Augustana University’s School of Music Hosts 2024 J. Earl Lee Collaborative Piano Festival

Festival to Feature Grammy-Nominated Pianist Joyce Yang
By Jill Wilson | January 23, 2024
2024 Lee Piano Festival

The Augustana University School of Music (SoM) is excited to announce its 2024 J. Earl Lee Piano Festival on Friday, Feb. 23, at Hamre Recital Hall in the Fryxell Humanities Center. As part of the festival, prospective and current Augustana students will have the opportunity to sit in on a masterclass and receive coaching from Grammy-nominated Joyce Yang.


“As the Augustana School of Music continues to elevate its profile, one of the big keys to success is inviting world-class guest artists like Joyce Yang to inspire our students and community members. Furthermore, these artists get to know who we are and it puts us on the map, ” said Dean of the Augustana School of Music Dr. Peter Folliard.


This year’s J. Early Lee Piano Festival will also feature a welcome event at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 22, at Hamre Recital Hall with Yang performing works of Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff and Stravinsky. A reception will follow the recital in the Halverson Atrium of the Fryxell Humanities Center. 


Yang, of Seoul, South Korea, took her first piano lesson at the age of 4 and quickly won several national piano competitions in her native country. By age 10, she entered the School of Music at the Korea National University of Arts. In 1997, Yang moved to the U.S. to study at the pre-college division of the Juilliard School. During her first year at Juilliard, Yang won the pre-college division Concerto Competition. After winning the Philadelphia Orchestra’s Greenfield Student Competition, she performed with the Juilliard Pre-College Chamber Orchestra at just 12 years old. She graduated from Juilliard as the recipient of the school’s 2010 Arthur Rubinstein Prize, and in 2011, she won its 30th Annual William A. Petschek Piano Recital Award.

 Yang first came to international attention in 2005 when she won the silver medal at the 12th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition. The youngest contestant at 19 years old, she took home two additional awards. In 2006, Yang made her celebrated New York Philharmonic debut alongside Lorin Maazel at Avery Fisher Hall along with the orchestra’s tour of Asia — making subsequent appearances with the symphony orchestra.


In the last decade, Yang has blossomed into an “astonishing artist,” showcasing her colorful musical personality in solo recitals and collaborations with the world’s top orchestras and chamber musicians through more than 1,000 debuts and re-engagements. She received the 2010 Avery Fisher Career Grant and earned her first Grammy nomination for her recording of Franck, Kurtág, Previn & Schumann with violinist Augustin Hadelich. She has become a staple of the summer festival circuit with frequent appearances in the Aspen Summer Music Festival, La Jolla SummerFest and Seattle Chamber Music Society.


General admission tickets for the recital featuring Yang are available in advance. Augustana staff and student tickets will only be available at the door.


For more information on the 2024 J. Earl Lee Festival, visit


About the J. Earl Lee Piano Festival


For more than a decade, Augustana University has hosted a biannual piano festival held in honor of Dr. J. Earl Lee and his wife, Dr. Clara Lee ‘39, professors emeriti of music and speech. The festival has been funded by the generous and longstanding estate gifts of Karl O. Lee and his mother, Augustana 1908 alumna Agnes Lee.

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