The City Magazine Since 1975

Lee-Chin Siow

Lee-Chin Siow
November 2012
The Singapore-born classical violinist and Charleston Music Festival co-founder shares notes on her most treasured possessions

Lee-Chin Siow, Professor of Violin at the College of Charleston, will perform in the opening concert for Charleston Music Fest on Friday, Nov. 30. More info at



Keeping Score:
“This score by Ysaÿe shows the markings of my teacher Jascha Brodsky. I feel humbled by these masters.”



Louis Loyalty:
“I love Louis Vuitton—the purse is my go-to bag, and my brother bought me the beautiful wallet.”


On the Record:
“This recording, released last June, is a labor of love dedicated to my dad—my greatest inspiration.”

Spelling Victory:
“I am a very competitive Scrabble player. I have a special dictionary and study all of the weirdest words.”



High Style:
“I have a love-hate relationship with my stilettos—they look fabulous, but can be agonizing!”

Official Gift:
“This painting was a gift from Singapore’s late president Wee, who invited my father and me to his residence.”


International Flavor:
“This is one of the teapots I bought while traveling in China. Each is a work of art. They help me feel Zen.”



Close to the Heart:
“My mom designed this necklace for me with an amethyst shaped like a rice bin for prosperity. It warms my heart to wear pieces she makes.”

The Basics:

Day Job: “I direct the strings program at College of Charleston and also teach private students. It is very rewarding to help other people on their musical paths.”
Creative Inspiration: “Beauty gives me a lot of pleasure—for example the aesthetics of Charleston; the balance of sea, sky, and vast openness with these precious houses.”
Spice of Life: “A big joy in my life is having friends over for meals. Food is how I express love, and cooking gives me a chance to use all of the spices from home that I miss so much.”