Vanessa May-lok Lee Comes to Anna-Maria Kellen Concert Hall
Much sought after as a collaborative pianist and educator, pianist Vanessa May-lok Lee will present an interactive and unique performance on Friday, March 1 at 7 p.m. at Anna-Maria Kellen Concert Hall, Third Street Music School Settlement, 235 East 11th Street, New York, NY 10003-7398. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Admission is free. General seating is available on a first-come basis.
Drawing from her experience as a music educator for over 20 years, Lee teaches repertoire and technique using Canada's Royal Conservatory of Music Certificate Program. These books are the foundation for The Royal Conservatory's nation-wide examination system, providing teaching materials to thousands of teachers across North America. Having gone through the program herself, earning the Associate of the Royal Conservatory of Toronto diploma, the pinnacle achievement within the Certificate Program, Lee became acutely aware of the differences in teaching methods when she relocated from Canada to NYC.
"One thing that has not changed is my desire to inspire every student to communicate to the audience through their playing. Music is an opportunity to tell a story without using words, to communicate an idea and transport the listener out of their day-to-day lives for a brief moment in time" says Lee. On March 1, as part of Third Street Music Settlement's Faculty LiveSounds performance series, Lee will set popular piano pieces taken from the Royal Conservatory books to her original narrative. Lee says "I want students to realize 'hey, I played that piece and wow, I never thought I could use it to tell a story!'" Lee's project will challenge the traditional confines of classical music by communicating to audiences from all backgrounds and walks of life, inspiring people to laugh, learn and collaborate through music.
Bringing her narrative to life, Lee combines the music with the work of puppeteers Jacob Graham and Teddy Yudain. All of the puppets featured are designed by Ora Fruchter of Doppelskope. Adding an interactive element to the performance, Lee's narrative is inspired by the "choose-your-own-adventure" books that she loved as a kid. The audience will have the opportunity to decide which path the puppets take within the narrative. Graham and Yudain, both experienced improvisers, will enhance the narrative with their own responses to the audience's decisions. Lee says "my goal is to inspire students to remember that the music they learn day-in and day-out is more than just hammering out notes. Especially in those moments when practicing is a struggle, students need to find a way to make music fun for themselves."
About Vanessa May-lok Lee
Canadian pianist Vanessa May-lok Lee is much sought after as a collaborative pianist. Praised as an artist who "clearly has musicality and confidence in abundance" [Showcase Magazine] Ms. Lee made her Carnegie Hall (Isaac Stern Auditorium) debut in June 2014. Her concert engagements continue to highlight her strong interest in pursuing a wide variety of projects. She has served as the rehearsal pianist for Maestro Vladimir Jurowski and the NY Philharmonic's performances of Ravel's Daphnis et Chloé, released four CD's showcasing her support of music from living composers and is both the pianist and member of the Board of Directors of EnsembleNYC, a choral ensemble dedicated to bringing hope to the people of New York City by offering concerts which give a minimum of 10% of ticket sales to a chosen charity.
Ms. Lee has performed with internationally acclaimed artists including Jörgen van Rijen (Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra), Jesper Busk Sørensen (Berlin Philharmonic), Joseph Alessi (New York Philharmonic), Jeffrey Beecher (member of YoYo Ma's Silk Road) and Rachel Mercer (Ensemble Made in Canada) among others. In addition to being a Faculty Accompanist at the Manhattan School of Music and a Staff Pianist at The Juilliard School in New York, Ms. Lee currently serves on the Piano and Chamber Music Faculty at Third Street Music School Settlement.
Ms. Lee graduated with a Bachelor in Piano Performance from the University of Toronto where she studied with Marietta Orlov, and a Master in Music from the Royal Academy of Music in London, England with Michael Young. In May 2014, Ms. Lee completed pre-doctoral studies at the Manhattan School of Music with Dr. John Forconi through the generous support of the Canada Council for the Arts.