A South Korea-born, USA-based pianist Kowoon Lee made her debut as a concerto soloist at the age of 16 with the Chungnam Symphony Orchestra. Dr. Lee has since performed internationally, including the United States, South Korea, Puerto Rico, Italy, and the Czech Republic, with many orchestras and ensembles, including the Seoul National University Orchestra, the Romanian Banatul Timișoara Philharmonic Orchestra, the Sookmyung Festival Orchestra, the Janacek Concert Chamber Orchestra, the UMKC Conservatory Orchestra, and the Kansas City Ballet.
Dr. Lee specializes in music by women composers. Her doctoral research project involved piano music written by women composers, and included original research "Beethoven's Musical Influence on the Solo Piano Music of Juri Seo" and and a recording of piano etudes by living women composers (Karen Tanaka, Vera Ivanova, and Gabriela Ortiz). Her lecture-recitals including “21st Century Music for Solo Piano by Living East Asian Women Composers” “21st Century Music for Solo Piano by Living East Asian Women Composers,” “Finding Their Own Voices: Piano Etudes by Women Composers in the 21st Century,” “Visual and Aural Connections: Character Pieces for Trumpet and Piano by Living Women Composers,” and “Homeland: Celebrating Women’s Voices and Heritages Throughout 21st Century Music for Flute and Piano” have been selected to be presented at many international festivals and conferences, such as the College Music Society conferences, Women Composers Festival of Hartford, Women in Music Festival, the International Alliance for Women in Music, International Women’s Brass Conference, Asian Classical Music Initiative, Korean Composers Festival, and World Piano Conference.such
As a strong advocate of new music. Dr. Lee has been working with many renowned living composers, such as Chen Yi, James Mobberley, Juri Seo, Vera Ivanova, Karen Tanaka, Gabriela Ortiz, and Eunhye Kim, to name a few. She commissioned and premiered several works for solo piano and chamber music, including selections from The Voice Imitator for solo piano by Yotam Haber for the 2022 Missouri Music Teachers Association State Conference, and “aɪ Kænt Spiːk for Violin, Cello, and Piano” by Aubrie Powell at the 2017 national conference of the Society of Composers, Inc.
Dr. Lee earned her Doctor of Musical Arts in Piano Performance (with a Graduate Teaching Assistantship) at the University of Missouri-Kansas City with Dr. Thomas Rosenkranz and Dr. Robert Weirich. She studied at Indiana University (with an Associate Instructorship) for her Master of Music and Performer’s Diploma with Dr. Karen Shaw. Before studying in the United States, she finished her Bachelor of Music from Sookmyung Women’s University in Seoul, South Korea with Dr. Hyesoo Jeon, and graduated from the Chungnam Arts High School with Jinyi Yang. Prviously, she taught at Cottey College and Interlochen Arts Camp, and was a founding committee member of the Puerto Rico Center for Collaborative Piano. Dr. Lee currently teaches at Washburn University, and is a co-founder and member of KC Piano Duo.