Gregory Beaver, Cellist
From the beginning of his work as a performer, cellist Gregory Beaver has been fascinated with the process of growth. This fuels his performing, composing, teaching, and writing with a passion from 18 years of performing internationally with the Chiara String Quartet. It permeates his published writings in Strad Magazine, a book on computer programming, his contributions to the open source programming world and even his personal recipe for guacamole. After the Chiara Quartet concluded its performing activities in 2018, Mr. Beaver took this passion and devoted it to expanding his teaching activities, composing, and solo performing.
His writing touches on issues relating to self-awareness, on practicing effectiveness, on connecting to others more effectively in chamber music as well as poetry and larger issues with society and politics. Mr. Beaver writes for his blog, https://gregorybeaver.com, as well as CelloBello, where he is a regular guest on “cello chats.”
Before his professional life in the Chiara Quartet, Mr. Beaver studied with Joel Krosnick at the Juilliard School, and Norman Fischer at Rice University. He had the opportunity to work with great conductors such as Claudio Abbado, Pierre Boulez, Seiji Ozawa, played principal cello of the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra, and won first prize at the Corpus Christi International Competition. He began his cello studies under Char Sherman as a Suzuki student and studied in high school with renowned pedagogue Louis Potter, jr. Mr. Potter studied with Willem Willeke at Juilliard, graduating in 1935. Mr. Willeke had a long and fruitful relationship with Johannes Brahms, perhaps explaining why Mr. Beaver feels an affinity for Brahms. Gregory loves to experience the completeness of things, and has performed cycles of Solo Bach, Beethoven Cello/Piano Sonatas, as well as Brahms, Beethoven, and Bartok cycles with the Chiara Quartet. He lives with his wife, Hyeyung Yoon, 2 daughters and cat in New York.
Hyeyung Yoon, Violinist
Hyeyung Yoon has been seeking to connect deeply with audiences since starting her career as a violinist in the Chiara String Quartet in 2000. Out of this desire, she launched “Chamber Music in Any Chamber,” a project that brought her and her ensemble to over 50 clubs and bars across the United States, and performed classical music in settings outside of concert halls that were more comfortable for many audience members to experience music. Chiara Quartet’s project of memorizing and performing all of its concert repertoire, including the performances of the Complete String Quartets of Bela Bartok at the Ravinia Festival in 2016, also came out of the same desire. Without stands and sheet music in the way, the audience could sense the music more vibrantly as if they were on stage with the performers.
Having immigrated from South Korea to the United States at the age of 7 and raised in Queens, NY and Charlotte, NC, the exploration of identity and belonging is at the center of her creative work. Hyeyung traveled to South Korea in spring 2019 to study a traditional folk performance practice called madang performances. Madang means an open space, usually outdoors, where varied activities such as performances, public meetings, and festivals take place. A deeper and more nuanced meaning of the term is a time and space where boundaries that exist between different groups of people, including performers and audience, are obscured. She is the founder and organizer of Asian Musical Voices of America (AMVA) which held its inaugural event in January 2020. The event included performances by leading Asian classical musicians interspersed with readings by Asian American writers and a discussion centered around the question, “what does it mean and what does it take to find one’s voice as an Asian in classical music?” Other projects include performing and teaching in Tunisia in March 2019 and February 2020 as part of Tunisia88, an organization that is starting student-led music clubs in every high school in the whole country and upcoming commissions and world premieres of pieces by composers Matthew Fuerst and Anjan Swaminathan. She, along with cellist Gregory Beaver, is a co-founder of Open Space Music, an online event series created in response to the COVID-19 epidemic. It strives to fill the need for connection through music and also to pay for artists for their work.
Her vibrant performance career with the Chiara String Quartet, which celebrated its last season as a full-time ensemble in spring 2018, has brought her to exciting venues around the world including the Metropolitan Museum of Art Concert Series, Ravinia Festival, Library of Congress, Seoul Arts Center, Miller Theatre, American Academy of Rome, Bard Music Festival, Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center, and Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival. Discography include recording of Jefferson Friedman’s String Quartets, released by New Amsterdam Records, which was nominated for Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Classical Composition in 2011, Bartók by Heart, the Complete String Quartets of Béla Bartók, released by Azica Records in 2016, and Brahms by Heart, the Complete String Quartets of Johannes Brahms released by Azica Records in 2014. Her recording of Pange Lingua, Duo for Violin and Piano, a work she commissioned from composer Robert Sirota in memory of her grandfather, was released on Albany Records in 2015. Her performance of Philip Glass’s Pendulum for Violin and Piano was featured on NPR’s Performance Today in 2018.
Hyeyung has collaborated with many leading classical musicians of today including the members of The Juilliard String Quartet, Joel Krosnick, Roger Tapping, Todd Palmer, Robert Levin, Simone Dinnerstein, Norman Fischer, and Paul Katz. She and the Chiara String Quartet have commissioned Nico Muhly, Huang Ruo, Pierre Jalbert, Gabriela Lena Frank, Jefferson Friedman, Robert Sirota, Hans Tutschku, Daniel Ott, among others. Hyeyung was the Blodgett Artist-in-Residence at Harvard University (2008-2014) and a Hixson-Lied Artist-in-Residence at the Glenn Korff School of Music at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (2005-2018). She is the director of Chamber Music Accord, Hartt School Community Division’s new chamber music summer camp and teaches at Montclair State University. Hyeyung is a graduate of the Juilliard School (B.M. and Artist Diploma in String Quartet Studies) where she studied with Sally Thomas and coached with the members of the Juilliard String Quartet. Hyeyung is a proud owner of a Neapolitan violin by Nicolò Gagliano made circa 1760.
Soyeon Kate Lee, Pianist
First prize winner of the 2010 Naumburg International Piano Competition and the 2004 Concert Artist Guild International Competition, Korean-American pianist Soyeon Kate Lee has been lauded by the New York Times as a pianist with “a huge, richly varied sound, a lively imagination and a firm sense of style,” and by the Washington Post for her “stunning command of the keyboard.”
Lee has been rapturously received as guest soloist with the Cleveland Orchestra and the London Symphony Orchestra, as well as the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, San Diego Symphony, symphony orchestras of Columbus, Bangor, Boca Raton, Wyoming, Bozeman, Cheyenne, Napa Valley, Scottsdale, Abilene, Naples, Santa Fe and Shreveport in the United States; the Daejeon Philharmonic Orchestra (South Korea), Ulsan Symphony Orchestra (South Korea), Orquesta de Valencia (Spain) and the Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional (Dominican Republic), including performances under the batons of Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, Jahja Ling, Jorge Mester and Otto-Werner Mueller.
Recent recital appearances include New York City programs at Carnegie Hall’s Zankel Hall and Weill Recital Hall, Merkin Concert Hall, Lincoln Center for the Performing Art’s Alice Tully Hall, Washington’s Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Cleveland’s Severance Hall, the Ravinia Festival’s “Rising Stars” series, Auditorio de Musica de Nacional in Madrid – part of a 13-city tour of Spain, tour of the Hawaiian Islands, Krannert Center, Herbst Theatre, and Finland’s Maanta Music Festival.
An active chamber musician, she frequently collaborates in many chamber music festivals throughout the United States including the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival and Music Mountain, and has been a member of the coveted Lincoln Center Chamber Music Society Two program, where her performance of the Mozart Piano Trio was broadcast on PBS Live from Lincoln Center.
A Naxos recording artist, her discography spans Scarlatti Sonatas, Liszt Opera Transcriptions, and two volumes of Scriabin works, with upcoming releases of Clementi Sonatas, as well as another volume of Scarlatti Sonatas. Ms. Lee’s recording of Re!nvented under the E1 (formerly Koch Classics) label garnered her a feature review in the Gramophone Magazine and the Classical Recording Foundation’s Young Artist of the Year Award.
A second prize and Mozart Prize winner of the 2003 Cleveland International Piano Competition and a laureate of the Santander International Piano Competition in Spain, she has worked extensively with Richard Goode, Robert McDonald, Ursula Oppens, and Jerome Lowenthal. A graduate of the Juilliard School, Ms. Lee was awarded every prize given to a pianist at Juilliard, including the William Petschek Piano Debut Award at Lincoln Center and the Arthur Rubinstein Award.
Ms. Lee is the co-founder and artistic director of Music by the Glass, a concert series dedicated to bringing together young professionals in New York City. A Yamaha Artist, Ms. Lee is an Assistant Professor of Music in Piano at the Cincinnati-College Conservatory of Music. She lives in Cincinnati with her husband, pianist Ran Dank, and their two children, Noah and Ella.