CCM Piano faculty give recital for U.S. Library of Congress

Soyeon Kate Lee and Ran Dank celebrate Beethoven’s 250th birthday with the national library

UC College-Conservatory of Music Piano Professors Soyeon Kate Lee and Ran Dank recently gave a performance of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 in D minor, as arranged by Franz Liszt, for the U.S. Library of Congress. The December 12 concert recording will be cataloged and preserved in the library for generations to come. 

This transcription by Liszt, an acclaimed pianist himself, is a testament to his skills in writing for the piano, as well as his deep understanding of Beethoven’s music. Not only do the editions include traditional markings, but they also include the names of the orchestral instruments that play certain lines, allowing the pianist to imitate the sound of a given instrument while playing the transcription. Although the transcriptions receive positive reviews when they are performed, they are unfortunately rarely heard in concert halls.

The performance by the married duo is part of the library’s (Re)Hearing Beethoven Festival, in celebration of the 250th anniversary of the composer’s birth. The festival includes arrangements of all of Beethoven’s symphonies for solo and chamber ensembles.

The concert is available online along with an interview with Lee and Dank. The video of the performance is available for streaming on the Library of Congress website, Facebook and YouTube.

First prize winner of the 2010 Naumburg International Piano Competition and the 2004 Concert Artist Guild International Competition, Korean-American pianist Soyeon Kate Lee has been lauded by the New York Times as a pianist with "a huge, richly varied sound, a lively imagination and a firm sense of style," and by the Washington Post for her "stunning command of the keyboard.”

Lee has been rapturously received as guest soloist with the Cleveland Orchestra and the London Symphony Orchestra, as well as the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, San Diego Symphony, symphony orchestras of Columbus, Bangor, Boca Raton, Wyoming, Bozeman, Cheyenne, Napa Valley, Scottsdale, Abilene, Naples, Santa Fe and Shreveport in the United States; the Daejeon Philharmonic Orchestra (South Korea), Ulsan Symphony Orchestra (South Korea), Orquesta de Valencia (Spain) and the Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional (Dominican Republic), including performances under the batons of Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, Jahja Ling, Jorge Mester and Otto-Werner Mueller.

Recent recital appearances include New York City programs at Carnegie Hall's Zankel Hall and Weill Recital Hall, Merkin Concert Hall, Lincoln Center for the Performing Art's Alice Tully Hall, Washington's Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Cleveland's Severance Hall, the Ravinia Festival's "Rising Stars" series, Auditorio de Musica de Nacional in Madrid — part of a 13-city tour of Spain, tour of the Hawaiian Islands, Krannert Center, Herbst Theatre and Finland’s Maanta Music Festival.

An active chamber musician, she frequently collaborates in many chamber music festivals throughout the United States including the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival and Music Mountain, and has been a member of the coveted Lincoln Center Chamber Music Society Two program, where her performance of the Mozart Piano Trio was broadcast on PBS Live from Lincoln Center.

A Naxos recording artist, her discography spans Scarlatti Sonatas, Liszt Opera Transcriptions, and two volumes of Scriabin works, with upcoming releases of Clementi Sonatas, as well as another volume of Scarlatti Sonatas. Lee’s recording of Re!nvented under the E1 (formerly Koch Classics) label garnered her a feature review in the Gramophone Magazine and the Classical Recording Foundation’s Young Artist of the Year Award.

A second prize and Mozart Prize winner of the 2003 Cleveland International Piano Competition and a laureate of the Santander International Piano Competition in Spain, she has worked extensively with Richard Goode, Robert McDonald, Ursula Oppens, and Jerome Lowenthal. A graduate of the Juilliard School, Lee was awarded every prize given to a pianist at Juilliard, including the William Petschek Piano Debut Award at Lincoln Center and the Arthur Rubinstein Award.

Lee is the co-founder and artistic director of Music by the Glass, a concert series dedicated to bringing together young professionals in New York City. A Yamaha Artist, Lee is an Assistant Professor of Music in Piano at CCM. She lives in Cincinnati with her husband, pianist Ran Dank, and their two children, Noah and Ella.

Ran Dank’s recent performances have included recitals at the San Francisco Performances Series, Gilmore, Ravinia, Carnegie Hall’s Zankel and Weill Halls, Steinway Hall, Gardner Museum, Kennedy Center, Town Hall, Yale School of Music, Philips Collection, Morgan Library, Pro Musica in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, Portland Ovations, and have garnered critical acclaim from the New York Times and The Washington Post.

Dank has performed as a soloist with the orchestras of Cleveland, Sydney, St. Luke’s, Portland, Eugene, Toledo, Hawaii, Kansas City, Vermont, Charleston, Jerusalem, Valencia, Phoenix, Hilton Head, among others, working under the batons such as Michael Stern, Jahja Ling, Michael Christie, Kirill Karabits, Jun Märkl, Pinchas Zukerman, Jorge Mester, Jaime Laredo and Ken-David Masur. His chamber music festival appearances have included Santa Fe, Seattle, Chanel in Tokyo, Great Lakes, Bridgehampton, Cooperstown, Mänttä, Bowdoin, Maverick, Skaneateles, and Montreal, and he has collaborated with luminaries of the field such as Paul Watkins, Augustin Hadelich, Eugene Drucker, Jaime Laredo, Sharon Robinson, James Ehnes, and The Orion, Shanghai, Takács, and Dover String Quartets. Dank’s performance of the monumental set of variations “The People United Will Never Be Defeated!” at the University of Chicago has been selected as one of the top ten performances of 2017 by the Chicago Classical Review.
 
Dank is an ardent advocate for contemporary music, and has performed in recent seasons Kevin Puts’ piano concerto “Night,” the Tobias Picker concerto, “Keys to the City,” Frederic Rzewski’s “The People United Will Never Be Defeated,” William Bolcom’s Pulitzer-winning set of “Twelve New Études,” and has given, alongside pianist and wife, Soyeon Kate Lee, the world premieres of Frederic Rzewski’s “Four Hands,” and Alexander Goehr’s “Seven Impromptus.” This season Dank and Soyeon Kate lee will feature the world premiere of multiple grammy-nominated pianist and composer’s Marc-André Hamelin’s “Tango” for piano four-hands.

Ran Dank is the co-artistic director and founder of Music by the Glass, a concert series held in a New York SoHo art gallery, dedicated to bringing together young professionals in NYC.

Dank has received his Bachelor of Music the from Tel Aviv University, his Master of Music and Artist Diploma from the Juilliard School, and his Doctorate of Music from the Graduate Center in CUNY. His teachers and mentors include Emanuel Ax, Joseph Kalichstein, Robert McDonald, Richard Goode, and Ursula Oppens. He is the recipient of numerous honors, including prizes in the Naumburg, Sydney, Cleveland, and the Hilton Head International Piano Competitions. He serves as an Assistant Professor of Piano at CCM and is on the faculty of the Bowdoin International Music Festival.


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Alexandra Doyle

CCM Graduate Assistant , Marketing + Communications

Alexandra Doyle is a doctoral candidate studying clarinet performance at CCM. Alexandra’s master’s degree is also from CCM, and she holds bachelor’s degrees in clarinet performance and journalism from the University of Houston.