"Now here is a talent… who has as warm, silvery, and woody a tone as anyone could imagine with fast and keen finger work to match... amazing expressive capabilities… positively lovely. Lee’s breath imparts a certain glow to the radiance of her sound that is partly magic and partly a very precise approach to tone and volume.”– Review by Allmusic.com
Uncompromising in both talent and tenacity, Seunghee Lee has been applauded as a “brilliant clarinetist” by Fanfare Magazine and as “outstanding” by the Sarastoa Herald-Tribune. Classical music critics the world over have praised Lee’s expressive playing style, her masterful technical skill and her silky nuanced tone.
Her debut album, Brava, released by Summit Records in 2000, saw Lee hailed as one of the ‘Top 30 Classical Stars Under 30’ by San Francisco’s KDFC classical radio. Her second album, Embrace, beautifully showcasing the clarinet’s versatility with a range of surprising selections, soared up the HMV Classical Charts in Hong Kong to number 4.
With a compelling combination of sensitivity, skill and drive, Lee once again produces an exquisite recording that is as technically perfect as it is exhilaratingly unrestrained. In her newest release, Hidden Treasures, now available through iTunes, Amazon and many other internet outlets, Lee goes beyond boundaries to venture further into broadening the clarinet’s repertoire by making brave leaps into arranging famous symphonies and operatic arias for clarinet and piano. Lee takes some of the most expressive and beloved classical compositions that were originally written for voice, strings and piano, and beautifully delivers a stunning performance through her clarinet. At the 2013 International Clarinet Association’s ClarinetFest in Assisi, Italy, Lee premiered some of her latest arrangements from the album Hidden Treasures to a warm welcome.
Born in Seoul and raised in Chicago, Lee received her Bachelor’s degree from the Eastman School of Music under the tutelage of Charles Neidich and Eli Eban, and was awarded a Master’s degree and Artist Diploma from the prestigious Yale School of Music as a full scholarship student of David Shifrin. She has graced the stages of many prestigious venues, including the Chicago Cultural Center with the Dame Myra Hess Recital Series, and as a soloist she performed with the Saint Louis Symphony, Metropolitan Orchestra of Minneapolis, Yale Philharmonia, the Bucheon Philharmonic Orchestra of Korea, and the Jupiter Symphony of New York. In 1990, Lee was selected as one of three American clarinetists to represent the United States for the American-Soviet Youth Orchestra World Tour, conducted by Leonard Slatkin and with Joshua Bell as the soloist. Lee’s numerous competition wins include first prize at the International Clarinet Association Competition, the Saint Louis Symphony Young Artist Competition, the Music Academy of the West Concerto Competition, and the Yale Woolsey Hall Concerto Competition.
Also a passionate and highly skilled golfer, Lee, known in the golf world by her married name Sunny Kang, reached a single-digit handicap in just two years since setting foot on a golf course in Hong Kong. She has won numerous club tournaments and was featured in the HK Golfer Magazine as the lady captain of the Clearwater Bay Golf & Country Club. Lee recently spoke at TEDx Hong Kong about the surprising similarities between golf and music, and the mental challenges in both of these fields when viewed through the lens of a perfectionist.