Resident Conductor of the Brazilian Symphony Orchestra and winner of the Solti Foundation U.S. Career Assistance Award in both 2014 and 2017, Lee Mills is internationally recognized as a passionate, multifaceted and energetic conductor. He has led performances with the Brazilian Symphony Orchestra that have been hailed as having a “sonority of unequalled liveliness and quality,” working alongside such artists as Simone Porter, Conrad Tao, Eliane Coelho and the Smetana Trio. His conducting engagements outside of the Brazilian Symphony Orchestra include the National Symphony Orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the São Paulo State Symphony Orchestra, the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra.
Starting as Assistant Conductor of the Brazilian Symphony Orchestra in September 2014, he was promoted to Resident Conductor after only 18 months. In 2017 Mills was selected as a semifinalist in both the Sir Georg Solti International Conducting Competition and the Opera Royal de Wallonie-Liege International Opera Conducting Competition. In 2014, he conducted alongside David Robertson in the highly acclaimed U.S. Premiere of John Cage’s Thirty Pieces for Five Orchestras with the Saint Louis Symphony. At the invitation of Baltimore Symphony Orchestra Music Director Marin Alsop, he received the prestigious BSO-Peabody Institute Conducting Fellowship in 2011.
Under the tutelage of Gustav Meier and Marin Alsop, Mills received his Graduate Performance Diploma and Artist Diploma in Orchestral Conducting at the Peabody Institute. He has been a conducting fellow at the prestigious American Academy of Conducting at Aspen during the summers of 2012 and 2013, where he worked closely with Robert Spano, Hugh Wolff and Larry Rachleff. A native of Montana, Mills graduated cum laude from Whitman College, where he began his conducting studies with Robert Bode. Additionally, he has studied with Edward Polochick and Matthew Savery.