Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827) continues to be celebrated as one of the greatest composers of all time. As an especially rewarding privilege, Dr. Lee features his final piano sonata in the corpus of his 32 sonatas – the magnificent Opus 111 in C minor. He'll talk briefly about this sonata and then perform it in its entirety.
As this is 2020 – Beethoven’s 250th birthyear – Dr. Lee passionately commits to bringing his genius to light. Composed just a few years before his death, Opus 111 is one of the most beloved compositions of his "late period," widely performed and recorded. With view to performance, this sonata is exceptionally challenging, both technically and artistically. The esteemed pianist, Robert Taub, called this sonata "a work of unmatched drama and transcendence ... the triumph of order over chaos, of optimism over anguish." Dr. Lee says he is forever in awe and deeply humbled that Beethoven composed this extraordinary masterpiece in complete deafness.
This program will be available to watch live on Facebook Live, on YouTube, and on the OCPL website's LWB Livestream page. Log into your Facebook or YouTube account during the program to leave questions for Dr. Lee in the comments box.
SPEAKER BIOGRAPHY: Gerald Lee is passionate about piano performance. Solo recitals have been performed throughout the U.S. on numerous concert series, at colleges and universities, and for chamber music societies. His 2010 solo recital for the Charleston (West Virginia) Chamber Music Society was lauded by the Charleston Daily Mail as an “overwhelming musical success…Gerald Lee upheld the Charleston Chamber Music Society’s reputation for bringing top-rated artists to their Christ Church United Methodist venue.”
Competition accolades include winning the 2009 Pittsburgh (Pennsylvania) Concert Society Major Artist Auditions, 1st place in the 2002 National Society of Arts and Letters Piano Competition (Lansing, Michigan), 2nd place in the 2002 National Finals of the MTNA (Music Teachers’ National Association) Collegiate Artists’ Piano Competition (Cincinnati, Ohio), and 3rd place in the 2003 International Beethoven Piano Sonata Competition (Memphis, Tennessee).
He is dedicated to and passionate about piano teaching. He has presented numerous master classes at venues such as Virginia Commonwealth University, Mary Baldwin College, Youngstown State University, Duquesne University, Mansfield University, Mercyhurst University, West Virginia University, Marshall University, Fairmont State University, and Shepherd University among others. He is most pleased and grateful for his students’ accomplishments that include first place awards in the 2013, 2014, and 2015 Mountain State Collegiate Piano Competition, held by the West Virginia Music Teachers’ Association.
Dr. Lee earned three piano performance degrees: Bachelor of Music, Master of Music, and Doctor of Musical Arts from Illinois Wesleyan University, the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University, and the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, respectively. He is currently Professor of Piano at West Liberty University where he has been a full-time faculty member since 2002.
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