“Warren Lee’s performance bore out the insight… that exceptional artists are not so much people to be praised as phenomena to be treasured, bearers of a power altogether greater than the poor vessels that contain it.”
South China Morning Post
Described discreetly by the South China Morning Post as a “poor vessel”, Warren Lee began his performing career on the unlikely stage of Hong Kong Coliseum at the age of six (where he almost tripped getting to the piano and was caught on TV), appearing with the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra. This infamous tripping performance continues to provide amusement for audiences worldwide on YouTube today.
Dropping out of his secondary education, Warren (his name literally means a place where rabbits inhabit) was admitted to the Royal Academy of Music - not far from the London Zoo at the age of 16. History repeated itself when he “sort of” dropped out of his undergraduate studies and went to Yale University after only two years in London. Despite gaining a reputation as a compulsive and skilled dropout, Warren, as luck would have it, graduated from both institutions.
Inspired by Bartok’s saying that “competitions are for horses” and despite being in close proximity to the London Zoo for a couple of years, Warren vowed not to enter any competition after winning the First Prize of the 1995 Stravinsky Awards International Piano Competition. Well, his vow was only good for 18 years, as he recently entered and won the Second Prize of the Gianni Bergamo Classic Music Award 2013 for his choral composition, "House Rules". (His vow was only for piano competition, he later claimed.)
33 names below Lang Lang, Warren is one of 111 Steinway Artists in the world whose last name begins with the letter “L”. He often wonders what he has to achieve, besides being dead, in order to one day end up on Steinway’s Immortals Roster alongside the likes of Liszt, Rachmaninoff and Horowitz. He recently tried his hands on a bit of magic, as observed by The Strait Times of Singapore, “Warren Lee’s most impressive achievement was… his astonishing ability to transform that unappealing black triangular box with the lid… into something that sounded like a half-decent piano.”
Probably the highest-scoring (and only) Steinway Artist who had taken both LSAT and GMAT, Warren holds an MBA degree (with no dropping out) from HKUST and intends to pursue a law degree one day. In 2012, Warren upgraded from his "CHILD prodigy" status to "YOUNG person" after receiving the Ten Outstanding Young Persons of the Year in Hong Kong. A prolific writer, Warren counts among his publications a couple of chapters on music education, a dozen pop songs and choral pieces for children, 500 sight-reading exercises and a lone business case, titled "Managing Human Capital at a High Flying Company", which is being translated to Korean, apparently.
Warren's concert attire features his favourite PYE shirt; while his left rotator cuff, among other hand tendons, are pampered by the Canadian Asian Neck and Back Institute. He is eternally grateful to both sponsors.