A voice major of the Seoul National University, Young-ae also holds an Artistic Diploma from Cleveland Institute of Music, USA. She started performing since 1984. She has performed many leading operatic roles in South Korea and North America. Notables are her roles as Cio-cio san in Puccini's Madama Butterfly and as Turandot which she has performed extensively to critical acclaim. As a concert artist, she has performed choral and symphonic works with internationally renowned orchestras like the Boston Symphony, Tokyo Symphony, Tanglewood Orchestra, Hawaii Symphony and KBS Symphony, to name a few.
As a concert artiste, Lee has performed in Singapore, Germany, Japan and with Korean orchestras such as the KBS Symphony and Seoul Philharmonic.