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Angela Lee, Cello and Elizabeth Schumann, Piano
August 20, 2024
Angela Lee, Cello and Elizabeth Schumann, Piano

Frank Bridge: Sonata for Cello and Piano in D Minor, H. 125

Frédéric Chopin: Cello Sonata, Op. 65

Since giving her Carnegie Hall debut in 1994, Angela Lee’s “amazing finesse, control and coloration” [San Francisco Chronicle] and “astonishingly rich tone” [San Francisco Examiner] have been celebrated with recitals in Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center and Victor Borge Hall at Scandinavia House in New York, Chicago’s Cultural Center, The Phillip’s Collection and Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., Copenhagen’s Nationalmuseet and the Purcell Room at South Bank Centre in London. She has soloed with orchestras including the Taipei Philharmonic Orchestra, the San Francisco Concert Orchestra, the New Haven Symphony, the CAMS Orchestra, the Central Philharmonic Orchestra, the Paraiba Symphony, São Paulo State Orchestra, the Chautauqua Symphony, the Hertfordshire Chamber Orchestra (UK), performing works of Boccherini to Barber to Kernis. Her solo and chamber performances have taken her throughout North and South America, Australasia, Europe, and Asia. She is frequently invited to festivals including St. Petersburg’s Revelations, IMS at Prussia Cove, Cagayan Valley International Music Festival, Taipei Summer Festival, Pontino Festival, La Musica, Banff, Marlboro Music Festival, Anneberg Festival, Chelsea Music Festival, Music Mountain, and Mahler-Jihlava Festival, collaborating with the likes of Nobuko Imai, Bruno Giuranna, Frans Helmerson, Isabelle Faust, Lydia Artymiw, Andras Schiff, Alexander Lonquich, Anthony Newman, Franco Petracchi, the Hausmann Quartet, and members of the Beaux Arts Trio and Guarneri Quartet.

Ms. Lee is dedicated to working with and performing the music of leading composers, among them Lukas Foss, Aaron Jay Kernis, Philip Lasser, Tania León, Jane Cornish, and Yehudi Wyner. As an opera, theater, and ballet enthusiast, Angela Lee was the solo cellist in Harris Yulin’s production of Don Juan in Hell starring Ed Asner, Cherry Jones, and René Auberjonois. She has worked as 2nd Cellist with Det Kongelige Kapel in Denmark, as Principal Cellist with Opera North Leeds in England, and with Eliot Feld at Ballet Tech, premiering Feld’s The Last Sonata, set to Claude Debussy’s Cello Sonata.

Using music to foster peace and goodwill, Angela Lee has made numerous humanitarian trips to the Republic of the Philippines and the former Yugoslavia. While on a U.N.-sanctioned tour of six war-torn cities throughout Bosnia-Herzegovina, she performed for American and NATO troops and displaced civilians. As part of The Lee Trio with her sisters–Lisa, violinist, and Melinda, pianist–Angela Lee traveled to Ukraine in 2010 to work and perform for underprivileged children. Known for their “primal force on the stage” [Piedmont Post], the Trio won top awards at the 2004 Gaetano Zinetti and Kuhmo International Chamber Music Competitions in Italy and Finland and continues to teach and perform throughout the United States, Europe and Asia.

Angela Lee began her cello studies at age four at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music with Irene Sharp. At age twelve she was accepted to study privately with William Pleeth, commuting between San Francisco and London for several years. She graduated from The Juilliard School and Yale School of Music as a scholarship student of Aldo Parisot. In addition to her formal studies, she has been mentored by Cordelia Wikarski-Miedel and Morten Zeuthen. She is the recipient of the Ruth T. Brooks Achievement Award for Continued Excellence in the Arts, a grant from the Foundation for American Musicians in Europe, a Fulbright scholarship to study in London with William Pleeth, the Jury Prize in the Naumburg International Cello Competition, and a cello performance fellowship from The American-Scandinavian Foundation. Her cello is a 1762 Nicolo Gagliano from Naples.

Pianist Elizabeth Schumann has a diverse career portfolio of projects, recordings, and performances that have brought her all over the world as a recitalist, chamber musician, and concerto soloist. The Washington Post noted her playing as “deft, relentless, and devastatingly good—the sort of performance you experience not so much with your ears as your solar plexus.”

The first-place winner of both the Bösendorfer International Piano Competition and the Pacific International Piano Competition, Elizabeth has won over 25 prizes and awards in other major national and international competitions, including the Cleveland International Piano Competition and the Hilton Head International Piano Competition. Elizabeth was honored with the prestigious Gilmore Young Artists Award and was highlighted in a PBS Television documentary on the Gilmore Festival.

She has performed solo recitals and chamber music concerts worldwide, in venues such as the Kennedy Center, Vienna’s Bösendorfer Saal, Toronto’s Koerner Hall, and Montreal’s Place des Arts. Featured at the International UNICEF benefit concert for Hurricane Katrina Victims, the Cannes Film Festival, the Gilmore Festival, Australia’s Huntington Festival, the Musica Viva chamber music series, the Ravinia “Rising Stars” Series, and National Public Radio’s “Performance Today”, her recitals have been broadcast live on public radio and television in cities around the world, including Washington D.C., New York, Sydney, Cleveland, Montréal, Dallas, and Chicago. Elizabeth gave the world premiere performance of Carl Vine’s Sonata No. 3, which the composer dedicated to her.

As a dedicated chamber musician and proponent of community engagement, Elizabeth is a core member of the Ives Collective, Chameleon Arts Ensemble, and Ensemble San Francisco, a piano quartet dedicated to inspiring a more inclusive world. Elizabeth and her sister, Sonya Schumann, formed the Schumann Duo to engage diverse audiences with innovative combinations of piano music, theater, literature, art, and technology. The Schumann Duo’s tours of the US, Canada, and Australia were acclaimed by critics and audiences alike. In response to declining funding for arts education in the United States, Elizabeth devised and directed Piano Carnival, a Schumann Duo project to introduce free, high quality classical concert music to children in areas without arts education. Over 20,000 copies of Piano Carnival have been distributed for free, and multimedia lesson plans and the Piano Carnival iPad and iPhone applications are available free online. Elizabeth also conceived and created Son et Lumiére, an ongoing performance series that transforms outdoor urban spaces with live music accompanied by large-scale video projections to reach beyond the concert hall and bring music into accessible public spaces. The goal of the series is to allow audiences to meet music on their own terms and experience its power without barriers of price or pretense.

Carrying on the pedagogical tradition of her teacher, Sergei Babayan, Elizabeth is the Billie Bennett Achilles Director of Keyboard Studies at Stanford University, where she focuses on integrating classical music training with strategies from neuroscience, psychology, biomechanics, and ergonomics. Her research aims to improve training and practice methods to develop skilled, resilient performers, with a broader goal of applying these insights to life beyond music. She served on faculty at Itzhak Perlman’s Perlman Music Program, Summer and Winter Performing Arts at Juilliard, and the Crowden Chamber Workshop. She is the owner and director of the Schumann Studio, a classical recording space in San Francisco.She is the director of the Schumann Studio, a classical recording space in San Francisco.