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Kristin Lee debuts with Sarah Ioannides & Symphony Tacoma

Tacoma, Wash. - Korean-American violinist Kristin Lee-cited for her "mastery of tone" by The Strad-will make her debut with Symphony Tacoma, conducted by Sarah Ioannides, in Tchaikovsky's formidable but beloved Violin Concerto. The concerts will also feature Mozart's Overture to Don Giovanni and Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 1, subtitled "Winter Daydreams." Sponsored by MultiCare and Retina Macula Specialists, the performances will be held at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, February 25 at Chapel Hill Presbyterian Church in Gig Harbor, and at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, February 26 in the Rialto Theater. Tickets, starting at $19, are available at or by calling 253-591-5894 or 1-800-291-7593.

St. Louis Post-Dispatch described Kristin Lee's technique as "flawless," noting that "she has a sense of melodic shaping that reflects an artistic maturity." She and Sarah Ioannides are frequent collaborators; they performed together last October in concerts with the Nordic Chamber Orchestra of Sweden, and have previously concertized in the Dominican Republic and at Ioannides's other orchestra, the Spartanburg Philharmonic of South Carolina. No stranger to the Pacific Northwest, just this season Kristin Lee launched the new Emerald City Music series in Seattle and Olympia with a vision to "freshen the chamber music experience, while still holding true to a high level of artistic excellence." Winner of a 2015 Avery Fisher Career Grant, Ms. Lee's recent engagements include her debut with the Milwaukee Symphony and St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, recitals in New York's Merkin Concert Hall and Florida's Kravis Center, and appearances with the Guiyang Symphony Orchestra of China.

Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto was considered artistically challenging when it was unveiled in 1878, and it is still among the most formidable works in the violin repertoire. His Symphony No. 1, written 10 years earlier when he was a 28-year-old graduate fresh from the Moscow Conservatory, caused the sensitive young composer great anxiety and struggle. Despite this, he came to regard the piece with fondness, calling it "a sin of my sweet youth." Although the work lacks a defined narrative or "program," the subtitle "Winter Daydreams" was given by the composer himself, and he further characterized its movements with such titles as "Dreams of a Winter Journey," "Land of Gloom, Land of Mists," and "The Garden Blooms"-presumably tracing a journey from winter to spring.

Sarah Ioannides has deliberately chosen to pair Tchaikovsky with Mozart in acknowledgement of the Romantic composer's deep admiration for his fantastically gifted predecessor. Tchaikovsky adored Mozart, calling his Don Giovanni "the best opera ever written." In a letter to his patroness, Nadezhda von Meck, the composer revealed that this work "served as a spur to my musical feeling and opened up before me a whole hitherto unknown horizon of the highest musical beauty. Mozart captivates me, gives me joy and warmth. The longer I live, the closer I get to know him, the more I love him."


Andy Buelow