Ben Lee (violinist)

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Ben Lee
Born 1980 (age 36–37)
Eastbourne, Sussex
Genres Classical, Electronic, Pop
Occupation(s) Violinist, composer/producer
Instruments Electric violin
Years active 2002 – present
Labels Edel AG/Universal Music Group
Associated acts FUSE[1]
Website http://www.FUSEofficial.com

Ben Lee (born 1980 in Eastbourne, Sussex) is a British electric violinist and composer/producer. He is part of the two piece rock violin band FUSE, along with Linzi Stoppard.

Lee is popularly known as the "World's Fastest Electric Violinist" after setting a new Guinness world record playing "Flight of the Bumblebee" in 58.515 seconds at Rogue Studios, London, UK, on 14 November 2010.[2]

For 4 years, Lee has also held the Guinness World Record for "World's Fastest Violin Player" – previously held by David Garrett – having performed "Flight of the Bumblebee" in 54.24 seconds in London, UK on 18 December 2011.[3]

In 2012, The Discovery Channel named Ben Lee "Ultimate Superhuman" in its television show "Superhuman Showdown" after an international search for people with exceptional physical talents. Lee was examined by a panel of sports and neuro scientists including H A Berlin [4]

In a collaboration with society jeweller Theo Fennell, Ben Lee & Linzi Stoppard created the world's first 24 carat gold plated electric violins encrusted with diamonds, sapphires and rubies.[5]

Lee is set to make a new world record attempt on Italian TV using a "Windsor" violin bought from Tesco supermarket for £38.50 [6]

Ben Lee has insured his fingers for £3million.[7]

Early life[edit]

When Lee was 11 he won a competition on the television show "The Children's Channel" on BskyB, and recorded his first ever single at Capital Radio. While he was acquiring scholarships to various music schools during early teens, Lee was at 16 awarded "Daily Telegraph Young Jazz Composer of the Year".[1]

Before FUSE[edit]

Lee attended the Royal College of Music London from 1999–2003 studying violin and film music composition. Whilst studying, Lee found work as a session musician, recording for The Beta Band on Heroes to Zeros [8] and subsequently recorded and performed with Razorlight, Arctic Monkeys,[9] Gorillaz, Emmy the Great, Goldfrapp, Mel C, Lightspeed Champion, White Lies, Qemists, Jonathan Jeremiah and Mark Ronson as well as leading The Heritage Orchestra .[9] In 2005, Lee formed electric string quartet Eclipse which supported McFly on the "Wonderland" tour of the same year.

FUSE[edit]

At the end of 2007 Ben joined Linzi Stoppard to form the rock violin duo known as 'FUSE'. [1] In 2009, FUSE signed a £1m record deal with Edel AG Records, releasing their debut album "FUSE" the following year. [10]

In the summer of 2009, Lee was involved in a traffic accident in which he was run over by a truck whilst cycling. He suffered damage to his right hand and wrist. His bandmate Stoppard inspired his rehabilitation by challenging him to break the Guinness World Record for "Fastest Violinist". Lee appeared on The Alan Titchmarsh Show on UK TV to make the attempt, missing out by 3 notes. He broke the record a week later setting a time of 64.21 seconds. [11]

In December 2010, Lee broke the record again, this time on electric violin with the new time of 58.515 seconds. [12]

FUSE perform on the world's most expensive electric violins. Valued at £1m each, Swarovski created a pair of violins for Lee and Stoppard. [13]

FUSE have performed at many events and concerts around the world, including C Music TV's European launch event at the 2008 Cannes Television festival [14] and the 2009 British Red Cross International Fundraising Committee Gala Ball. [15]

FUSE switched on the 2009 Christmas Lights on Jermyn Street in London's "west end" [16]

In September 2010, Lee performed with FUSE at Fashion for the Brave in London for Help for Heroes, the Household Cavalry Operational Casualties Fund, and ABF – The Soldiers Charity. [17][18]

In December 2010, Lee headlined at the Istanbul "Classical Crossover" festival with FUSE. [19]

FUSE are also keen educators and were interviewed in the "European String Teachers Association" magazine in the summer of 2010. [20]

Music for Screen[edit]

Lee has contributed original music to film, TV and fashion shows, notably Sam Taylor Wood's "Nowhere Boy" feature film, [21] Katie Grand's "A Kind of Blue" for Armani starring Kelly Brook [22] and fashion shows for Alexander McQueen.

Ben Lee is currently working on his first film score with Linzi Stoppard for the upcoming feature "KTD 2020" for Fairbanks Productions. [23]

See also[edit]

Rock violin

Electric violin

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Michael Pilgrim (5 May 2010). "FUSE: Daily Telegraph interview". The Telegraph. Retrieved 28 November 2010. 
  2. ^ "Fastest Electric Violinist". Guinness Book of Records website. UK: Guinness World Records. 14 November 2010. Retrieved 31 July 2011. 
  3. ^ "Fastest Violin Player". Guinness Book of Records website. UK: Guinness World Records. 18 December 2011. Retrieved 31 October 2012. 
  4. ^ Press Association (16 November 2012). "World's Fastest Superhuman title awarded to speed violinist Ben Lee". The Telegraph. Retrieved 19 November 2012. 
  5. ^ mirror.co.uk (11 September 2013). "Rock violin band FUSE hoping to strike gold – with 24 carat instruments". Daily Mirror. Retrieved 11 April 2014. 
  6. ^ Justin Stoneman (11 September 2013). "Fastest fiddler uses Tesco violin". Sunday Times. Retrieved 11 April 2014. 
  7. ^ Georgina Littlejohn (15 September 2012). "Are these the world's most expensive fingers? Fastest violin player insures his hands for £3million". Daily Mail. Retrieved 19 November 2012. 
  8. ^ "The Beta Band Discography". The Beta Band website. UK: EMI. 4 May 2004. Retrieved 20 July 2011. 
  9. ^ a b "Arctic Monkeys "Leave Before The Lights Come On"". Discogs website. UK: Domino Records. 2006. Retrieved 31 July 2011. 
  10. ^ Richard Kaye (2 July 2009). "FUSE sign £1m record deal". The Daily Mail. Retrieved 20 July 2011. 
  11. ^ "YouTube: Fastest violin player on Earth". YouTube website. YouTube. 23 April 2010. Retrieved 20 July 2011. 
  12. ^ "Ben Lee becomes fastest violin player in history". The International News, Pakistan. 19 December 2010. Retrieved 20 July 2011. 
  13. ^ "Violins get the bling factor". METRO London. 14 December 2010. Retrieved 20 July 2011. 
  14. ^ "Hitting the Right Note! C Music TV Launches across Europe" (PDF) (Press release). C Music TV. 7 April 2008. Retrieved 28 November 2010. 
  15. ^ "FUSE and Britain's Got Talent star to perform at British Red Cross Gala Ball" (Press release). British Red Cross. 9 June 2009. Retrieved 28 November 2010. 
  16. ^ "FUSE switch on iconic London street Christmas lights". Evening Standard. 10 November 2009. Retrieved 28 November 2010. 
  17. ^ "The best of British fashion and the British Armed Forces to unite for a charity event like no other.". The Daily Telegraph. 8 November 2010. Retrieved 15 November 2010. 
  18. ^ Tamara Abraham (7 September 2010). "Flying the flag: Linzi Stoppard poses in showstopping Union Jack gown to launch fashion fundraiser in aid of military charities". The Daily Mail. Retrieved 15 November 2010. 
  19. ^ "FUSE headline at Istanbul "Classical Crossover" festival". Istanbalview. December 2010. Retrieved 20 July 2011. 
  20. ^ Jonathan Bungard (June 2010). "JESTA Magazine: FUSE interview". ESTA. Retrieved 20 July 2011. 
  21. ^ Sam Taylor Wood (2009). "Nowhere Boy – additional music". Retrieved 20 July 2011. 
  22. ^ Katie Grand (2009). ""A Kind of Blue" – original music". Retrieved 20 July 2011. 
  23. ^ Daily Mail (7 March 2011). "Mrs Stoppard's movie role". Daily Mail. Retrieved 21 July 2011. 

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