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Krannert Center Debut Artist: Esther Lee, piano


Robert Muczynski: Desperate Measures (Paganini Variations), Op. 48 (1994)

J.S. Bach: Chromatic Fantasia and Fugue in D Minor, BWV 903

Carl Vine: Piano Sonata No. 1 (1990)
Johannes Brahms: Piano Sonata No. 3 in F Minor, Op. 5

Huijae (Esther) Lee is a South Korean pianist from Cheongju who has won numerous competitions in Korea, including the Young Soloists Competition and the Min Classical Music Competition in 2018. In 2021, she won second prize at the 22nd Korean Chamber Orchestra Competition, and she received an honorable mention in the Krannert Debut Artist Competition in 2022. In addition, Lee was named the Illinois State MTNA Young Artist Piano Performance Competition winner and also selected as an alternate for the MTNA East Central Division Competition. Most recently, she has been named the Krannert Debut Artist for 2023 and also received an honorable mention in the University of Illinois Symphony Orchestra Concerto Competition.

She is actively performing as a soloist and an accompanist in various solo recitals, chamber recitals, and private concerts in the US and South Korea. Her outstanding academic achievements include graduating as valedictorian and winning the Academic Award from Chungbuk Arts High School, graduating cum laude from Hanyang University in Seoul, and receiving the Graduate Tuition Award from Indiana University in Bloomington, where she did her MM.

Ms. Lee is currently pursuing a Doctor of Musical Arts degree with Dr. Rochelle Sennet at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, where she has been a recipient of the Ross Fellowship and State Fellowship since Fall 2021 and holds a piano lesson instructor position for the Illinois Community Music Academy. She has taken regular masterclasses from Dr. Ian Hobson since 2021 and studied piano pedagogy as her cognate under Dr. Christos Tsitsaros. She has also played in masterclasses with numerous musicians such as Artina McCain, Awadagin Pratt, Chong-Pil Im, and Jae-hyuck Cho, among many others. Her previous teachers include Dr. Dai Uk Lee, Prof. Edward Auer, Dr. Saekyung Park, Prof. Sunghee Huh, and Prof. Yonsoo Rhee.

The Krannert Center Debut Artist concert beautifully embodies the nature of Krannert Center as a collaborative laboratory, classroom, and public square. Together, Krannert Center and the School of Music choose by audition an outstanding student. This performer then receives a professional contract for their Debut Artist performance, working with members of Krannert Center’s staff and School of Music faculty to plan, present, promote, and document their recital. Audience members receive a special opportunity to hear a rising University of Illinois performer and to experience history in the making.

Salon-style performances offer a close connection between artists and guests as audience members sit in six rows of seats on stage with the performer. Light refreshments are served before and after the performance. Balcony tickets (without refreshments) are also available.

Event Details

Foellinger Great Hall, salon-style
Su Apr 23, 2023 - 3:00pm CT
Advocate 90 / Standard 56 / SC 51 / STU 15 / UI & YTH 10 Balcony: 10 / UI & YTH 5* *Balcony tickets do not include food and beverage.

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