Dorian grew up in a musical family and started piano at age 3, violin at age 7 and French horn at age 11. His grandmother also played the French Horn and was the first woman hired by the Detroit Symphony. His father, Darrel was Principal Viola of the Indianapolis Symphony and his mother Sheryll was a concert pianist. His uncle, violist Robert Barnes recently retired from the Boston Symphony after 49 years and his brother, Derek Barnes has been a cellist in the Philadelphia Orchestra since 1995.
Dorian began his apprenticeship at the age of 15 under Al Stancel at Casa del Sol Violins in Indianapolis where he learned how to rehair and repair bows. He went to college at Indiana University, Bloomington where his major focus was in String Technology and Chemistry. After graduating, he began working for Consort International, the makers of Sofia violins. He set up violins, violas and cellos for them for eight years while continuing to study making under the guidance of colleague, Mark Womack.
In 2002, Dorian moved to Houston, TX to begin working at Lisle Violin Shop. He currently manages the workshop but has continued to study making under Marilyn Wallin and Raymond Schryer. He continues to attend Violin Making and Bow Repair workshops in Oberlin, and participates in Joe Robson’s Varnish Workshops. He won Certificate of Merit for Tone at the 2006 Violin Society of America International Competition.
Dorian currently has instruments in the hands of players in Houston, Indianapolis, New York, New Orleans, Boston and Philadelphia. He married last year into another musical family: his wife, Hae-a Lee has been a member of the Houston Grand Opera Orchestra since 1999 and plays on a special violin that was made by Dorian and given to her as a wedding gift. She has two younger sisters who are also professional musicians: cellist Su-a Lee who lives in Edinburgh, Scotland and violinst Songa Lee who resides in N. Hollywood, California.