Motivated and hungry for new experiences, Korean-born, Philadelphia-made cellist and activist, Christine J. Lee, crosses cultural boundaries through music and aims to connect people around the world. She is the most recent winner of the Isang Yun international competition in Korea as well as a laureate of the first Queen Elisabeth International Cello Competition.
Some of her highlights for this season includes the American premiere of Andrea Tarrodi's Concerto, as well as her debut at the Berlin Philharmonie lunch series. In her previous seasons, she successfully made her debut with the Brussels Philharmonic playing the Brahms Double Concerto with Augustin Dumay on violin and under the baton of Giancarlo Guerrero. She has appeared with the Philadelphia Orchestra, Monterey Symphony, Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra Symphony, Houston Symphony, as well as Young Belgian Strings, Orchestra of Mons, and the National Orchestra of Belgium as a soloist.
Christine began playing the cello at the age of seven, and she made her debut with the Seoul Philharmonic only two years later. She was accepted to The Curtis Institute of Music at the age of ten. Since then, she has performed around the globe as a soloist and a chamber musician. She has appeared in many prestigious venues, such as the Alice Tully Hall, Carnegie Hall, Musée du Louvre, and the Victoria Hall. As a musician of versatility and diverse interest, she has worked with contemporary music ensembles like eighth blackbird and Juilliard AXIOM. Christine also enjoys playing Baroque, especially the Bach Cantatas, and has worked with Anner Bylsma and Roel Dieltiens. In addition to exploring and performing different styles of classical music, she is one of the original members of “CelloPointe”, whose performances combine classical ballet and music in an intimate setting with music encompassing from Baroque through contemporary works and genres. She is currently living her dream of traveling around the world educating and communicating through music. She especially loves working with other musicians from different backgrounds in a chamber music setting, and her passion has led to appearances in prestigious festivals such as La Musica Festival, Music@Menlo, La Jolla Summerfest, Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts, Music@Angelfire, and Marlboro Festival. Christine studied with Orlando Cole, Peter Wiley, and Carter Brey at the Curtis Institute of Music where she received a B.M. and with Joel Krosnick at The Juilliard School, where she completed her M.A. She is an artist-in-residence at Chapelle Musicale Reine Elisabeth where she works closely with Gary Hoffman and Jeroen Reuling. Furthermore, she is pursuing an Advanced Performance Diploma under the guidance of Christoph Richter at the Royal Academy of Music in London.
In addition to her performances, Christine is an avid advocate for charitable and philanthropic causes. In January 2017, she organized a charity concert as well as coat & backpack drive for the refugee children in Brussels. This season, she will be participating in community projects with Chapelle Musicale Reine Elisabeth and Nativitas and organize concerts for homeless people in Brussels.
She plays on a Francesco Stradivarius on a generous loan from an anonymous sponsor.
Praised by The Cleveland Classical Review for his “astonishingly confident technique” and The New York Times for “thrilling [and] triumphant” performances, pianist Henry Kramer is developing a reputation as a musician of rare sensitivity who combines stylish programming with insightful and exuberant interpretations. In 2016, he garnered international recognition with a Second Prize win in the Queen Elisabeth Competition in Brussels. Most recently, he was awarded a 2019 Avery Fisher Career Grant by Lincoln Center – one of the most coveted honors bestowed on young American soloists.
Henry emerged as a winner in the National Chopin Competition in 2010, the Montréal International Competition in 2011 and the China Shanghai International Piano Competition in 2012. In 2014 he was added to the roster of Astral Artists, an organization that annually selects a handful of rising stars among strings, piano, woodwinds and voice candidates. The following year, he earned a top prize in the Honens International Piano Competition.
Kramer has performed “stunning” solo recital debuts, most notably at Alice Tully Hall as the recipient of the Juilliard School’s William Petschek Award, as well as at Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw. At his Philadelphia debut, Peter Dobrin of The Philadelphia Inquirer remarked, “the 31-year-old pianist personalized interpretations to such a degree that works emerged anew. He is a big personality.”
A versatile performer, Kramer has soloed in concertos with the Bilkent Symphony Orchestra, Belgian National Orchestra, Shanghai Philharmonic Orchestra, Indianapolis Symphony and the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, among many others, collaborating with conductors such as Marin Alsop, Gerard Schwarz, Stéphane Denève, Jan Pascal Tortelier and Hans Graf. Highlights of the 2021-22 season included a solo recital at the BravoPiano! festival in Hilton Head where he premiered a work he commissioned by composer Han Lash, performing Rachmaninoff's third piano concerto with the Hartford Symphony to rave reviews, features on series in Washington (Phillips Collection), Durham (St. Stephens), and Seattle (Emerald City Music), concerts throughout Southern California with Camerata Pacifica, and summer appearances at the Anchorage, Lakes Area, Rockport, and Vivo music festivals. Appearances in the 2022-23 season include a debut with New York's Salon Séance, recitals with Newport Classical, Toronto's Koerner Hall, Vancouver Chamber Music Society, and additional appearances in Ithaca, Detroit, Seattle, and Montréal.
His love for the chamber music repertoire began early in his studies while a young teenager. A sought-after collaborator, he has appeared in recitals at the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the Mainly Mozart Festival, the Mostly Mozart Festival, and La Jolla Music Society’s Summerfest. His recording with violinist Jiyoon Lee on the Champs Hill label received four stars from BBC Music Magazine. This year, Gramophone UK praised Kramer’s performance on a recording collaboration (Cedille Records) with violist Matthew Lipman for “exemplary flexible partnership.” Henry has also performed alongside Emmanuel Pahud, the Calidore and Pacifica Quartets, Miriam Fried, as well as members of the Berlin Philharmonic and Orchestra of St. Luke’s.
Teaching ranks among his greatest joys. In the fall of 2022, Kramer joined the music faculty of Université de Montréal. Previously, he served as the L. Rexford Whiddon Distinguished Chair in Piano at the Schwob School of Music at Columbus State University in Columbus, Georgia. Throughout his multifaceted career, he also held positions at Smith College and the University of Missouri Kansas City Conservatory of Dance and Music.
Kramer graduated from the Juilliard School, where he worked with Julian Martin and Robert McDonald. He received his Doctorate of Musical Arts from the Yale School of Music under the guidance of Boris Berman. His teachers trace a pedagogical lineage extending back to Beethoven, Chopin and Busoni. Kramer is a Steinway Artist.