For violinist Kristin Lee, music and emotion go hand in hand.
Lee, a graduate of The Julliard School who grew up in Wayne, understands the connection that music has with emotion. She is an accomplished performer of classical music.
She knows that when she performs a particular piece of music that invokes an emotional response, that emotion can be seen on her face as she performs.
“It’s been said that string instruments are the closest thing we have to a human voice in terms of music. They’re tools to bring out emotions,” Lee said. “You can manipulate the sound they produce and polish and massage it.”
Lee, a 25-year-old classical musician, began playing the violin at age 5. She began winning prestigious competitions when she was 6, the same year she immigrated to the United States with her family from South Korea. She received her master’s degree from Juilliard in 2010. She won the school’s concerto competition three times.
She’s been practicing for hours a day ever since she was a child.
“Working hard is something that I’ve always done. I’ve never really believed in talent,” Lee said.
Lee regularly performs at the Lincoln Center as a member of the Chamber Music Society Two. She’s also performed at the Kennedy Center, the Metropolitan Museum and the Louvre Museum in Paris. She was featured in a nationally-broadcast documentary entitled “PBS in Shanghai.”
Lee said when she first came to the United States, she struggled to make friends and learn the language. She kept practicing her craft for years and reached a turning point a few years ago. She dove into chamber music and experienced a greater emotional connection to her music.
“There is definitely something to be said about the emotional connection you can have to the music you perform,” Lee said. “When people say that music speaks to them, I can definitely understand that. Sometimes when I hear certain pieces of music, I feel every hair on my body stand up. That’s the power that music has. It can communicate to us on a level that nothing else can.”
Lee performed with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra earlier this month. She is playing with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center in May.
“I couldn’t be more grateful for everything’s that happened to me,” Lee said. “I get to travel and meet people all because of music.”
For more information about Lee, click here.