Since she was barely out of her teens, pianist Soyeon Lee has been performing around the world. Now 30, the New York Times has said that she has “a huge, richly varied sound, a lively imagination and a firm sense of style.”
She won the 2010 Naumburg International Piano Competition. The Korean-born Lee is the Columbus Symphony Orchestra’s guest artist Saturday night.
Lee has performed with the Cleveland Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, Louisiana Philharmonic Ochestra, the symphony orchestras of Bangor, Napa Valley, San Diego, Scottsdale, Shreveport, and New York City’s Park Avenue Chamber Orchestra, Daejeon Philharmonic Orchestra and Orquesta Sinfonica Nacional.
Recital performances include programs at Carnegie Hall’s Zankel Hall and Weill Recital Hall, Merkin Concert Hall and Alice Tully Hall in Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and Cleveland’s Severance Hall.
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Lee has collaborated with string quartets, bassist Edgar Meyer and the Edgeffect Ensemble with Mark O’Connor. She has also worked with her pop-star sister, Soeun Lee.
She wants to expand environmental consciousness through music, and gave the first eco-awareness concert in Carnegie Hall in 2008. Lee wore a commissioned gown made by eco-fashion designer Nina Valenti, of more than 6,000 used juice containers.
The concert resulted in more than 60 stories in the New York Times, TimeOut New York, V Magazine, Vogue.com, Miami magazine, the Korean Broadcasting System and ABC’s “Good Morning America.”
Lee was called one of the “Emerging Artists” by Symphony magazine in 2008. She has been heard on National Public Radio, and a classical music documentary, “Classic Club,” was aired in Japan on NHK.
Her debut CD, featuring the sonatas by Scarlatti, was released in 2007, and her second CD was released in 2009.
Lee earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees and Artist’s Diploma from the Juilliard School. She worked with Robert McDonald and Jerome Lowenthal there. While still a student, she won the Rachmaninoff Concerto Competition, two consecutive Gina Bachauere Scholarship competitions, the Helen Fay Prize, Artur Rubinstein Prize, Susan Rose Career Grant and the William Petscheck Piano Debut Award.
Lee is currently studying for her Ph.D. in musical arts in the Graduate Center at the City University of New York with Ursula Oppens and Wu Han. She is also the teaching assistant to Robert McDonald and Julian Martiat the Juilliard School. She is a Steinway artist.