B i o g r a p h y
Singaporean oboist Bernice Lee recently graduated with a distinction in oboe performance (Art Dip.) at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, where she was a pupil of Gordon Hunt, Nicholas Daniel and Alison Teale. She was a Guildhall Scholar during her time at the Conservatory and also a Drake Calleja Trust Scholar for the 2018/19 academic year. Most recently in 2020, Bernice won a place in the London Sinfonietta Academy and London Philharmonic Orchestra's Foyle Future Firsts.
In 2016, shortly after graduating with a Bachelor of Music degree from the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory in Singapore, Bernice won the President’s Young Performers’ Competition, providing her with the opportunity to give her concerto debut with the Singapore Symphony Orchestra, performing Richard Strauss’ oboe concerto. In that same year, she toured Sir Cameron Mackintosh’s production of Les Misérables in Singapore and Dubai, playing the oboe and cor anglais.
An avid orchestral musician, she was the principal oboist of the Young Musicians’ Symphony Orchestra from 2017 to 2019. In addition, she has performed as principal oboist with the Guildhall Symphony Orchestra, the highlight being Sibelius’ Second Symphony under the baton of Sir Simon Rattle in July 2017. Later that year in December, Bernice performed live on Radio 3, Esa-Pekka Salonen’s Second Meeting for oboe and piano as part of BBC Symphony Orchestra’s Total Immersion Series.
In June 2019, Bernice performed at the Wigmore Hall as part of a 10-oboe ensemble for two pieces composed by David Bruce and John Woolrich respectively. From mid 2018 Bernice performed extensively as Guest Co-Principal Oboe with the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra and in November performed with the Trondheim Soloists on tour in Hong Kong.
Throughout her student years Bernice has participated actively in competitions, most recently winning first prize in the Rising Stars Grand Prix competition in Berlin in May 2018. She was also a finalist in the Royal Over-Seas League Mixed Ensembles Competition in 2020 with Pacific Winds Quintet.
Having a passion for chamber music, she performed with the Cobbett Quartet at the Torroella Music Festival in Spain in July 2017. There, they performed the oboe quartets by Benjamin Britten, W.A. Mozart, Malcolm Arnold and Ernest Moeran. She has also performed Edgard Varese’s Octandre and György Ligeti’s Kammerkonzert with the Guildhall Ubu Contemporary Music Ensemble.
Bernice plays on a Josef 20th Anniversary Series oboe and is currently on trial for co-principal oboe in the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra.