The only thing violinist Kristin Lee wants people to remember about her is her honesty in expressing her love for music. Her goal every time she steps on the stage or curates a program is that it comes off genuinely and that she can be as transparent as possible.
“I perform on stage to share what I love and to communicate in a way that cannot be done with words. I also feel the sense of responsibility to bring people together through music, especially in this day and age of such division,” said the 2015 Avery Fisher Career Grant recipient.
This awareness has made Kristin, also a top prizewinner of the 2012 Walter W. Naumburg Competition and the Astral Artists’ 2010 National Auditions, create programs that get to the very heart of American music.
Kristin has been collaborating with pianist Jeremy Jordan to promote four programs, under the header Americana, which feature the standard, contemporary, and improvisatory music of American music.
As a foreign-born citizen of America who emigrated from South Korea as a young child, Kristin was compelled to select this unique collection of composers and works to express her pride of the country she now calls her own. These recital programs have a distinct and recognizable sound of American music and its rich history.
Reflecting on both her personal journey and her professional journey, Kristin showcases a broad spectrum of illustrious composers and the American musical styles that influenced them, as well as their own musical styles that influenced generations of composers to come. Kristin has always been a big fan of all music genres, and wonders why music is presented separately.
“I personally find that I appreciate classical music more when I listen to it after hearing a jazz piece or a 1980s rock song. So, in this day and age of shuffling and making various playlists, I believe it’s important to create platforms and opportunities for people to hear different sounds and genres in a live setting and in one sitting. It’s important because it’s a great way to build a new and younger audience,” she said.
East and West Coast Chamber Music
Taking a cue from her own handbook, Kristin started her own chamber music series in Seattle a few years ago called Emerald City Music. The goal was to create an environment for young professionals to come to a chic and more current environment to enjoy classical music.
She thinks the level of playing has never been higher in classical music, and the music itself will always stand as the greatest pieces of art. However, the frustration comes from how it is presented and how it feels unrelatable to those who aren’t so familiar with classical music.
“I think it’s important to make a space that is welcoming, familiar, but also posh so that it intrigues the young and new audience members to enjoy the classical music experience as a ‘cool’ space. If we create ways to engage in a way that is more current through marketing, design, and communication, the audience will come and grow!” Kristin said.
To learn more about Kristin Lee, visit her website.