Pianist ALISON LEE made her unofficial recital debut at the age of two when, while waiting for a concert to start, she climbed onstage to play Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star to scattered applause. She received her first formal lesson on her fifth birthday, and has since become a pianist and educator dedicated to sharing her love for classical music with her community and bridging the gap between composer, performer, and audience through interactive concert experiences.
Alison has been a featured soloist with the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Symphony and the Coeur d’Alene Symphony Orchestra. She is the top prizewinner of Coeur d’Alene Symphony’s National Young Artists Competition, Thursday Musical’s Scholarship Competition, the Dorothy van Waynen Piano Competition, Graves Piano Competition, and is the second prize winner of the Midwest International Piano Competition. Her performances have been broadcast on National Public Radio on KPBX 91.1 (Spokane Public Radio) and WOI-FM 90.1 (Iowa Public Radio).
Alison holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in piano performance from the University of Minnesota where she studied with Lydia Artymiw. Her previous teachers include Jon Kimura Parker at Rice University and Angela Cheng at Oberlin Conservatory, along with Hans Boepple and Jed Galant from her pre-college years. She is an alumna of various summer music festivals such as Pianofest in the Hamptons, The Banff Centre’s Piano Master Class, Aspen Music Festival and School, Seattle Piano Institute, Mänttä Music Festival, and the Castleman Quartet Program.
h o m e t o w n :
e d u c a t i o n :
University of Minnesota (DMA, 2018)
Rice University Shepherd School of Music (MM, 2015)
Oberlin Conservatory of Music (BM, 2013)
f a v o r i t e c o m p o s e r :
h o b b i e s :
Cooking, swimming, gardening, studying languages, and visiting national parks
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Alison has taken advantage of live streaming and recording technology to maintain an active concert schedule. She regularly self-produces live broadcasts and pre-recorded recitals and in 2020, performed two solo recitals and seven chamber music concerts from her living room.
Aside from her career as a solo pianist, Alison is also an avid chamber musician and is a founding member of a piano trio called Ensemble 1828, which brings several different programs on tour each year. She often appears onstage with cellist Isaac Pastor-Chermak; together, the two regularly perform the complete Beethoven Cello Sonatas and recently recorded and released their first album, Preludes and Prologues. Alison has also performed in recital with Charles Castleman, the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, and Da Camera of Houston. She spends her summers as a staff pianist at the Castleman Quartet Program, and is in demand as a collaborative pianist around the Bay Area during the rest of the year.
One of Alison's main goals as a musician is to share her love for chamber music with young musicians and the community. She is currently the director of East Bay Music Foundation’s Chamber Music Festival and is on the faculty of Music at the Mission’s summer camp, Chamberfest LIVE. Her enthusiasm for chamber music stems from her experience as a string player; in her pre-college years, she played the violin as a member of California Youth Symphony. Alison currently maintains a private studio in Fremont, California, where she teaches piano, chamber music, and music theory.