collaborated with one another in the renowned Ensemble ACJW fellowship program, created by Carnegie Hall, and they now extend that relationship as the Affiliate Ensemble of Carnegie Hall. She has been fortunate to travel for residencies and performances in venues as diverse as the Guildhall School in London, Lee Correctional Institute in South Carolina, DePauw University, The Colburn School, and Merida, Mexico. She is also the director and on the faculty of the Decoda Skidmore Chamber Music Institute.
Ms. Lee is the newest member of the contemporary music group NOW Ensemble, a dynamic collective of composers and performers with the goal of creating music as a continuous collaboration between both parties. Ms. Lee was formerly the associate principal and E-flat clarinet player of the Santa Barbara Symphony, a position she held for seven seasons. She also performed as solo bass clarinetist of the Bergen Philharmonic in Norway during the 2013-14 season. She holds a bachelor’s degree in French Language and Literature from Columbia University, and pursued musical studies at The Juilliard School with Charles Neidich and Ayako Oshima as a part of the Columbia-Juilliard exchange program. She earned additional degrees from the University of Southern California and The Colburn School, where she was a student of Yehuda Gilad.