Ji Yung Lee, South Korea
2nd prize and special award winner at Salieri-Zinetti International Chamber Music Competition in Italy, pianist and singer Ji Yung Lee has made appearances at Carnegie Weill Hall, Alice Tully Hall, and the John F. Kennedy Center. She has also captivated audiences via numerous radio broadcasts including WQXR, MPR and WFMT. She recently joined Victory Hall Opera as its first official pianist-in-residence, with the title of Chief Repetiteur. Her upcoming engagements include a U.S. tour with violist Jordan Bak at venues such as Merkin Concert Hall and the Chicago Cultural Center.
During the pandemic, Ji Yung appears in virtual spaces as a conductor, pianist, singer, and coach. She conducted several virtual performances for Project Tacet where more than 40 musicians were involved. On her own Youtube Channel, SingingJungle, she sings and plays various genres of music including classical, jazz, pop, musical theatre, etc.
Other recent highlights include Die Dreigroschenoper at Korea Chamber Opera Festival, Seoul, Korea; Unsung - an opera film (La Traviata) and Breaking the Sound Barrier - Deaf Opera Workshop (scenes from Poulenc's Dialogues de Carmelites) at Victory Hall Opera, Charlottesville, VA; New York Classical Music Radio WQXR's Live Christmas Concert with tenor Andrew Staples and Trumpetist Paul Merkelo at The Greene Space, New York, NY; Minnesota Public Radio's Performance Today with violist Jordan Bak, St. Paul, MN; Bizet & Brook's The Tragedy of Carmen and Sondheim's Company at Hawaii Performing Arts Festival, Waimea, HI; soprano soloist of Rutter's Requiem at Central City Chorus, New York, NY.
Ji Yung participated in Hawaii Performing Arts Festival in 2020 (virtual) and 2019 as a professional fellow. She served as the principal pianist of The Tragedy of Carmen and the orchestral pianist of Company. As a vocal piano fellowship recipient, she has attended other major music festivals in the United States such as SongFest in LA in 2018, Music Academy of the West in 2016, and Aspen Music Festival and School in 2014. At the SongFest, she received The Marc and Eva Stern - LA Opera Professional Fellowship. At the Music Academy of the West, she served both as a rehearsal pianist and chorus member in Smetana’s opera The Bartered Bride.
Ji Yung appeared at various masterclasses led by internationally recognized musicians such as Joyce DiDonato, Julius Drake, Thomas Hampson, Marilyn Horne, Martin Katz, Robert McDonald, and Roger Vignoles.
“Showing off the beauty of her musical maturity” (The Korea Economic Daily), Ji Yung was also cast in various musicals from 2010-2012 in South Korea. One production in which she performed, Moby Dick, was the first musical staged in Korea where the actors played their own instruments while acting, singing and dancing. Ms. Lee portrayed sea nymph Nereid symbolizing the mother of nature. One critic dubbed her “A magnificent voice” (The Daily Sport Seoul). Ji Yung Lee also premiered excerpts from new musicals in Korea. Other roles performed include: Sandy in Grease and multiple roles in Our Town.
Ji Yung received her Graduate Diploma from The Juilliard School, studying collaborative piano with Margo Garrett, Jonathan Feldman, Diane Richardson, and J. J. Penna. She also studied voice with Cynthia Hoffmann as secondary study. During her study, she had various recitals including one where she performed in both as a pianist and singer, playing J. Brahms’ Vier Ernste Gesänge and R. Schumann’s Frauenliebe und -leben, and singing R. Strauss’ Mädchenblumen.
Ji Yung received her Master’s Degree and Graduate Diploma in collaborative piano with academic honors at New England Conservatory, studying with Cameron Stowe and Jonathan Feldman. She performed Janáček's The Cunning Little Vixen and Poulenc's Dialogues de Carmelites as an orchestral pianist for Graduate Opera Studies. As an opera coach and a pianist for Undergraduate Opera Studies, she also performed Purcell's Dido and Aeneas and the opera scene programs. She performed with NEC Percussion Ensemble as a guest artist under the baton of Frank Epstein.
Ji Yung received her Bachelor's degree at Yonsei University in Korea, majoring in choral conducting, studying with Ickhyun Cho and Haeock Eunice Kim Bang. She participated in conducting masterclasses led by Donald Neuen and Simon Carrington as both conductor and pianist. She also studied Organ with Hyeyoung Lee and voice with Hyunjoo Jung.
Ji Yung began her artistic studies with Young Hwa Yoon at Sunhwa Arts School and Seoul Arts High School. As a young pianist, she was a prizewinner in both Korean American National Competition and Piano Duo Association of Korea Competition.
Ji Yung is an international volunteer, everywhere. Sharing her love of music with people, she has performed and taught children in the U.S. as well as South Korea, Mozambique, Kenya, Bolivia, and Palestine. As the director of Sing with Hope, Mtree (www.Mtree.org), believing in music as a powerful tool of communication, she spent the summers of 2017 and 2019 with children in Kenya supporting them through their journey of self-discovery and emotional growth. "Tuimbe!", a concert series to benefit Mtree, has been launched by her in December 2019, and the 11 rising classical young artists in New York volunteered to participate in the first concert. She is also involved in EnoB New York (www.EnoB.org) as a music director since 2016, reaching out to people who are disabled and hospitalized.