Christopher Lee (age 49) is former principal flute of the Toronto Philharmonia, founding faculty of Whole Musician, and an Altus Performing Artist. He serves as an inspiring teacher, mentor, and friend to countless musicians across the world. His generous spirit, passion for life and music, and open heart are profoundly genuine and infectious. Chris believes that every musician has a voice worth being heard, and helps his students and friends grow as artists in truly life-changing ways. Words are insufficient to fully express the impact that he has on the countless people around him.
On Thursday, August 9, 2018 - the first day of the National Flute Association Convention in Orlando, Florida - our dear friend suffered a major heart attack due to the main artery to his heart being completely blocked. CPR was administered and he was rushed to the Dr. P Phillips Hospital in Orlando where he has remained in critical condition in the ICU since his arrival.
To date, Christopher has undergone major surgeries to add stents and pumps, has received several blood transfusions, began dialysis when his kidneys began to fail, and has received countless additional procedures to give him a fighting chance at what he loves: LIFE! As of the date of the creation of this page (08.13.18), it is projected he will remain in the hospital at least 2 more weeks, and he will most certainly require rehabilitation after being released and when he returns to Toronto. (See UPDATES below to read about his progress).
Canada has terrific coverage for its citizens...when they are WITHIN their country's borders; however, those medical benefits do not typically cross international boundaries, and Christopher's heart attack occurred on US soil. The costs of his emergency and long-term care are exponentially accumulating with each day that passes, and this is why those who love him have created this page: to let others who also love him, who have been touched by him through his music, his mentorship, or even simply by reading this story, can contribute to his journey of healing by helping to alleviate some of the financial burden that now faces him and his family due to this tragic and life-changing medical crisis.
to Christopher's GoFundMe campaign
Altus Flutes Artist Christopher Lee is a laureate of the AGIMUS International Competition in Italy and grant recipient of the Canada Council for the Arts. From 1991 to 2013 he was Principal Flute of the Toronto Philharmonia.
With the art of the recital in his focus now, his performances in Canada, the USA, South America and Europe have garnered the acclaim of reviewers, colleagues and audience alike.
His masterclasses have been described as “transformative” and “life-changing” and he considers this format to be of particular importance in his efforts to enable students to find their own voice and their confidence in performance.
Chris is a Certified Personal Trainer and a founding faculty member of Whole Musician. A team of four flutists with unique qualifications providing all encompassing retreats in North America and Europe. In addition to masterclasses, Chris presents workshops on Interpretation, Fitness, Recording, and Career Guidance.
He has given recitals and masterclasses in Los Angeles, London, Venice, Lima, Madrid, Wyoming, Vancouver, Ottawa, Oklahoma (Northeastern State University and Oklahoma State University), Texas (University of Texas Arlington and University of North Texas), Omaha (University of Nebraska Omaha), Duluth (University of Minnesota Duluth) and for the Los Angeles Flute Guild and the Ottawa Flute Association.
A regular festival guest, he has appeared at the Festival Internacional de Flautistas de Lima Peru (2015, 2016), Encontro de Flautistas in Porto Alegre Brazil (2016), X Festival Internacional de Flautas de Costa Rica (2017), the Panama Flute Association (2017), the 45th National Flute Association Convention in Minneapolis, the British Flute Society Convention (2014), the Canadian Flute Association Convention (2013, 2015). Upcoming appearances include Kansas State University and the Honduras Flute Festival.
He has also performed with other orchestras including the Windsor Symphony, Niagara Symphony, Ontario Philharmonic, Hamilton Ballet Orchestra, and Sinfonia Toronto. From 1989 to 1991 he was Principal Flute of the Band of the Royal Regiment of Canada and from 1994 to 2007 he also played with the Hunstville Festival Symphony during the summer.
On recording he has released two discs; “My Lucky Life” of music for flute, harp and violin and “Bailar conmigo” of music for flute and guitar. He also appears as guest on several other recordings with Samantha Chang, Michael Holt, Euphonia, Morrow and Nurmi and a future recording with the Amadeus Choir.
Chris began formal studies on flute at the age of 19 at the Royal Conservatory of Music. Subsequent studies followed at the Faculty of Music, University of Toronto and he received a licentiate in flute performance from Trinity College of Music, London, England.
Chris performs on the handmade Altus Flute by Suichi Tanaka. Visit his artist website at www.christopherlee.ca
"An amazing spectrum of tone colours”
- Wholenote Magazine
- John Terauds, freelance critic for the Toronto Star
“From the very first note I knew you have what I search for in the flute – originality, creativity and a subtle sense of humour with all the technique to go with it”
- Dr. Atarah BenTovim former Principal Flute Royal Liverpool Philharmonic
“Christopher Lee and Richard Shaw (pianist) have gone above and beyond by moving the entire audience”
- PAN, the Journal of the British Flute Association
“Transcendental! I really can't describe Christopher's wonderful playing. What a magician!”
- Richard Shaw, pianist
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