Lee University Presents International Piano Festival And Competition

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Lee University’s School of Music will once again present its International Piano Festival and Competition, June 17-22. The event, which began in 2005 as a competition for high school students, was expanded in 2011 to include opportunities for participants to study with internationally acclaimed artists. At the same time, it offers the public a chance to take in some brilliant performances.



This year’s festival has attracted 20 outstanding young pianists to the Lee campus. The participants come from across the country and range in age from middle school to graduate school.

Highly-praised performers and teachers Russell Sherman, Wha Kyung Byun, and Tian Ying are the guest artists for this year’s festival.  Lee faculty Ning An and Dr. Gloria Chien will also contribute to the festival, which is chaired by Lee’s Dr. Phillip Thomas.

One feature of this annual event is that the guest artists offer concerts to the community. An and Ying will take the stage in the first concert Monday evening. Legendary performer Russell Sherman will present a solo recital Friday.

Concerts on Tuesday and Wednesday evening will feature selected festival participants, talented piano students from around the globe. All of the festival concerts will begin at 7:30 p.m. in Squires Hall on the Lee campus and are free and open to the public. 

Festival participants have the opportunity to learn from faculty and guest artists in master classes during the day. Faculty and guest artists will also offer private lessons.

 

On Thursday, the competition will begin at 9:30 a.m. and showcase the talents of nine students from across the country. Winners will be presented on the morning of Saturday, June 22, following the competition’s final round which begins at 10 a.m.

 

Russell Sherman is a celebrated pianist and teacher, currently serving as the Distinguished Artist-in-Residence at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston. Since his Town Hall debut at age 15, he has been acclaimed as a soloist with many major orchestras, including the New York Philharmonic, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and the Chicago Symphony. He was the first American to record both Beethoven’s complete piano sonatas and the five piano concertos.  His critically-acclaimed collection of essays about piano music was published in 1996.

 

Wha Kyung Byun is an international pianist and teacher who made her debut in Seoul, Korea, where she was named the most talented young artist in the country by Seoul’s leading newspaper. She has performed with major orchestras in Korea and the United States, including the National Symphony Orchestra. Since coming to the U.S., she has performed throughout the Northeast and Midwest and has taught many students who have gone on to win major competitions. She currently serves as Artist-in-Residence at the New England Conservatory.

 

Tian Ying, praised by the Boston Globe as “one of the finest pianists active in America,” has become well known for his eloquent, poetic, dramatically intense performances. He has appeared with numerous orchestras, such as the Rochester Philharmonic, Louisville Orchestra, and symphonies of Atlanta, Fort Worth, Toledo, Hartford, Jacksonville, Spokane, Oakland, Madison, Ann Arbor, Shanghai, and Hong Kong Philharmonic, among others.

 

Solo recitals have taken Ying across North America, Europe, and from Casablanca to Seoul, and he frequently conducts masterclasses in universities and colleges around the country. He currently serves as an associate professor of keyboard performance at the Frost School of Music in Miami.

 

Ning An has been hailed as a musician who “combines a flawless technique and mastery of the instrument with an expressive power that is fueled by profound and insightful understanding” (New York Concert Review). His top prizes from the Queen Elizabeth, Cleveland, and William Kapell Piano Competitions led to performances from Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall, Salle Verdi (Milan), to the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China.

 

An has given masterclasses throughout the U.S. and Asia and currently serves as an assistant professor of piano at Lee.

Gloria Chien, founder and artistic director of the String Theory Chamber Series, currently serves as a member of the Chameleon Arts Ensemble of Boston and an associate professor at Lee. She has performed solo recitals around the world and earned distinction at countless competitions and festivals, including World Piano Competition and San Antonio Competition. She has been praised by Richard Dyer of the Boston Globe for "a wondrously rich palette of colors, which she mixes with dashing bravado and with an uncanny precision of calibration.”

Phillip Thomas has served as chair for the festival since its inception. He has studied piano, music history, and conducting at some of the world’s finest institutions and has also served as adjudicator for a variety of competitions on the local, regional, and international levels. He currently serves as the chair for the Department of Instrumental Music at Lee, and has appeared as harpsichord soloist with the Chattanooga Symphony Orchestra.

For more information on the Lee University International Piano Festival and Competition, please contact the Department of Instrumental Music at 614-8264music@leeuniversity.edu


Trane Inc. Makes Donation To The GNTC EarthCraft Education Project

Trane, a global provider of indoor comfort systems and services, donated a state of the art mini-split heat pump system to the Residential Energy Efficiency program at Georgia Northwestern Technical College.  The Residential Energy Efficiency Technology program trains students in green building techniques that differ from standard building techniques. Students learn not ... (click for more)

Business Advisory Council Holds Annual Meeting At Lee

The Business Advisory Council for Lee University’s Department of Business held its annual meeting on Lee’s campus.  Forty-two BAC members, faculty, students and special guests were present.  The first evening, the department gave an update of ongoing activities and achievements to the council. On the next day, 26 BAC members and faculty conducted mock interviews with ... (click for more)

Robber Is Shot By Victim In Attempted Robbery On East 43rd Street

One person was shot during a robbery attempt at 4314 Rossville Blvd. around 1:50 p.m. on Thursday.  The Chattanooga Police Department is investigating the robbery that ended in a shooting near East 43rd St. at Miller Auto Sales.  The robbery victim shot the suspect.  The suspect was taken to the hospital for treatment of injuries. Chattanooga ... (click for more)

Fire On Crutchfield Street Ruled Arson

Chattanooga fire investigators have determined that last Thursday’s fire at 1207 Crutchfield St.  that nearly killed four people was deliberately set. Lt. Henry McElvain with the Fire Investigation Division said he cannot divulge the reason why he thinks it’s arson, but he is asking for help from the public. If anyone has information that can help solve this case, call ... (click for more)

The Problems With Prescription Drug Addiction

In Tennessee today, we have a major problem with prescription drug addiction, particularly when powerful opioid pain relievers are concerned.    For the first time in 2012, Tennesseans abused prescription opioid drugs more than alcohol.  Our young people ages 18-25 abuse prescription opioids at a 30 percent higher rate than the national average.  In just five ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Hillman Of Bihar

In the year of our Lord, 1927, there was a very poor child born to a very poor family in a very poor place. His name was Dasrath Manjhi and he was a native of the Musahar community somewhere in India. We know he had no education and, as a member of the lowest Hindu scheduled castes, he didn’t have a cut dog’s chance from the very get go. But after spending considerable time in ... (click for more)