Soyeon Kate Lee



Competition Winner

Born: 1979 (Seoul, Korea)

Korean-American pianist Soyeon Kate Lee was the first prize winner of the 2010 Naumburg International Piano Competition and the 2004 Concert Artist Guild International Competition.

Highlights of recent seasons include appearances at the National Gallery, Library of Congress, Gina Bachauer Concerts, Purdue Convocations, San Francisco Performances, and the Cleveland Art Museum. She is a regular participant in numerous music festivals including the Great Lakes, Santa Fe, and Music Mountain chamber music festivals, and has collaborated with conductors Carlos Miguel Prieto, Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, Jahja Ling, and Jorge Mester with the London, San Diego, Hawaii, Louisiana, and Naples symphony orchestras, among others. Lee’s discography as a Naxos artist spans the works of Scarlatti, Liszt, Scriabin, and Clementi, and her eco-awareness album Re!nvented, on the E1 label, garnered her the Classical Recording Foundation’s young artist of the year award. She has commissioned works by prominent composers and has given world premieres of works written by Frederic Rzewski, Marc-André Hamelin, Alexander Goehr, Gabriela Lena Frank, Texu Kim, and Huang Ruo.

A laureate of the Santander International Piano Competition and the Cleveland International Piano Competition, Lee is a graduate of Juilliard and earned her doctorate at the CUNY Graduate Center. She has worked extensively with Richard Goode, Jerome Lowenthal, Robert McDonald, and Ursula Oppens.

Lee is co-founder and artistic director of Music by the Glass, a concert series dedicated to bringing together young professionals in New York City. Since 2022, she has been on the faculty at The Juilliard School and also an associate professor of music in piano at the Cincinnati-College Conservatory of Music, where she received the 2021 University of Cincinnati Mrs. A.B. “Dolly” Cohen Award for excellence in teaching. She also serves on the piano faculty of the Bowdoin International Music Festival.

She lives in Cincinnati with her husband, pianist Ran Dank, and their two children, Noah and Ella.

Press Quotes:

"Huge, richly varied sound, a lively imagination and a firm sense of style." - The New York Times

"Ms. Lee draws the listener into her playing through the involvement, intelligence and utter sincerity she brings to everything she touches." - The Plain Dealer (Cleveland)

"A pianist with beautiful technique and refined sensibility, Soyeon Lee scored on each and every page of music with fascinating authenticity and, at the same time, with strong communication and dazzling playing. A perfect evening, a great master." - El Paos (Madrid)

"Soyeon Lee displayed a stunning command of the keyboard, from the beautifully gauged weighting of her finger strokes to the scrupulous calibration of inner voices and dynamics." - The Washington Post

"Lee clearly has an affinity for Scriabin; all the composer's impulsive fire was delivered with high energy but without overstatement, and his lyricism emerged in sweeping arcs that seemed as natural as breathing. Even better was Ravel's La Valse, which tapped such a rich vein of color and such cumulative power that the beauties of Ravel's more familiar orchestral version were barely missed." - The Washington Post

"She opens with one of the clearest, most articulate and pianistically worked-out renditions of the Bach/Busoni Chaconne I've ever heard." - Gramophone

"Her poise and command throughout Prokofiev's Seventh Sonata are also on the highest level, especially regarding the multi-levelled textures and impressionistic half-tints she draws from the Andante caloroso. In all, an outstanding release." - Gramophone

"She played with clarity, honesty and a supple yet full-bodied sound." - The New York Times


2010 Piano Competition

First Prize

Commissioned Works

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Naumburg Performances

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Recording Awards

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