Program notes from Infung Lee
In my MM graduation recital, I chose to pay homage to a few composers who have been among the groundbreakers in the course of music history. They were pioneers in their era and had a great impact on the music community and on society. J.S. Bach was the “Father of Music”, he mastered all forms in his time and elevated counterpoint to new heights. In spite of its complexity, his music expresses deep emotions and is highly spiritual. His compositions influenced all composers after him including non-classical musicians. Felix Mendelssohn was the first musician in history to establish a music school which granted diplomas and the first to revive the performance of Bach’s music. Joseph Haydn was the “Father of the Symphony, the Sonata, and the String Quartet”. He contributed enormously to their musical form which influenced all future composers who wrote in the same genres. Franz Liszt brought piano virtuosity to the highest degree. He was the first composer to break away from traditional forms, he was the first pianist to perform from memory, and his late music was the gate to modernism. Claude Debussy is often regarded as the “Father of modern classical music” who invented new and complex harmonies and musical structures that evoke comparisons to the art of his contemporary Impressionist and Symbolist painters and writers. Margaret Bonds was one of the first African-American women composers and performers who gained recognition in the United States because of her popular arrangements of African-American spirituals.
Pianist Infung Lee, a native of Hong Kong who began playing the piano at age 3, is currently a scholarship recipient at Longy School of Music in Boston, pursuing his Master of Music degree in Piano Performance under the instruction of Prof. Gila Goldstein.
In 2021 he graduated with Bachelor of Arts degree from the State University of New York (SUNY) in Stony Brook where his teacher was Dr. Pablo Lavandera. Prior to his studies in Stony Brook, Infung Lee studied for two years at Hong Kong Baptist University.
At the graduation ceremony at SUNY Stony Brook, he was praised as a “very motivated and enthusiastic young pianist who loves to perform.” Infung is a solo pianist, chamber player, accompanist, and a cellist.
Infung Lee was a prize winner at the 2020 concerto competition at SUNY Stony Brook, performing Shostakovich Piano Concerto No. 2. He has played several concerts and participated in master classes while a student at Hong Kong Baptist University, SUNY Stony Brook and Longy School of Music. In May 2022 he played the Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No. 2 for his first year of MM final exam. At Longy he was also granted an assistantship as a collaborative pianist.
In Hong Kong, Infung Lee was a prize winner at the Hong Kong School Music Festival, and he took part at the London Trinity College music exams, where he received the Licentiate of Trinity College London in piano and Associate of Trinity College London in cello. In addition, Infung taught piano to primary school students in the social center in Hong Kong. Three of his young students were prize winners at the Hong Kong School Music Festival.
Since his arrival in the USA, Infung feels that having met a significant number of professors and students from many different countries has given him a rich learning and cultural experience.
In Fall 2023 Infung is planning to pursue his studies towards the Doctor of Musical Art degree.