Cora Swenson Lee and Claire-Chung Lim

February 17, 2021, 12:15 pm

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Cellist Cora Swenson Lee and pianist Claire-Chung Lim present a program with music by Amy Beach, Ethel Smyth, and Luise Adolpha Le Beau on this live Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concert.

Praised by the San Francisco Classical Voice for playing “with maturity and panache,” Dr. Cora Swenson Lee is a cellist and baroque cellist who performs actively around the United States. She holds a Doctorate of Music in Cello Performance and Bachelors Degree in Cello Performance with highest distinction from the Eastman School of Music, as well as a Masters Degree in Cello Performance from Boston University College of Fine Arts.

A passionate educator, Dr. Swenson Lee is currently Instructional Assistant Professor of Cello at Illinois State University, adjunct Professor of Cello at Illinois Wesleyan University, and the director of the Eastman Cello Institute. She has previously held appointments at Bucknell University, musiConnects, the Youth and Muse Festival, and the Hochstein School of Music and Dance. During her doctoral studies she served as a teaching assistant to Alan Harris and as a secondary lesson teacher at the Eastman School of music. Dr. Swenson Lee has also taught chamber music, orchestral sectionals, and graduate courses at the University of Rochester and Nazareth College.

Dr. Swenson Lee is an ardent chamber musician and recitalist. After a performance of Mendelssohn’s String Octet, the Boston Musical Intelligencer stated “Swenson Lee, whom I had not heard previously, was a treat to discover…” She was awarded first prize in Instrumental Performance (professional division) of the 2019-2020 American Prize. In the 2014-2015 season Dr. Swenson Lee was named a Lorraine Hunt Lieberson Fellow at Emmanuel Music. Dr. Swenson Lee’s early music ensemble, Trio Speranza, concertizes around the United States each season, and in 2014 won the Presentation Prize at Early Music America’s Baroque Performance Competition. During her time as cellist of the Boston Public Quartet, she was part of the Celebrity Series of Boston initiative Artists in Community, which brings free concerts and school presentations to several Boston communities.

Dr. Swenson Lee performs regularly on concert series including Kings Chapel Recitals, Emmanuel Music’s Lindsey Chapel Series, the Eastman Cello Institute Faculty Recital series, Live from Hochstein Radio Broadcasts, and in 2021 she will perform on the Dame Myra Hess Concert Series in Chicago. Dr. Swenson Lee has appeared with Emmanuel Music, Boston Baroque, the Rochester Philharmonic, the Handel and Haydn Society and the New World Symphony. Highlights include performances at the San Francisco Early Music Society, Trinity Church Copley and Jordan Hall in Boston, Quigley Chapel and DePaul University in Chicago, the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis, Suntory Hall in Tokyo, and Odori Park in Sapporo Japan.

Dr. Swenson Lee has performed under the baton of notable conductors including David Zinman, Fabio Luisi, Leonard Slatkin, David Robertson, George Manahan and Nicholas McGeegan. She has also had the opportunity to work with with artists such as James Dunham, David Halen, John Mark Rozendaal, David Schrader, Rachel Barton Pine, Larry Combs, the Vermeer Quartet, the Ying Quartet, Pacifica Quartet and members of the Vienna Philharmonic and Metropolitan Opera Orchestras. Dr. Swenson Lee has studied under renowned teachers including Eastman School of Music Distinguished Professor Alan Harris, Chicago Symphony member Richard Hirschl, and long-time cellist of the Vermeer Quartet, Marc Johnson.

Biography courtesy of the artist’s website.

Dr. Claire-Chung Lim is a prominent musician experienced in solo and, more recently, chamber music. Dr. Lim has enjoyed great success at many renowned competitions, winning 1st place playing solo at the Brahms Piano Competition and 3rd place Sion International Duo Competition in chamber music.

Her numerous accomplishments have been featured several times in the Strad Magazine, Boston Globe and the Korean-American Newspaper.  Claire also gave a broadcasted performance on Suisse-Espace 2, a radio television station based in Switzerland, WUOL, Louisville Radio Station, and WCRB, Boston Classical Music channel.

Dr. Lim earned her doctoral degree in Collaborative Piano and Chamber Music at Boston University, where she attended with a full scholarship, in the studio of Shiela Kibbe. Previously, Dr. Lim graduated from New England Conservatory of Music, where she received dual master degrees in Solo Piano Performance nad Collaborative Piano Performance, respectively with full scholarship and honors. She is also a graduate of Seoul National University where she graduated at the top of her class with summa cum laude.

 As a member of Duo Davvero, a team she formed in 2014 with violinist Dr. Hyun Jung Kim, Dr. Lim has devoted much of her late career to collaborative music. Following her successful debut as a chamber musician at Sion International Duo Competition in Switzerland, Ms. Lim was invited to participate in Académie de Musique Lausanne Violin-Piano Duo Masterclass by Maerstro Pierre Amoyal and Maestro Robert Levin in Lausanne, Switzerland, where her team won the Best Duo Performance prize. The duo’s concert was subsequently broadcast on Suisse-Espace 2, a radio-television station in Switzerland.

 Aside from Duo Davvero, Dr. Lim has collaborated with many great artists at numerous world renowned venues, including, among others, Jordan Hall, Carnegie Hall, Griffin Auditorium, Harvard University, Tufts University, Princeton University, Boston University, New England Conservatory, University of Vermont, Elmira College, Banff Centre (Canada), Laussane Academie(Switzerland), Prague Conservatory (Czech), and Shanghai Conservatory (China). Dr. Lim also collaborates regularly with the New England Conservatory teaching studios of Paul Katz, Natasha Brofsky, Donald Weilerstein, Miriam Fried and Laurence Lesser, appearing in many concerts throughout New England with repertoire such as the complete Beethoven cello sonatas and the violin, viola and cello sonatas of Johannes Brahms.

Throughout her career, Dr. Lim has served as a collaborative pianist and associate faculty at, among others, Tanglewood Music Festival, Killington Music Festival, Heifetz International Music Institute, Banff Centre, Green Mountain Chamber Music Festival and Music Academy of the West. Dr. Lim has received trainings from many renowned pianists, including Vivian Weilerstein, Bruce Brubaker, and Hung-Kuan Chen.

Dr. Lim served a staff and faculty position at both New England Conservatory and New England Conservatory Preparatory School previously. She is currently a visiting assistant professor in Collaborative Piano and Chamber Music department at Indiana University Bloomington.

Biography courtesy of the artist’s website.

  • 2 Pieces, Op. 40, by Amy Beach

  • Cello Sonata, Op. 5, by Ethel Smyth

  • 2 Stücke, Op. 24, by Luise Adolpha Le Beau