Douglas F. King Associate Conductor
Associate Conductor of the Seattle Symphony and winner of the Solti Foundation U.S. Career Assistance Award in 2014, 2017 and 2019, Lee Mills is internationally recognized as a passionate, multifaceted and energetic conductor. In his previous position as Resident Conductor of the Brazilian Symphony Orchestra, he led performances hailed as having a “sonority of unequalled liveliness and quality” (movimento.com), working alongside such artists as Simone Porter, Conrad Tao, Eliane Coelho and the Smetana Trio.
During the 2019–2020 season, Mills makes his subscription debuts with the Naples Philharmonic with Jean-Yves Thibaudet at the piano, the Amarillo Symphony, the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra with soprano Julia Bullock, and the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra. In addition to the Brazilian Symphony Orchestra and the Seattle Symphony, he has also led concerts with the National Symphony Orchestra (U.S.), the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the São Paulo State Symphony Orchestra, the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. In 2014, Mills was the Assistant Conductor to David Robertson for Carnegie Hall's National Youth Orchestra of the USA.
Through his project Vibe Sinfônica, initiated in 2018 in partnership with nightlife producer The Week Group in São Paulo, he has brought classical music to thousands of new listeners through performances in contrarian settings. In their inaugural performance, Vibe Sinfônica performed music of Vivaldi at The Week Group's 14th anniversary in São Paulo, playing to a crowd of over 10,000 EDM fans and opening for DJ Offer Nissim. The growing project also featured in a video clip of Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake to commemorate the 15th anniversary of the nightlife producer.
The League of American Orchestras selected Mills for the 2018 Bruno Walter National Conductors Preview where he conducted the Nashville Symphony Orchestra, and 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 addition, he conducted alongside Maestro David Robertson in the highly acclaimed U.S. premiere of John Cage’s Thirty Pieces for Five Orchestras with the St. 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’s Diploma in Orchestral Conducting at the Peabody Institute. He was a conducting fellow at the American Academy of Conducting at Aspen during the summers of 2012 and 2013, working closely with Robert Spano, Hugh Wolff and Larry Rachleff. Mills graduated cum laude from Whitman College, where he began his conducting studies with Robert Bode.