Five Questions with SooBeen Lee

Bangor, ME — Korean violin prodigy SooBeen Lee makes her Bangor Symphony Orchestra (and Maine) debut on Sunday, October 6th, performing Sarasate’s Carmen Fantasie and James Newton Howard’s The Village Romance. We ask her five questions below, and she offers a preview of what’s to come as well!

BSO: We are so excited to have you join us! Have you ever performed in Maine or traveled to Maine before?
SooBeen: This is actually my first time visiting Maine! I heard from people that it’s such a beautiful place, so I am really excited.

BSO: You are playing two very different works on this program. What has it been like for you to prepare both works? Do you find they speak to each other in any way?
SooBeen: First of all, Sarasate’s Carmen Fantasy always has been one of my favorite pieces since I was young. It has a lot of exciting and fun moments in the piece just like the Carmen opera. And the Village Romance by James Newton Howard, when I heard the recording of this piece, I thought it’s such a beautiful and colorful piece. If I say the Carmen makes you wanting to dance or sing, this Village Romance is more like you would want to listen to this with a cup
of tea or coffee on a beautiful day. It has been really joyful working on both pieces.

BSO: What would you encourage audiences to listen for during each piece, a favorite moment for example?
SooBeen: For the Carmen Fantasy, It’s such a famous and popular opera music, I am pretty much sure many of you will notice some melodies. I would suggest you to imagine the Carmen’s dancing with the red dress and the red roses. For the Village Romance, this work is completely different mood compare to Carmen, I would say you might want to just close your eyes and just enjoy the lovely melody.

BSO: What advice would you have for young musicians just starting to learn their instrument?
SooBeen: I would like to say enjoy and love the music you play. I know practicing is not fun and very difficult, but if you play music with so much joy, you will be able to love your music more and more!

BSO: You are juggling being a student at the New England Conservatory in Boston and developing an international career as a soloist. What is next for you? 
SooBeen: It is true that it’s very difficult having a lot of concerts and also going to school, but it is very fun actually. I meet and work with so many new people all the time, and I learn a lot from traveling. I have a full schedule for the whole year, but now, the most exciting event for me is the Young Concert Artists Gala Concert at Carnegie Hall in May!