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Tong-Il Han and Helen Lee, pianists

March 15, 2015, 4:00 pm

$5 – $25

Tong-Il Han & Helen LeeThe Ernest Chang Piano Studio and the UHM Music Department present husband and wife pianists Tong-Il Han and Helen Lee in a recital in memory of Hawaii’s internationally recognized piano technician, Yoshihisa Nishimura.


The recital will include:

Franz Schubert Fantasia in F minor, Op. 103
Claude Debussy Petite Suite
Wolfgang A. Mozart Sonata in F Major, K. 497 for one piano, four hands

Pianist Tong-Il Han has distinguished himself as a performer, recording artist, and educator in a musical career spanning over 50 years. He was born in Korea, but left at age 12 to study in the USA, including a full scholarship at the Juilliard School of Music under renowned teacher Rosina Lhevinne.

He has performed with major orchestras throughout the USA, Europe, and Asia, and collaborated with many noted conductors, including Bernard Haitink, Herbert Blomstedt, Edo de Waart, Raphael Fruhbeck de Burgos, Charles Dutoit, Lukas Foss, Eugene Jochum, Raymond Leppard, Robert Shaw, Stanislaw Skrowaczeski, and David Zinman.

Tong-Il Han has taught at Indiana University, Illinois State University, University of North Texas, and Boston University. Upon returning to Korea in 2005, he served as Dean of the College of Music at University of Ulsan, and continued there as Chair Professor of Music.

As both concert artist and teacher Tong-Il Han draws deeply on his Korean roots and Western musical heritage. For many years his foremost commitment has been to engender the artistic and humanistic development of the next generation of artists, teachers, and audiences in many parts of the world.

As artistic director if Tong-Il Han Piano Institute, he held summer piano festivals in London, Budapest, Boston, Honolulu, Vancouver, Korea, Pebble Beach, Hiroshima, and Courchevel, France among other places, often drawing more than one hundred young students.

In recent years, Han has served as chairman of the jury for the 2011 Seoul International Piano Competition, the 2013 Tongyeong (Isang Yun) International Piano Competition, and the 2014 New York International Piano Competition. Han also served as a member of the jury at the 2012 Busoni International Piano Competition, and the 2013 China Intentional Piano Competition. In 2015 he will judge at the Leeds International Piano Competition in England.


Helen Lee has studied piano performance with renowned musicians such as Leon Fleisher, Steven Bishop Kovachevich, James Tocco, Michel Block, Pamela Paul, and Vladimir Viardo. She received her Bachelor of Music degree from Indiana University, studying under a full scholarship, and her Master of Music from the University of North Texas, with a Teaching Fellowship.

Her concert career covers cities in the USA, Korea, Hong Kong, Japan, Thailand, Singapore and Mexico, including as a guest soloist with the Seoul Juenesse Orchestra, the University of North Texas Orchestra, the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra and Daegu Philharmonic Orchestra.

Ms. Lee taught as the National Institute of Education in Singapore for 14 years, and Nanyang Technological University for 5 years before her return to Korea in 2009, where she taught at Gwangju University.

Helen Lee currently resides in Tucson, Arizona, with her pianist husband Tong-Il Han, and enjoys performing duets and 2-piano works with him.



March 15, 2015
4:00 pm
$5 – $25
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Orvis Auditorium at UH Mānoa
2411 Dole Street
Honolulu, HI 96822 United States
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