Watch then 18-year-old Korean violist Hae-Sue Lee's first prize winning performance in the final round of the 2018 Primrose International Viola Competition in Los Angeles. She was the first Korean first-prize and audience prize winner of the competition.
"My most vivid memories are from the final round," Lee told The Violin Channel. "My Brahms trio performance with cellist Lynn Harrell is a memory that I will never forget for the rest of my life.
"I have been inspired by Lynn Harrell's musicianship and his passion for music. It has been an honor to have shared the stage with him."
For this year's candidates, she suggests focusing on communicating with the audience through the music and enjoying the time on stage.
"After a long pandemic, we have forgotten how it feels like to be on stage with audiences," she said. "It is a very special experience to be a part of the Primrose competition. Enjoy the moment!"
If she could have been told anything in advance about this particular competition, she wished she was told to "be confident and just enjoy!"
Since winning the competition in 2018, she received many opportunities to perform with great artists. "I am so proud and fortunate to have been part of the Primrose competition!" she said.
During the pandemic, she found she had more time to do things she couldn’t do when she was busier. "I have been spending most of my time in Korea with my family. I've also started to teach students last year and learned to play golf!"
She will be pursuing her master’s degree at the Hanns Eisler Hochschule für Musik with Tabea Zimmermann.
HAE-SUE LEE | WALTON VIOLA CONCERTO | 1ST MVT | RUTH REINHARDT & LOS ANGELES CHAMBER ORCHESTRA | 2018 PRIMROSE INTERNATIONAL VIOLA COMPETITION | 1ST PRIZE | 18-YEARS-OLD
The application for the 2021 competition closes on July 16, and is open to violists of any nationality 29 years and younger. The first prize winner will receive $15,000 USD.
For more details, visit: www.primrosecompetition.org
Presented from December 13-18, 2021 at the Colburn School in Los Angeles, all rounds of this year's competition will be streaming LIVE on The Violin Channel. You won't miss a beat.