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K-State Today

March 4, 2016

Noted Korean-American pianist Ko Eun Lee to present recital, master class

Submitted by Craig B. Parker

Noted Korean-American pianist Ko Eun "Grace" Lee will present a recital at 7:30 p.m. Monday, March 7, in the All Faiths Chapel auditorium. Her concert will open with two keyboard sonatas, "K. 481 and K. 24" by the 18th century Italian-born master, Domenico Scarlatti. She will then perform "Pour les tierces" and "Pour les agreements" from Claude Debussy's "Douze Etudes." Regarding these works, Debussy issued "a warning to pianists not to take up the musical profession unless they have remarkable hands." 

The second half of the recital will open with "Five Pieces for Piano" by Isang Yun, Korea's most famous composer. Yun's primary compositional focus was the development of Korean music via the use of Western avant-garde techniques. Yun also gained international attention when he was kidnapped in West Berlin in 1967 by South Korean secret police and imprisoned for two years under espionage charges for having visited North Korea four years earlier. Not until 11 years after Yun's death did the South Korean government declare these charges to be a fabrication of the intelligence services.

Lee's recital will conclude with the two most famous compositions by the Russian romantic composer, Mily Balakirev: "The Lark" and "Islamey." This latter work is regarded as one of the most technically demanding works in the piano repertoire.

Lee will conduct a master class for K-State pianists at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, March 8, in the All Faiths Chapel auditorium. Both her recital and her master class are free and open to the public.

Lee earned her doctoral degree in musical arts from the University of North Carolina, Greensboro, and a Master of Music from University of Missouri, Kansas City. She graduated summa cum laude from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville with a bachelor's degree in piano performance and piano pedagogy, and also earned an Artist Diploma in piano performance from that institution. The winner of numerous competitions, she has performed widely throughout the U.S. and South Korea, and has lectured internationally on the music of Isang Yun as well. She is currently on the faculty at Piano Lab Studios Inc. in Asheville, North Carolina.

Lee's recital and master class are sponsored by a grant from the K-State Academic Excellence Fund and by the K-State School of Music, Theatre, and Dance.

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