Applauded as “brilliant” by Fanfare Magazine and “outstanding” by the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, classical music critics the world over have praised Seunghee Lee’s expressive playing style; masterful technical skill; and sultry, nuanced tone.
Lee's debut album Brava, released by Summit Records in 2000, saw Lee highlighted as one of ‘Top 30 Classical Stars Under 30’ by San Francisco’s KDFC radio. Her long awaited second album Embrace, released by Summit Records in 2011, beautifully showcases the clarinet’s versatility as Lee aims to broaden the clarinet’s repertoire by making premiere recordings of some of the most heart-warming classical compositions originally written for voice, strings and piano. With a range of surprising selections on this 18 track album, Embrace soared up the HMV Classical Charts in Hong Kong to number 4!
Inspired by the remarkable success brought on by Embrace, Lee once again goes beyond boundaries by making brave leaps into arranging famous symphonies and operatic arias for the clarinet and piano. Hidden Treasures, independently released under her own label via CD Baby in 2014, achieved even greater heights by climbing to number 2 on Hong Kong Records’ Top 10 Classical and Jazz Music Chart and staying on the Top 10 Chart for over 10 consecutive weeks, jockeying next to recordings from leading labels such as Sony Music, Warner Music, Universal Music and EMI.
In North America, Hidden Treasures is gaining numerous airplays in major classical radio stations and was recently featured as "CD of the Week" at KDFC (San Francisco) and at WSCL (Maryland), as well as at Fine Music Radio in Cape Town, SOUTH AFRICA!
Born in Seoul and raised in Chicago, Lee received her Bachelor’s degree from the Eastman School of Music, under the tutelage of Charles Neidich and Eli Eban and her Master’s degree and Artist Diploma from the Yale School of Music with David Shifrin. She has graced the stages of many prestigious venues, including the Chicago Cultural Center with the Dame Myra Hess Recital Series, and the Powell Symphony Hall of Saint Louis; and as a soloist, has performed with the Saint Louis Symphony, Yale Philharmonia, the Bucheon Philharmonic Orchestra of Korea, and the Jupiter Symphony of New York. Lee’s numerous competition wins include first prize at the International Clarinet Association Competition, the Saint Louis Symphony Young Artist Competition, the Music Academy of the West Concerto Competition, and the Yale Woolsey Hall Concerto Competition.
Also a passionate and highly skilled golfer, Lee’s natural tenacity and talent have seen her achieve a single-digit handicap within two years since setting foot on a golf course in HK. Lee recently spoke at TEDx Hong Kong about the surprising similarities between golf and music, and the mental challenges of viewing both skills through the lens of a perfectionist.
Golf and Personal Scrapbook
In the press
“I had gotten stuck in only one gear . . . PERFECTION and perfection only!” Seunghee Lee remembers. “I believed that perfection alone equaled success. I lost that fire and drive.” The clarinetist is recounting her artistic journey from child wonder to doubt, self-imposed retirement, and now a vibrant re-blossoming of her career and her artistic soul.... BY CARLA MARIA VERDINO-SÜLLWOLD
Meet the multi-talented Korean-American virtuoso clarinettist and...golfer with a single digit handicap (as opposed to most musicians who's "other" job involves asking if you'd like fries with that shake), Seunghee Lee. She's just released her third CD; "Hidden Treasures"....
Sunny's first passion is classical music, an art in which she has excelled. After learning to play the clarinet at the age of 12, Sunny graduated from the Eastman School of Music and then completed a master's degree and artist diploma programme at Yale University, where she tutored by a number of the genre's greats. Touring extensively – from the Hollywood Bowl to Osaka's Symphony Hall – Sunny was selected in 1990 as one of three clarinetists to represent the United States in the American-Soviet Youth Orchestra World Tour, which took her to Moscow and to venues throughout Europe.