From quantum physics to Jung and Borges, Dongryul Lee finds inspirations in spiritual, poetic, and scientific elements. His background in computer science and the Western classical tradition has led him to create music which is deeply oriented in acoustical phenomena and human perception, creating profound experiences with sympathetic correspondences. His compositions have been performed by ensembles such as the Avanti! Chamber Orchestra, Contemporanea, the Callithumpian Consort, the Grupo de Música Contemporânea de Lisboa (GMCL), the Jupiter Quartet, the Mivos Quartet, the S.E.M. Ensemble, the Wellesley Conference Ensemble, Ensemble Paramirabo, Illinois Modern Ensemble, and by conductors including James Baker, Jeffrey Means, Stephen Taylor, Matthew Sheppard, Jerry Hou, and Petr Kotik.
He was awarded the third prize in the first Bartók World Competition – Composition for his piece, “Le Tombeau de Harvey,” which was world premiered at the Liszt Academy, Budapest in November 2018. Other recent honors include the Presser Foundation Award, which will support the recording and performance of “Unending Rose” with Kairos quartett in Berlin, 2019–2020, the Special Prize Piero Pezzé in the Twelfth International Composition Competition Città di Udine in Italy in 2018, Second Prize in the 3rd International Composition Competition GMCL in Portugal in 2017, and Second Prize in the 2017 Busan MARU International Composition Competition. His Quasi una macchina was performed by the S.E.M. Ensemble (New York City), the Callithumpian Consort (Boston), the GMCL (Lisbon); his Parastrata has been performed in four different cities in Europe and North America.
Lee holds degrees in computer science and music composition from Yonsei University and the Eastman School respectively. His primary composition teachers include Reynold Tharp, Stephen Taylor, Heinrich Taube, Erin Gee, Carlos Sanchez-Gutierrez, Ricardo Zohn-Muldoon, David Liptak, and Tae-hoon Kim. He has attended master classes led by Jukka Tiensuu, Hans Abrahamsen, Vinko Globokar, Unsuk Chin, Brian Ferneyhough, Oliver Knussen, Julian Anderson, and Ben Johnston; and seminars by Tristan Murail, Mario Davidovsky, and Helmut Lachenmann. He is a DMA candidate in music composition at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.