From David Loi Studios... Mark and Tamara met while working for the same sales/marketing company, but the story she wants to tell is about her grandfather who she had select the music for her wedding. This story is told by Tamara's father, Everett Lee: Tamara asked her grandfather, Everett A. Lee, for suggestions of music to be heard before and during her marriage ceremony, and for the music to have a dramatic flair. As Mr. Lee had conducted major orchestras in Europe, South America and in the US (including the Dallas Symphony), this was a joy for him to offer selections from which she could choose. For the meet and greeting time before the ceremony, Tamara picked waltzes, marches, opera overtures and entire symphony movements from composers like Beethoven, Mozart, Strauss, and Tchaikovsky. For the marriage ceremony, Tamara picked works by Wagner, Handel and Massenet's 'Meditation from Thais' (that Mr. Lee had played on his violin at her father's wedding in 1983). The married couple then exited to the 4th movement of Beethoven's 5th Symphony.
Mr. Lee started his career as a violinist and moved into conducting in the 1940s. His conducting education included two years at Juilliard, studying under the direction of internationally known conductor Fritz Mahler, at Tanglewood under Boston Symphony conductor, Boris Goldovsky, as well as later under Max Rudolf, known for his work at the Metropolitan Opera, as the music director of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, as well as serving on the staffs of Tanglewood and Curtis. After creating, building and conducting for years an orchestra in New York, working as a violinist and getting a few conducting engagements in the US, Spain, and Argentina, Mr. Lee chose to relocate, on a German government grant, to Munich in 1956, in order to follow a conducting career and to feed his family.
Mr. Lee's achievements would lead to his becoming the first African-American to conduct a major orchestra below the Mason-Dixon line, when he was asked to conduct the Louisville Symphony in 1953 (and a second time in 2005). In the United States, Lee also conducted the New York Philharmonic, as well as the Cleveland, Detroit, Dallas, New Jersey, Atlanta, Baltimore, St. Louis and Washington National symphony orchestras, to name a few. Mr. Lee's various opera conducting engagements included numerous works by Puccini, Verdi, and Mozart, as well as Operas, are written by Bizet, Wagner, Gershwin, Tchaikovsky, and Strauss, to name a few, and performed in Argentina, France, Sweden, Germany and the United States. Mr. Lee's various international symphonic conducting engagements included the Berlin Philharmonic, the Radio Orchestra in Berlin, the Hamburg Symphony, the Nuremberg Symphony, as well as the Munich Philharmonic, Stockholm Philharmonic, Oslo Philharmonic, St. Petersburg Philharmonic, Madrid Philharmonic, Bogot Philharmonic, and Buenos Aires Philharmonic to name a few. Mr. Lee celebrated his 100th birthday this year.