A South Korean native, Koeun Grace Lee is an avid performer of contemporary piano repertoire. Chicago Classical Review praised Lee’s performance of selected variations of Robert Gross’s Variations on a Theme by Stefan Wolpe, the central work of this album: “Lee brought technical precision and thoughtful shaping to each movement, with particular care given to the childlike second variation, ‘Easily,’ and the third, ‘Like a Baroque Prelude,’ whose rhythmic figurations gesture winkingly to Bach’s Prelude in C Major.” Her performance of Folksong Revisited, a piano work by Korean composer Jean Ahn, also included in this album, was featured in Music in Chicago – WFMT: Chicago’s classical and folk music radio, in 2021.

Lee has performed as a featured artist in the New Music Chicago Presents Series, Ear Taxi Festival, Asheville Art Museum Pianoforte Series, SPG Live! Series of Steinway Galleries in North Carolina, and many other venues across the United States. She has been an active presenter at conferences of the College Music Society and the Composition in Asia International Symposium at the University of South Florida. Lee holds a D.M.A. in Piano Performance and a Post Master’s Certificate in Music Theory Pedagogy from the University of North Carolina-Greensboro, an M.M. in Piano Performance from the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music, a B.M. in Piano and Piano Pedagogy, and an Artist Diploma from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville.


Variations on a Theme by Stefan Wolpe

Release Date: February 10, 2023
Catalog Number: NV6496
20th Century
21st Century
Solo Instrumental
Very few genres are as difficult to interpret pianistically as that of contemporary serious music: it often requires a superhuman degree of both virtuosity and patience, and the potential pitfalls of expression are ever-present. Enter Korean pianist Koeun Grace Lee, who zestily breezes through the most varied contemporary repertoire imaginable, with a level of self-assurance and musical competence that borders on being a revelation. While also featuring folkloristically-inspired works by David Burge and Jean Ahn, the heart of VARIATIONS ON A THEME BY STEFAN WOLPE is the similarly-titled work by Robert Gross, spanning no less than twenty variations on a theme by Stefan Wolpe, the German-American interdisciplinary modernist. Sprawling yet precise, decisive yet eclectic, it's the perfect canvas for Lee, and the resulting symbiosis is mesmerizing.