Orchid Classics releases the debut album of Jiyoon Lee, the 26 year old South Korean violinist who won joint first prize of the 2016 Carl Nielsen International Competition. The album was recorded in Odense, home of the Carl Nielsen Competition in Denmark, together with the Odense Symphony Orchestra and conductor Kristiina Poska in June 2017 as a part of the competition prize.
Alongside the Nielsen violin concerto, which Jiyoon Lee performed at the finals of the 2016 competition, she has chosen to record Korngold’s violin concerto. "To understand the musical language of Carl Nielsen was the most challenging part" explains Jiyoon, "but his music is fascinating and the the concerto is a wonderful piece for the violin. It might seem a little exotic at first, but once you understand it, you really can appreciate his musical world."
It was Jiyoon’s performance at the Carl Nielsen Violin Competition which led the President of the Jury, Nikolaj Znaider, to comment "When you sit on a jury you are looking for somebody who makes you forget that it is a competition and I remember very clearly hearing Jiyoon play for the first time in 2016 and she did just that. Her playing was immediately a breath of fresh air. She is a terrific violinist and I can see her going very far. She has lightness in her playing and yet is a musician who takes her craft very seriously."
Such praise has marked the 26 year old violinist out as a genuine talent to watch. Born in 1992 in South Korea, Jiyoon comes from a musical family. She studied with Nam-Yun Kim at the Korean National University of Arts in Seoul and moved to Berlin to continue her studies with Kolja Blacher at the Hochschule für Musik ‘Hanns Eisler’. Alongside her growing list of solo engagements, Jiyoon Lee was this month appointed the youngest ever concert-master of the Staatskapelle Berlin and is a devoted chamber musician who participates in music festival across the world, including both Verbier and Tanglewood. On 24 June she performs at the Boulez Saal in a chamber music programme together with Antonio Pappano and returns in February 2018 for a solo recital in the "Rising Stars" programme. With pianist Henry Kramer, Jiyoon will release a second CD on the Champs Hill label early this autumn entitled "Myths", featuring works by Szymanowski, Stravinsky, Bartok, Ravel and Wieniawski.
Since the 2016 Carl Nielsen Violin Competition Nikolaj Znaider has invited Jiyoon Lee to perform as soloist in concerts which he has conducted with both the Poznan Philharmonic (Mozart Concerto in G Major, KV216) and Gyeonggi Philharmonic Orchestra in South Korea (Mendelssohn Violin Concerto). Jiyoon returns to Denmark in March 2019 to perform with the Carl Nielsen National Academy Orchestra and Marek Janowski as a part of the celebrations to launch the next Carl Nielsen International Competition.