Transforming Communities

Ruth Lee


North East


Ruth Lee is an award-winning composer and harpist. Frequently driven by narratives, sometimes found and at other times self-created, she has been described as a ‘musical storyteller’ with ‘her own inner voice’ (Sioned Williams, UKHA Review).

Winner of the Sioned Williams Harp Prize at the United Kingdom Harp Competition, the Iain Macleòid Young Composer Award at the Edinburgh International Harp Festival and the Wales International Harp Festival Competition for Composition, her work has been recognised at many of the leading festivals across the UK. Interested in mythology, nature and anthropology, she explores acoustic and electro-acoustic soundworlds, ranging from traditional western notation to graphic scores based on photography and in-situ sketches. She is a graduate of the University of York (First-Class BA Hons. Music 2019) where she was awarded both The Wilfrid Mellers Prize for Music and a Concerto Award, performing Deborah Henson-Conant’s Soñando en Español with the University of York Chamber Orchestra. She is privileged to have studied harp with Eleanor Turner and Charlotte Seale.

Passionate about music, stories and communities, she strives to encourage young people to find their musical voice: leading workshops in schools, creating online music courses on Teachable and maintaining her private teaching studio. She regularly collaborates with a range of soloists and chamber musicians, often fusing folk and contemporary classical styles, incorporating loop machine, and including improvision in the performance or compositional process. She is particularly looking forward to performing at the World Harp Congress in July 2022 where she will be performing a recital featuring works by herself and other contemporary composers.

‘The students really enjoyed this session, their interaction and engagement was lovely to see. Ruth was excellent at engaging them and pitched the session at exactly the right level. Students really enjoyed having a go with the mini harp. Some students who wouldn’t normally take part in a session of this nature felt comfortable and reassured.’ – Mark Dolan, Talbot School
‘I just wanted to get in touch to say how much all 3 schools enjoyed Ruth’s visit on Friday. I’ve had really positive feedback from the other 2 schools and for us at Hucklow it was such a wonderful experience. The children stayed engaged for a full hour which was amazing. Ruth had a lovely mix of listening activities and things that the children could join in with.’ – Charlotte Surridge, Hucklow & Whiteways