Two leading members of the Yucatán Symphony Orchestra are pairing for “Another Enchanted Evening of Music.” With Ruth Bennett on harp and Christopher Collins Lee on violin, the Mérida English Library continues its fundraising events.
The New York Times termed Christopher Collins Lee “an impressive, stylish violinist with something special to say.” He has performed as a soloist with Leopold Stokowski, Herbert von Karajan and Arthur Fiedler among other conductors and has recorded for the CBS, RCA, Desto, Everest, Artista, Delos and Quattro Corde labels.
Lee became a protégé of Zino Francescatti at the age of 16, touring with him throughout Europe. He earned a B.F.A. and M.M. degree from the Juilliard School of Music, a doctorate from SUNY Stony Brook, and five honorary Doctorates from foreign institutions. He holds the State Department title of Official Musical Ambassador of the United States, and has toured the world over 40 times under their auspices.
Lee has received numerous awards, including a Guggenheim Grant, Fulbright, National Arts Club, Artists International, Carl Flesch International Violin Competition, J.S. Bach Competition, Tibor Varga International Violin Competition, the Samuel Chozinoff Award; and the Fritz Kreisler Prize.
Harpist Ruth Bennett has performed throughout the United States, Latin America, Europe and Japan. In March 2012, Ruth won third prize in the 2nd Dutch International Harp Contest where she performed Joaquin Rodrigo’s Concierto de Aranjuez in the final stage with the Nieuwe Philharmonie Utrecht conducted by Johannes Leertouwer.
A consistent prize winner in other international and national contests, she received 1st prize in the 2009 National Harp Competition in Mexico City, 1st prize in the Padova International Contest (2011-Italy) and awards at the American Harp Society National Contest and American String Teachers Association Competition.
In 2006, Ruth gave her debut recital at Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall as presented by Artists International. That same year she toured Japan for 3 weeks with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra.
She has been presented in recitals as both soloist and chamber musician at Carnegie Hall, Vredenburg in Holland, The Dame Myra Hess Concert Series in Chicago, BargeMusic in Brooklyn, and New York University.
Living in England until age 9, Ruth began her studies at the piano but was eventually persuaded into learning the harp by her grandmother, a former student of Carlos Salzedo.
Ruth obtained her Postgraduate diploma at Manhattan School of Music as a student of Deborah Hoffman and received her Masters degree with Kathleen Bride at Eastman School of Music- where she was also awarded the Eileen Malone Scholarship for Harp and the Performer’s Certificate for outstanding performing ability.
She holds a bachelors degree from the Crane School of Music at the State University of Potsdam in New York.
Ruth plays frequently as a soloist in Mexico and holds the post of Principal Harpist with the Sinfonica de Yucatán.
Maintaining an active career between the Latin America and NY, she also substitutes with the American Ballet Theatre Orchestra and has played in a number of Broadway shows.
Her CD Concert d’Aujourd hui – music for flute and harp – alongside flautist Alejandro Vasquez is released under the label of Urtext Digital Classics.
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