Yenne Lee (이예은)
Yenne Lee was born in Seoul, South Korea in 1987. In 2015, she received her Doctor of Musical Arts in classical guitar from Manhattan School of Music, becoming the first-ever Korean to hold such an honor. A versatile guitarist, her interests include both classical and popular varieties of music.
Her debut solo album, entitled Beautiful, was released on September 1, 2016. It includes collections of popular ballads and melodies made popular in the 1970s. She arranged this entire album for solo guitar performances, utilizing delicate classical guitar techniques instead of the popular finger-style guitar techniques, to recreate the vocal nuances of the originals for guitar.
Yenne first established herself as a professional guitarist in South Korea. First garnering national attention from her winning various awards and accolades from several national competitions, she was accepted into the highly selective Seoul National University, an institution that accepts one guitar major per year. She performed at major concert venues and festivals such as the Sejong Art Center, Hoam Art Hall, Jeju Guitar Festival, and Busan Guitar festivals, to name a few. In 2007, International Arts & Artists, a major music management company in Korea, scouted Yenne for the Botticelli Guitar Quartet, which recorded for Sony Classical. She played the first guitar in their album Antonio Vivaldi: Four Seasons, which is the first ever rendition set to four guitars. Soon after the album release, she left for New York to pursue further studies.
Yenne soon began studying at Mannes College The New School for Music where she studied under Michael Newman from 2010 to 2012. In the years following, from 2012 to 2015, she attended the Manhattan School of Music, studying under David Starobin. During these years she performed in various concerts, including the New York Guitar Seminar, the Upstate New York Guitar Festival, the New England Guitar Festival, the DiMenna Center, and Frick Collection. She received the fourth prize in the Indiana International Guitar Competition in 2013, becoming the first female prize-winner in the competition’s history.
Yenne shows academic aptitude, and continues her research in guitar literature, showing particular promise in the period spanning from 1800 to 1850. Her doctoral dissertation, entitled “Fernando Sor’s Guitar Fantasias: A Historical and Analytic Study”, is the subject of lectures she’s given at Mannes College and New York City Classical Guitar Society in 2015.
Yenne teaches in the Extension Division of Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University, New Brunswick.
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