"Efforts to strip classical music of its stuffy reputation and lure younger audiences have inspired a variety of marketing strategies by New York's orchestras and concert presenters, from "rush hour" performances for the after-work crowd to subscriber clubs that offer postconcert drinks and hors d'oeuvres. For Ronen Segev, a 22-year-old pianist and Juilliard student, none of those efforts hit the mark. So two years ago, the puckish would-be entrepreneur founded the chamber-music organization Ten O' Clock Classics (named for the highly unclassical 10pm starting time of its initial performances) to tackle the issue himself.
Hardly your typical insulated prodigy-turned-conservatory musician, Segev has demonstrated an uncanny knack for forging unlikely partnerships to advance his goal of bringing classical music performances to the under-40 crowd in settings they already frequent. With missionary zeal, Segev enlisted fellow students YuJeong Lee, Michelle Satris, Lore Madsen and others to join him for performances in apartment buildings, health clubs, even Studio 54."
Young, vibrant cellist YuJeong Lee is emerging as a dynamic presence on the international concert stage. Ms. Lee's warm, lush tone, tremendous musical sensitivity and adventurous performances have earned plaudits from audiences, critics, competition juries alike.
Having started playing the cello at the age of nine, YuJeong Lee has pursued her musical studies internationally at Conservatoire National Superieur de Paris and Conservatoire Royal de Bruxelles and recently has graduated from Juilliard School by completing Professional Studies.
Ms. Lee gave her debut recital at the age of 13 in Sejong Hall in Seoul, Korea and has been performing extensively in Korea, Europe and the U.S. performing recitals in Belgium, Holland, Italy, France, and in New York. She is also an active chamber musician collaborating with groups such as the Omega Ensemble, Ten O'Clock Classics, Elektra and her performances have been heard on TBS, KBS FM and WQXR.
Ms. Lee's engagements of recent seasons have included solo appearances with the Wartburg Symphony, Southwest Michigan Symphony Orchestra with conductor Robert Vodnoy and the Opening Gala with Daegu Symphony Orchestra with Vakhtang Jordania, conductor.
Her numerous competition awards include Tchaikovsky International Competition for Young Musicians in 1995 (finalist, special prize winner),Ewha, Chosun, Dong-A, Korea Music Competitions, the Holland-America Music Society Competition and St. Louis Symphony Orchestra Competition.
Ms. Lee has studied with cellists Philippe Muller, Joel Krosnick and has taken masterclasses with Mischa Maisky, Boris Pergamenschikow and Ralph Kirschbaum. Apart from her passion in music, her other interests are design and languages. YuJeong Lee is a native of Korea and currently resides in New York.
I must admit I've had the luxury of living in the best parts of the two most desirable cities, Paris and New York. At the time when I was finishing Professional Studies at Juilliard, I was living on Central Park South (probably one of the most posh, upmarket areas) and which meant simply a walk through the park to get to school.
Though after almost straight through being in New York, I had desired some time off on literally 'charging my batteries' as they say. So I decided to head back to Paris which is where I used to live while I was doing my previous studies at the Paris Conservatoire. It was all a pleasant transition getting a studio in Ile-St-Louis (which is known to be the most treasured island in Paris). It really was a remarkable feeling, to be back in Paris, and that in peace! I still recall on morning jogs in & out from Ile-St-Louis as quite refreshing and sensational.
My schedule was pretty simple: for some days, I'd literally lock myself in to getting myself to practice 8 hours a day (honestly!!), apart from stopping by in boulangeries around the neighborhood. I was pretty much in the middle of enjoying being isolated from all other matters since the end of August, until when my dad calls me on the day of 9/11 and says "turn on the TV, watch what's happening!". I was in shock. Consequently, I had postponed my visit to New York, but made it for some of my concerts later on.
It's hard to define where I grew up given that I'd lived in several different places (Seoul, Korea, of course, Belgium, Paris and New York so far) but if I were to name one place, it'd certainly be Paris, for what I've learned being surrounded by beautiful culture & atmostphere, and since there're so many resources of inspiration.
Ultimately I had left Paris to return to New York earlier than I had thought, to get myself back to work, back on the track so to speak, but true enough, I could never forget my favorite hobbies in Paris - walks in Ile-St-Louis, shopping at St-Germain-des-Pres, cafes by Place de la Concorde, summer night-outs at the marais... something to look forward to in the future as well...!