The Board, staff and members of the Penang Philharmonic Orchestra (PPO) note with regret the passing of Mr Dennis Lee Ean Hooi on Saturday, 15 April 2023 at his home in London, England. We express our sincere condolences to Mrs Lee, and family. Our thoughts are with you.
Dennis Lee is a musical icon in his hometown, Penang, Malaysia, and his passing has left his admirers here in shock. Many were looking forward to his return after the pandemic, hoping to see him perform again, and enjoy his musical prowess. He first left Penang as a young lad aged 15 to further his musical education at the Royal College of Music, London on a scholarship. He had started piano lessons at age 6, and the violin 2 years later. He had a distinguished record at the RCML, winning several prizes, including the Tagore Gold Medal for being the most outstanding student in 1967, when he graduated with honours in both violin and piano. The medal was named after Sir Sourindro Mohun Tagore, an Indian scholar trained in both Indian and Western music who made significant donations of musical instruments to the RCML in the 1880's, and also contributed to the comparative study of the two musical traditions. The Tagore Gold Medal was first awarded in 1902.
Over the years, Dennis Lee performed with the best orchestras in England and the European continent and made much sought after recordings with major labels in classical music, both in a solo capacity and jointly with his wife, Ms Toh Chee Hung, also a renowned concert pianist.
The Penang music community mourns Dennis Lee's passing and is grateful for the enormous impact his distinguished musical career had on his contemporaries and especially on the young and upcoming musicians in his hometown, Penang, to whom he will always be an amazing inspiration