Whitney Hale


College: Fine Arts

UK Alum Performing at Lincoln Center

Published: Nov 19, 2012

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Nov. 19, 2012) — One outstanding University of Kentucky School of Music graduate is making waves in the world of music. Korean pianist Seunghee Lee, who graduated from UK last May, will perform traditional Korean and western music in her Lincoln Center debut at 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 24, in Alice Tully Hall.


Lee's concert program will include Young Jo Lee’s "Heaven Dance" and "Peasant Dance" from his Korean Dance Suite; Domenico Scarlatti’s Sonata in B minor, L.147, K.197, and Sonata in C major, L.104, K.159; Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Variations on a Theme of Corelli, Op. 42; Samuel Barber’s Excursions, Op. 20; and Johannes Brahms’ Handel Variations, Op. 24.


Born in Seoul, South Korea, in 1943, Young Jo Lee is one Korea’s leading musicians. The Korean Dance Suite, composed between 1984 and 1998, reflects many features of traditional Korean music, most prominently in its rhythms. These include imitations of the rhythmic characteristics of Korean percussion instruments such as jing (gong), changgo (hour-glass drum), buk (traditional drum) and kkwenggwari (small gong). "Heaven Dance" is reminiscent of traditional Korean court funeral music in its solemn procession, while the accelerating rhythms of the "Peasant Dance" depict celebrations for a successful harvest.


Seunghee Lee is a captivating pianist with romantic and dramatic sound. Her performance has been praised by New York Concert Review as possessing "eclectic, beautiful tonal control, brilliance, rhythmic energy." A native of Seoul, South Korea, she made her New York debut in Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall in a solo recital in 2010 while being a student at UK.


Lee has concertized throughout the United States, Brazil, France, Italy and Korea, at such major venues as Sejong Center for the Performing Arts in Seoul, Korea, and St. Nicolo Auditorium in Chioggia, Italy. She has won top prizes at national and international piano competitions, including the Laguna Music Festival International Concerto Competition in Italy (2003), Ohio University Concerto Competition (2004), Ohio Music Teachers Association - Piano Solo and Ensemble Competition (2004), and the UK Symphony Orchestra Concerto Competition (2007). In 2009, she was invited to perform at the Second International Piano Festival in Vitoria, Brazil.


Lee studied piano at SangMyung University with Min-Sook Lee and continued her studies in the United States. As a student of Sylvia Eckes, she earned her master's degree in music and graduate performance certificate from Ohio University, where she received the Outstanding Member Award and Graduate Achievement Award in performance. In 2012, she completed her doctor of musical arts in piano performance at UK, under the tutelage of Professor Irina Voro. A recipient of the Ford Montgomery Scholarship, she had been recognized as one of the most promising musicians in the U.S. She participated in master classes with pianists Earl Wild, Konstantin Bogino and Kimura Parker.


An inspiring teacher, Lee served for four years as a teaching assistant at the School of Music in the UK College of Fine Arts. While at UK, she was nominated twice for the Provost Outstanding Teaching Award. She has been invited to be a guest teacher at piano festivals in Brazil and Korea. Lee's special interest has been trying to build a bridge between American and Korean music education. She contributed her own educational experiences in the U.S. to International Piano, a top piano music journal in Korea. Also, her doctoral dissertation on the piano music of Korean composer, Young Jo Lee, introduced Korean traditional music to an international audience. Presently, she is an instructor at SangMyung University in Seoul, Korea, teaching piano and preparing for an upcoming concert tour in Brazil.


The concert at Lincoln Hall is being presented by MidAmerica Productions. Celebrating its 30th anniversary season, MidAmerica Productions has presented 358 solo and chamber music concerts in New York’s most revered recital halls since 1989. In all, the company has produced more than 1,100 concerts in the U.S. and abroad.




MEDIA CONTACT:  Whitney Hale, (859) 257-8716 or whitney.hale@uky.edu

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