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Hwayoon Lee / Photo: Lutz Sternstein

Hwayoon Lee
*1996 in South Korea

2014-2019 Kronberg Academy Professional Studies
Studies with Nobuko Imai
funded by the Linsenhoff/Minners-Stipendium

Hwayoon Lee

viola

The South Korean Hwayoon Lee was born in Seoul in 1996 and had her first violin lessons at the age of six but discovered the viola three years later. Since then she has been given viola tuition by Professor Sang Jin Kim at Yonsei University. Her studies have been complemented by masterclasses with Mathew Daline, Paul Neubauer, Steven Tenenbom, Yuri Bashmet and Rainer Moog.

At the age of 12, Hwayoon Lee was singled out as the youngest and most gifted pupil at her school in Seoul for her performance at Precocious Prodigies, part of the Seoul Spring Festival. She has performed with the international string ensemble Sejong Soloists, being the youngest participating artist to date.

In 2010 she took part in her first international competition, the 17th International Johannes Brahms Competition in Pörtschach (Austria), and carried off the first prize. This was followed by an invitation to perform at Musica in Collina in Lapendona (Italy). In January of 2013 she again achieved great success by winning the Grand Prix in the International Yuri Bashmet Competition in Moscow. That same year she also won the Elba Festival Prize at the Festival Elba, Isola Musicale d'Europa.

Hwayoon Lee has thrilled more international audiences at the Festival Music Alp and at the Tenerife Music Festival in Spain. She has given concert performances with various European orchestras, such as the Moscow Soloists, the Symphony Orchestra of New Russia, the Munich Symphony Orchestra and the Baltic Philharmonic Orchestra, and has worked with conductors such as Krzysztof Penderecki, Ken-David Masur, Yuri Bashmet and Manfred Honeck. The youngest scholarship holder to date, Hwayoon Lee has had the support of the Anne-Sophie Mutter Foundation since July 2011.

In 2017 her debut CD was released at the Deutsche Grammophon, a recording of Schubert’s “Trout Quintet” with Anne-Sophie Mutter and Daniil Trifonov.

Hwayoon Lee plays the Gasparo da Sálo (1590) from Brescia which is on loan to her from the Samsung Foundation of Culture.

In 2012 Hwayoon Lee took part in Chamber Music Connects the World, where she played with Christian Tetzlaff, Gidon Kremer und Steven Isserlis and participated in the Kronberg Academy Festival in 2013, 2015 and 2017. From 2014 to 2019 she studied with Nobuko Imai. These studies were funded by the Linsenhoff/Minners Stipendium.

Last updated: July 2019