Lee Tsarmaklis was born in Athens and emigrated to England whilst still a young boy. He began learning the tuba at the age of 13, and later went on to study at the Royal Academy of Music in London.
In 1990 he was appointed Principal Tuba of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra.
His career then took him to the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, and finally to the London Philharmonic Orchestra where he was appointed Principal Tuba in 2000.
Lee is a professor of tuba at the Royal College of Music.