Ming Cho Lee is one of the foremost set designers in America today, and is a recipient of the National Medal of Arts, the highest national award given in the arts. His extensive credits include work in opera, dance, and theatre. Born in Shanghai, Mr. Lee has worked with many leading American dance companies, including Martha Graham, American Ballet Theatre, Joffrey Ballet, Eliot Feld Ballet, Jose Limon, and Pacific Northwest Ballet. From 1962 through 1973, he was the principal designer for Joseph Papp’s New York Shakespeare Festival. He has designed sets for opera companies including the Metropolitan Opera, New York City Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago and San Francisco Opera. He has also designed for theatre groups including Arena Stage, Mark Taper Forum, Guthrie Theatre, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Seattle Repertory Theatre and the Manhattan Theatre Club, and for Broadway. He is a member of the board of the New 42nd Street
Internationally, Mr. Lee has designed productions for Covent Garden (London), Hamburgische Staatsoper, Teatro Colon (Buenos Aires), Royal Danish Ballet, Cloud Gate Dance Theatre (Taipei), the Hong Kong Cultural Center, and Buhnen Graz (Austria).
His numerous other awards and distinctions include a Tony Award, an Obie for sustained achievement, New York Drama Desk and New York and Los Angeles Outer Circle Critics Awards, three honorary doctorates, awards for long-term achievement from 6 major theatre and opera organizations, membership in the Theatre Hall of Fame, the Mayor’s Award for Arts and Culture from New York City, and the recognition of many Chinese, Asian, and Immigrant organizations. His work has been shown in two separate retrospectives at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts and in Taipei, Shanghai and Ningbo. As an architectural consultant, Mr. Lee designed theatres for Joseph Papp’s Public Theatre, the State University of New York at Purchase, and the University of Cincinnati. He holds the Donald Oenslager Chair in Design and was formally the co-Chair of the design department at the Yale University School of Drama, where he is still teaching in his 44th year.