Stevenson H.S. student to perform at Carnegie Hall

  • Justin J. Lee at a Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra concert in May 2016.

    Justin J. Lee at a Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra concert in May 2016. Courtesy of Joong Lee

Submitted by Joong Lee
Updated 11/27/2017 1:41 PM

Justin J. Lee, a senior at Adlai E. Stevenson High School, has been selected for the 2018 High School Honors Performance Series at Carnegie Hall.

He will play the violin in February with the Honors Symphony Orchestra. Participation in one of the five Honors Ensembles is limited to the highest-rated high school performers from across the world.


Earlier this year, Lee auditioned for the Honors Performance Series and was accepted after a review by the Honors Selection Board. Acceptance to the elite group is a direct result of the talent, dedication, and achievements demonstrated in his application and audition recording.

Justin will join other performers from all 50 states plus the District of Columbia, Guam, six Canadian provinces, Australia, China, Hong Kong, Mexico, New Zealand, Qatar, South Korea and the United Kingdom for a special performance at world-famous Carnegie Hall, a venue associated with the pinnacle of musical achievement.

"Being selected to the Honors Performance Series is something each finalist should be extremely proud of accomplishing," program Director Morgan Smith said. "We processed more than 18,000 nominations this year and have selected nearly 700 of the most talented student performers from around the world. Working with these conductors and performing at Carnegie Hall is an once-in-a-lifetime experience that these musicians never forget."

Justin is studying violin for 12 years under the guidance of Betty Haag-Kuhnke at the Betty Haag Academy of Music in Buffalo Grove. He is also a member of the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra, Stevenson High School Patriot Orchestra, and Magical Strings of Youth, which is a violin performance group traveling internationally to the White House, Carnegie Hall, Italy, Portugal, and Germany to perform for royal families, heads of state, and the Vatican by special invitation of the Pope; which has also performed on The Today Show, Good Morning America, and The Oprah Winfrey Show. Recently, Lee performed as a soloist in Germany and Portugal. He is a scholarship recipient from the Gail Ellis Foundation and Magical Strings of Youth scholarship Fund since 2010.

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"I'm so excited to gather with other musicians from around the world and perform with them," Justin said. "I'm looking forward to such a unique opportunity and am thrilled to be able to meet new people of different backgrounds to create music in this wonderful ensemble."

Finalists will come together in New York City for five days in February. They will have the opportunity to learn from world-renowned conductors, work with other finalists, and get a taste of New York City. Two performances, an Honors Choral Performance and an Honors Instrumental Performance, will take place Sunday, Feb. 4, and are open to the public. Tickets can be purchased beginning 60 days before to the performances through the Carnegie Hall box office.

The Honors Performance Series was created to showcase accomplished individual high school performers on an international level by allowing them to study under master conductors and perform in the celebrated venue Carnegie Hall. The Honors Performance Series is presented by educational travel organization World Strides. For more information, visit and

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