Kyung Sun Lee: A laureate in numerous international competitions, Lee captured first prizes in the Washington and D’Angelo International Competitions; bronze medals in the Tchaikovsky Competition and the Queen Elisabeth Competition and third prize in the Montreal International Competition, where she also won the Audience Favorite and the Best Performance of the Commissioned Work prizes.
Her career has taken her to many of the fifty states, as well as to Europe and the Far East. In North America, her concerto performances include those with the Montreal Symphony and the Jupiter Symphony; the Erie Philharmonic; the Missouri, Tuscaloosa, and Chautauqua Symphony Orchestras; and the Baltimore and Gainesville Chamber Orchestras. Overseas she has performed with the Munich Radio Orchestra under the baton of Yehudi Menuhin, the Belgian National Orchestra, the Moscow National Orchestra, and the New Zealand Symphony. In Asia, Lee has been guest artist with the Seoul Philharmonic, KBS Orchestra, Pu-Chun Philharmonic and the Taipei City Symphony. In April 2000, she traveled to North Korea to perform the Sibelius Concerto with the Pyong Yang National Orchestra and returned for an encore engagement in 2005. Her appearances in the United States include performances in such significant venues as Alice Tully Hall, Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, and Bargemusic in New York City; and in Washington, DC at the Kennedy Center and Phillips Collection. As a chamber musician she has participated in the Marlboro, Ravinia, and Cape & Islands Festivals in the United States, and the Prussia Cove Festival in England.
“Exceptional tonal suavity and expressive intensity in equal measure,” commented The Strad. “Godard’s ‘Concerto Romantique’ could not have had a more outstanding soloist than Kyung Sun Lee,” proclaimed Harris Goldsmith in the New York Concert Review. “Fluidity and grace; pathos and emotion,” raved the Palm Beach Post. “Lee is the most musical, the most intelligent soloist to have played with the orchestra in quite a while,” maintained the Tuscaloosa News. “Penetrating clarity, a strong sense of style and a technical supremacy that conquered all difficulties with unruffled ease,” announced the Miami Herald. “Beyond superb execution, she conveyed [Vieuxtemps’s Concerto no. 5]’s particular Romanticism expertly,” remarked Dennis Rooney in The Strad.
In addition to her busy schedule as soloist and chamber musician, Lee is an accomplished teacher and clinician. After becoming Assistant Professor of Violin at the Oberlin Conservatory in the fall of 2001, then Associate Professor at the University of Houston in the fall of 2006, she is currently Professor at Seoul National University since 2009. She taught for two summers at the Aspen Music Festival, and has also been involved with the Seattle and the Cape Cod Chamber Music Festivals, the Texas Music Festival, and the Great Mountains Music Festival in Korea. Lee is a former member of the acclaimed KumHo/Asiana String Quartet, with whom she toured worldwide. In recent years she has also been in demand as a judge of violin competitions including the International IsangYun Competition, Seoul International Competition and the Corpus Christi International Competition.
Lee received her Bachelor’s Degree from Seoul National University, and her Master’s Degree and Artist’s Diploma from the Peabody Conservatory. She also attended the Juilliard School in the professional studies program. Her teachers have included Nam Yun Kim, Sylvia Rosenberg, Robert Mann, Dorothy DeLay and Hyo Kang.
Her discography includes a CD recorded with pianist Brian Suits of sonatas by Prokofiev, Debussy and Bartók released on the Sung-Eum label, which received outstanding reviews from Fanfare and Strad magazines. Their second CD includes works of Saint-Saëns, Godard, Chausson, Gershwin, Achron, and Suits himself. Lee has also recorded with pianist HaeSun Paik on EMI, with German pianist Peter Schindler and guitarist Sung-Ho Chang on Good International, and with German cellist Tillman Wick on the Audite label.
Kyung Sun Lee plays a Joseph Guarnerius violin made in 1723.