Chien and Kim to Open Presidential Concert Series

Lee University will welcome Gloria Chien and Soovin Kim to Pangle Hall for the Centennial Concert and opening performance of Lee’s 27th annual Presidential Concert Series on Thursday, Sept. 20 at 7:30 p.m.

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Chien first made a name for herself in Boston as a graduate student at the New England Conservatory, where she became the resident pianist with the Chameleon Arts Ensemble of Boston in 2000. She has gone on to participate in such festivals as Bay Chamber Concerts, Chamber Music Northwest, and Verbier Music Festival.

 For 10 years she has served at Music@Menlo, where she was appointed director of the Chamber Music Institute in 2010. The following year, she was chosen to join the Chamber Music Society Two of Lincoln Center.

She is a prize winner of the Harvard Musical Association Award and the San Antonio International Piano Competition, where she also received the prize for the Best Performance of the Commissioned Work, as well as the World Piano Competition.

Chien was for 12 years (2004-2016) a professor of piano at Lee University, where she now serves as an Artist in Residence since her move back to New England. During her years in Tennessee, she founded String Theory, a chamber music festival which is now celebrating 10 years of outstanding concerts, bringing world class musicians to the area at the Hunter Museum of American Art in Chattanooga.

Kim is an internationally-renowned violinist and performs as both a concert soloist and a recitalist. He has performed with such orchestras as the Burlington Chamber Orchestra, the Vermont and Chattanooga symphony orchestras, and founded the Johannes String Quartet.

Kim’s international concert career was launched when he received First Prize at the Paganini International Competition at the age of 20. He went on to receive the Borletti-Buitoni Trust Award and the Henryk Szeryng Career Award. He currently serves as a professor of violin at the New England Conservatory.

Kim’s Lake Champlain Music Festival, founded in 2009, gained national recognition for excellence in performance, innovative programming, educational outreach, and work with young composers and performers. In 2017, Chien was named co-artistic director of the festival.

 In October, the Presidential Concert Series will continue with a performance by Imani Winds, an American wind quintet based in New York City. The group was founded in 1997 and is known for its adventurous programming. The group has released four CDs, the first of which was nominated for a Grammy award in 2006.

 The Schumann Quartet will continue the concert series in February 2019. The quartet tours across the United States and performs at festivals in Italy, South America, and Switzerland. The quartet’s current album, “Landscapes,” received the German Record Critics' Award.

 Lee will welcome cellist Efe Baltacigil in March 2019. Winner of the 2005 Young Concert Artists International Auditions and the Peter Jay Sharp Prize, Baltacigil “courts attention rather than grasping for it, naturally drawing the ear into his subtle, rich range of expression.” (Washington Post)

The series will conclude on Tuesday, April 9 with Piano Spectacular, featuring Lee University School of Music faculty Cahill Smith, ChoEun Lee, and Jonathan Jung, with special guest Liu Liu from Ren Min University in Beijing.

 Tickets for all performances are $15 for adults and $5 for students and seniors. Tickets are available for purchase at the Lee University Box Office in the Dixon Center or by contacting (423) 614-8343, one week prior to each concert, between 3-6 p.m. Tickets are also available at

For more information about the Presidential Concert Series, visit  or call the School of Music at (423) 614-8240.