While I think it is crucial to be a creative musician to make good music, I do not think I am creating music so much as delivering sound on the score. I have been trying to listen well to what I am hearing so that I can be a good deliverer. It is worthwhile to open my ears as widely as possible and to hear sounds that are very different from one another. This can help me to write diverse music rather than collections of related sounds.
My intuitive musical expression started when I took a piano lesson at the age of three. Hitting the keyboard rather than reading music and playing the piano was the start of my musical journey. Without the genuine perseverance of my first piano teacher, Nam-Ok Lee, and my mother, I would not be writing these notes on this website. My mother and my high school teacher recognized that I liked to improvise on the piano and encouraged me to study composition. After studying music theory and harmony privately with Namkung DukEun, my college-level study in Korea at Ewha Woman’s University was in composition theory, which meant that I studied harmony, counterpoint, and music analysis. This led me to major in music theory in a master’s program at the same school. After graduating from this program, I taught private students and various classes in universities in Korea before I moved to New York. My formal study of composition began when I came to the United States for graduate study at Manhattan School of Music.
143! One for Three. It is my belief that music can only be formed by three factors: composer, performer, and listener. Without the unification of these three factors, music cannot have a life. I am thankful to have wonderfully devoted performers and delightfully open-minded audiences in addition to great mentors.
Music should exist for people! This is also my belief and one of the reasons that I am also very much interested in collaborating with other artistic genres: dance, literature, fine art, film, and multi-media. In my current project, I am developing a video game for children’s music education, called Look! Sound. The details including sound samples can be found in the project section of this website.
Eun Young Lee, a 2023 Guggenheim fellow, has worked with many ensembles including New York New Music Ensemble, eighth blackbird, Pacifica String Quartet, The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, ALEA III, North/South Consonance Ensemble, Timetable Percussion, Gemini Ensemble, Lincolnwood Chamber Orchestra, Empyrean Ensemble, ECCE (East Coast Chamber Ensemble), The Cardinall’s Musick, Left Coast Chamber Ensemble and Geum-Pa Flute Ensemble. Her instrumental pieces, computer music, multimedia pieces, and film music have been featured in festivals and concerts in many countries, including June in Buffalo; SCI National Conference; SCI Conference; St. Magnus Festival, UK; Czech-America Institute, Prague; Korean Music Expo; Rush Hour Concerts in Chicago, 60X60 Project, Vox Novus; Hawaii International Conference on Arts and Humanities, MGMC; IAWM Congress, Gene Siskel Film Center, Pinocoteca do estado de Sao Paulo in Brazil, Music09 in Switzerland.
She received first prize at the Tsang-Houei Hsu International Music Composition Awards, the 2008 Max Di Julio Prize at the Nevada Encounters of New Music (N.E.O.N.) Festival, and honorable mention in the Great Wall International Competition. She won the first regional award in the SCI/ASCAP student composition commission (2006,2009,2010), and has received other commissions from ALEA III, Sejong Cultural Society, Timetable Percussion, flutist Barry Crawford, and percussionist Yu-Chun Kuo. She is the recipient of a 2011 Yaddo Fellowship, the MacDowell Colony Fellowship in 2010, the Gerald Oshita Memorial Fellowship for the 2010 Djerassi Resident Artist Program and fellowships from the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts in 2010 and 2015. Her music has been chosen for broadcasts through Art of the States, EBU (European Broadcasting Union) and KBS (Korean Broadcasting System) and is featured in the SCI Journal of Music Scores (Vol. 41) as well as CD series (No.23). She also holds an Honorary Associateship from the National Academy of Music.
She earned a PhD (2011) from the University of Chicago, where her teachers included Shulamit Ran, Marta Ptaszynska, Jan Radzynski, Bernard Rands, (composition) and Howard Sandroff and Kotoka Suzuki (computer music). Her graduate studies were with David Noon at Manhattan School of Music. Lee has also worked with Melinda Wagner and Eric Chasalow at the Composers Conference at Wellesley, Joel Hoffman and Fred Rzewski at Music 09, David Felder at June in Buffalo, Virko Baley, Chen Yi and Jorge Grossmann at the N.E.O.N. festival, Ladislav Kubik at the Czech-America Insititute, Prague as a composition fellow and Melinda Wagner, Augusta Read Thomas and Christopher Theofanidis at ACA (Atlantic Center for the Arts) as an Associate Artist-in-Residence.
She joined the faculty of the Boston Conservatory in 2014 and was visiting instructor of composition at Tufts University in 2016-2017.