Guest pianist brings the beauty of piano to campus

Courtesy / GVSU

Courtesy / GVSU

Ava Ostach, Staff Reporter

On Feb. 3 at 7:30 p.m., Grand Valley State University will be welcoming pianist EunAe Lee to campus to perform a piano recital. Lee is a musician from Korea, where she began her career as a critically acclaimed pianist. Here, there will be a welcoming atmosphere for students to engage in conversation with the guest performer.

The successful pianist began her days at the Seoul Arts High school and Yewon Arts School. Eventually, she moved to the United States where she got her education at Julliard, a renowned music school in New York and at Mannes College at the New School of Music working with famous musicians such as Richard Goode and Martin Canin. Throughout her career, Lee has also performed at notable locations such as the Lincoln Center in New York City and the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C.

Her background led her to go on to win numerous awards at various competitions all over the globe. She has participated in different music festivals all over the world such as the Bowdoin International Music Festival, The Yellow Barn Chamber music festival and the Gijon International Piano Festival. Lee said that preparing for performances is a key element to success.

“I go over my recital repertoire carefully and try to find the core messages that I need to convey, secure memory and complex technical places, and think about some pedagogical ideas that I want to convey during the master class,” said Lee.

Lee will also be hosting a master class with several piano students on the day leading up to the event.

“The narrative perspective of music also intrigues me all the time,” Lee said. “When performing, I often feel like I’m telling the audience stories and these stories have to be convincing to me first. If the music that I play moves me, then the audience can be moved by it too. The narrative and emotional power of music far outweigh other forms of art in my opinion, and I cherish this experience dearly.”

Assistant professor Sookkyung Cho said she hopes students attend the event so they can experience the beauty that can come out of a piano.

“(Lee) is playing one of the masterpieces written for the piano — Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition,” Cho said. “It features an amazing array of sound from the instrument, and I hope that students will enjoy the colorful palette.”

Lee hopes that students can attend the event with a willingness to be able to see the beauty and joy that these pieces of music can convey. Students will be able to relax and enjoy carefully tailored piano and learn more about the world of music when they come out to visit Lee on Monday evening.