2018 Lee Piano Festival

Lee Piano Festival at Augustana University

The 2018 Augustana University Lee Piano Festival is Feb. 15-16, with auditions for Augustana University ProMusica Piano Scholarships.

The Lee Legacy
The Augustana University Lee Piano Festival is funded through the generous gifts of Karl O. Lee and his mother, Agnes Lee. The late J. Earl Lee and his deceased wife Clara Lee were two esteemed Augustana professors emeritus — of music and speech (respectively).

J. Earl Lee was a professor of music from 1931 to 1991, serving as chair of the music department for 20 years. Clara Lee was a professor of speech from 1952 to 1991. J. Earl helped found the Sioux Falls Community Concert Association in 1935. In 1958, Clara Lee was chosen Debate Coach of the Year by a national speech honorary society.

Augustana University is ever grateful for this support and for the lasting recognition given to the legacy of J. Earl Lee and Clara Lee.

A guest artist recital on Friday, Feb. 16, will feature Michael Gurt, Paula Garvey Manship Distinguished Professor of Piano at Louisiana State University.

All events are free and open to all teachers, students and the general public.

The two-day celebration of the piano takes place in the Humanities building on the Augustana University Campus. Each day presents unique opportunities for learning, listening, and participation to music teachers and piano students.

Festival Schedule

Thursday, Feb. 15

  • 9:30-10 a.m. — Meet and greet with Sioux Falls area teachers, etc.
  • 10-11:30 a.m. — Presentation for Sioux Falls Area Teachers — Michael Gurt
  • 12-1 p.m. — Luncheon with Sioux Falls Area Teachers
  • 3-4:30 p.m. — Michael Gurt Master-Class for College Students
  • 5-6:30 p.m. — Michael Gurt Master-Class for High-School Students

Friday, Feb. 16

  • TBA — Mini Lessons with Michael Gurt and Augustana Piano Students
  • 7:30 p.m. — Guest Artist Recital, Michael Gurt


  • All events are free and open to all teachers, students, and the general public.
  • *The luncheon for teachers is provided by Augustana University, pending reservation.  
  • **Open to all pre-collegiate students, grades 8 through 12.
  •  To reserve for the music teachers luncheon, or to register for the day for pre-collegiate students, contact Dr. Rick Andrews, Director of Keyboard, Augustana University.


Guest Artist

Michael Gurt is Paula Garvey Manship Distinguished Professor of Piano at Louisiana State University. He won First Prize in the Gina Bachauer International Piano Competition in 1982, and was a prize winner in international competitions in Pretoria, South Africa, and Sydney, Australia. He has performed as soloist with the Chicago Symphony, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Utah Symphony, the Baltimore Symphony, the Memphis Symphony, the Capetown Symphony, the China National Symphony Orchestra, and the Natal Philharmonic Orchestra in Durban, South Africa.

He has made solo appearances in Alice Tully Hall and Weill Recital Hall (Carnegie Hall) in New York, Ambassador Auditorium in Los Angeles, Orchestra Hall in Detroit, City Hall in Hong Kong, the Victorian Arts Center in Melbourne, Australia, Baxter Hall in Capetown, South Africa, and the Attaturk Cultural Center in Istanbul, Turkey.

He recently completed a tour of Brazil. Gurt has collaborated with the Takacs String Quartet and the Cassatt String Quartet, and has performed at the Australian Festival of Chamber Music in Townsville, Queensland. He has served on the juries of both the Gina Bachauer International Piano Competition and the New Orleans International Piano Competition, and he has recorded on the Naxos, Centaur, and Redwood labels.

Gurt serves as Piano Mentor at the National Music Festival in Chestertown, Maryland, and was the chair of the piano department at the Sewanee Summer Music Festival from 1987 through 2007. He has served as Piano Chair of the Louisiana Music Teachers Association, and has taught at two summer music seminars held at Tunghai University in Taichung, Taiwan. Professor Gurt holds degrees from the University of Michigan and the Juilliard School.

Contact for Further Information

If you have any additional questions or comments concerning the Lee Piano Festival, please contact the competition director.

Dr. Rick Andrews
Department of Music
Augustana University
2001 S. Summit Avenue
Sioux Falls, SD 57197