Lee Mills has been awarded a Career Assistance Award by the Solti Foundation U.S. This is the fifth time the foundation has honored Lee with this award, having also given it to him in 2014, 2017, 2019, and 2020.
Entering its twenty-first year of assisting outstanding young U.S. conductors to further develop their talent and careers, The Solti Foundation U.S. is the foremost organization in the United States dedicated exclusively to helping young conductors.
Established in 2000 to honor the memory of the legendary conductor Sir Georg Solti by lending significant support to career-ready young American musicians, in 2004, the Foundation concentrated the focus of its award program to solely assist talented young American conductors early in their professional careers (its original mission was of a more general arts nature). Since then, it has awarded over one million dollars through grants and residencies to American conductors.
The Foundation endeavors to seek out those musicians who have chosen to follow a path similar to that followed by Sir Georg himself. In keeping with the spirit of Sir Georg's active approach to his career, young conductors must apply to be considered for the awards.
While dedicated to identifying and assisting young conductors early on, the Foundation is also concerned with the long-term development of its award recipients, continuing to offer support and maintaining a constant interest in their growth and achievements.
Lee is one of 15 young conductors selected for the Career Assistance Award this year. The complete list of conductors is as follows (in alphabetical order):
Nathaniel Efthimiou, founding Music Director of Orchestra Contempo, Assistant Conductor, Boston Civic Symphony, Assistant Director of Music at Boston's historic Park Street Church and acting Assistant Conductor, Rhode Island Philharmonic; Kevin Fitzgerald, Assistant Conductor of the Alabama Symphony Orchestra and Music Director of the Alabama Symphony Youth Orchestra, he is also the founder of the Michigan-based contemporary music ensemble ÆPEX Contemporary Performance; Taichi Fukumura, newly appointed Fellow and Assistant Conductor of the Chicago Summer Opera in 2021, Director of Orchestras, Merit School of Music,and Artistic Director and Principal Conductor, Northwestern Medical Orchestra; Lina Gonzalez-Granados, Solti Conducting Apprentice, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Conducting Fellow with the Philadelphia Orchestra and the Seattle Symphony; Keitaro Harada, Music & Artistic Director of the Savannah Philharmonic and Associate Conductor of the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra; Jonathon Heyward,Chief Conductor of the Nordwestdeutsche Philharmonie; Roberto Kalb, international guest conductor; Roger Kalia, Music Director, Evansville Philharmonic, Symphony NH, Orchestra Santa Monica, and the Lake George Music Festival; Earl Lee, Associate Conductor of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra; Lee Mills, Associate Conductor of the Seattle Symphony; Vinay Parameswaran,Associate Conductor, The Cleveland Orchestra,and Music Director, the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra; Michael Repper, Music Director, New York Youth Symphony and Northern Neck Orchestra of Virginia; Stefano Sarzani, international guest conductor; Kensho Watanabe, international guest conductor; Lidiya Yankovskaya,
Music Director, Chicago Opera Theater.