Throughout her distinguished career, Raya Lee has employed her versaile gifts to work as a researcher, storyteller, manager and programmer. Her formal training includes a B.A. in Piano Performance from Fredonia State University College and an M.L.S., a Master of Library Science from the State University at Buffalo. She also pursued post-graduate study at the Chautauqua Institute and at New York University.
Raya joined the Buffalo & Erie County Public Library following assistant librarian positions at SUNY Fredonia and the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra. An avid reader with diverse interests, Ms. Lee has created over 100 stories and lectures, blending music and history for adults and children alike. Supported by the Speaker Program of The New York Council for the Humanities, she has presented lectures throughout New York State, including the Buffalo History Museum and Cornell University as well as at U.C.L.A. In Europe she has lectured at the International Institute in Rome, and in Vienna, at the Mozart Memorial at St. Marks Cemetery and at the renowned Haydnhaus.
As an author and narrator, Raya has shared the stage with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, Ars Nova Chamber Orchestra and the Lake Placid Sinfonietta, as well as with several community orchestras across the state and region. Her current projects include a continuing series of children's stories for orchestra and narrator.
With regard to her formative years, Raya began piano lessons at age 8. At the same time she was deeply inspired by the Young People's Concerts presented by Leonard Bernstein and the New York Philharmonic. Those early experiences ultimately led to her life's work. She writes: "Children are not only our future but the future of music itself. They deserve our best efforts to share the joys of great music at all levels."