American composer and conductor Lee Actor was born in 1952 in Denver, Colorado. He began his musical career as a violinist in the Albany Symphony Orchestra whilst studying for an advanced engineering degree. Later he obtained a master's degree in composition at San Jose State University, where he was also assistant conductor of the symphony orchestra between 1979 and 1980. His composition teachers included Andrew Imbrie, and he studied conducting with David Epstein. He worked as a software specialist in the videogame industry for about twenty years before starting to work full time as a composer and conductor in 2001.
In 2001 he became assistant conductor of the Palo Alto Philharmonic Orchestra, and in 2002 he became the orchestra's composer in residence. In 2008 he became assistant conductor of the Nova Vista Symphony.
Actor won first prize in the 2007 International Horn Society Composition Contest for his horn concerto, and is the recipient of many consecutive ASCAPlus awards.
Prelude to a Tragedy made the finals in the Columbia Orchestra's 2005 American Composer Competition, and was recorded by Robert Ian Winstin and the Kiev Philharmonic.
A first CD of Actor's orchestral music was released in June 2005 by MMC Recordings, and a second was brought out on the Albany Records label in April 2008, both recorded in Bratislava by the Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra and conducted by Kirk Trevor.
A selection of M&V articles about Lee Actor
CD Spotlight. Unabashedly Romantic - Orchestral music by Lee Actor, heard by Ron Bierman. 'Neoromantics should give this one a try.'
CD Spotlight. Especially Satisfying - Music by Lee Actor, strongly recommended by Ron Bierman. '... an outstanding release.'
Record Box. A Crowd Pleaser - Concertos and a symphony by Lee Actor, heard by Ron Bierman
CD Spotlight. Expert Orchestration - Music by Lee Actor, reviewed by Ron Bierman. 'Strongly recommended.'