Catherine Lee


A diverse musician, oboist Dr. Catherine Lee has performed extensively on the oboe, oboe d’amore and English horn as a solo, chamber, and orchestral musician in a wide range of artistic settings, including classical, contemporary, and free improvisation.

As an interdisciplinary artist, Catherine collaborated in the creation of reeds, a site-specific work composed by Emily Doolittle (Sound Symposium, 2010); with POV dance (Ten Tiny Dances, 2008); and with Tracy Broyles (Risk/Reward Festival, 2012). Catherine has performed in the oboe sections of many ensembles, including Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal, Oregon Symphony, Oregon Ballet Theatre, Portland Opera, Portland Cello Project, and was a tenured member of Orchestre symphonique de Longueuil from 2003 to 2008. Catherine has also performed in ensembles led by improvisers John Gruntfest, Gino Robair, and Tatsuya Nakatani.

Catherine’s doctoral research on virtuoso performers in the late eighteenth century has led to a curiosity regarding the role of improvisation both in the development of a performer’s creativity and voice and in the relationship between performers and audience. She has presented research at Performance in the Studio (2013), The Embodiment of Authority (Helsinki, 2010), The Performer’s Voice (Singapore, 2009), and the Guelph Jazz Festival Colloquium (Guelph, 2010, 2012). Catherine is a licensed Andover Educator and serves on the board of directors for the Creative Music Guild (Portland, Oregon).

Catherine is a founding member of the Umbrella Ensemble and the Tardis Ensemble. She holds a bachelor’s and doctorate of music from McGill University, and a master of music and performer diploma from Indiana University. Her principal influences include Theodore Baskin, Normand Forget, Bruce Haynes and Eleanor V. Stubley. For more information, please visit


  • Bachelor of Music Performance (Schulich School of Music, McGill University)
  • Master of Music Performance (Jacobs School of Music, Indiana University)
  • Performer Diploma (Jacobs School of Music, Indiana University)
  • Doctor of Music in Performance Studies (Schulich School of Music, McGill University)