Award‐winning pianist Mookie Lee‐Menuhin has performed worldwide as a soloist and chamber musician, touring major music halls and festivals throughout Europe, Scandinavia and Asia. She has also enjoyed numerous television and radio appearances, most notably for the BBC, DR, DK4, Radio Swiss Classic and Danish Radio.
Pianist Mookie Lee-Menuhin has received enthusiastic reviews of her recordings from, among others, Gramophone, BBC Music Magazine, Primephonic, DSCH Journal, Classical Source: ‘powerfully communicated…’, ‘this ought to be a recording of the year…’, ‘…is revived in a sensitive and compassionate performance’, ‘ transcendence of the movements is persuasively captured’ among many others.
She has performed worldwide as a soloist and as a chamber musician, appearing in many of the major halls, including Victoria Hall in Geneva, Tonhalle Zürich, and the Bern Casino in Switzerland, Karol Szymanowski Philharmonic in Krakow, Poland, Smetana Hall in Plzeň, Czech Republic, Liszt Academy in Budapest, Hungary, Schloss Elmau, among others, in Germany, Musikhuset and Danish Radio in Denmark and Sejong Hall, Seoul Arts Centre in Seoul, South Korea. Her radio and television appearances include the BBC, DR, DK4 and Radio Swiss Classic; and performances with orchestras including Concerto Budapest Symphony, Zürcher Symphoniker, Nordwestdeutsche Philharmonie; festival appearances at the Festival Pablo Casals in Prades, Menuhin Festival Gstaad, Festival de Bellerive, Incontri in Terra di Siena, West Cork Chamber Music Festival, Boğaziçi University Foundation, Smetana’s Litomyšl Festival, Felix Mendelssohn Music Days, Rolandseck, and Seoul Spring Festival.
Ms Lee-Menuhin is an avid chamber musician who plays in the Menuhin Duo, a piano duo with her husband, Jeremy Menuhin, performing existing repertoire for two pianos and new works by Jeremy Menuhin. Critics have hailed the duo as ‘such fine sense of ensemble’ (BBC Music Magazine), ‘sounds like ideal duo partners, playing throughout as if entirely of one mind’ (Jessica Duchen), ‘scrupulously prepared playing’ (Gramophone), ‘a vivid double-act at the piano’ (Classical Source) among others. She has also performed with Alberto Lysy, Gary Hoffman, Piers Lane, István Várdai, Vincent de Kort, Hsin-Yun Huang, Mihaela Martin, Gábor Takács-Nagy, and many others.
She released a number of CDs, including the first recordings of Shostakovich/Stravinsky, works with Alexander Rozhdestvensky and Jeremy Menuhin, Schubert’s works for four hands, the premières of Jeremy Menuhin’s compositions for two pianos, The Voice of Rebellion, and a solo recording,‘Liaison’, that includes a world première recording of Eric Tanguy’s ‘Toccata’. For ‘Liaison’, she received acclaimed reviews such as ’with a sophisticated sound and a gorgeous pianistic touch- a real success!’, (Enrique Llamas), ‘it is evident from the first few phrases of the Berg sonata that Lee-Menuhin has an outstanding grasp of musical style… her bracing, no-nonsense reading of the Schubert sonata… an outstanding performance of the little-known Tanguy Toccata’ (Lynn René Bayley). Her Bartok’s 6 Romanian Dances from the same CD was also featured on iTunes’ Classical AM playlist.
Lee-Menuhin is passionate about bringing healing through music to refugees, children in particular. She was involved in the ‘lullaby project’ with El Sistema Greece, giving a concert with refugee and local children in Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Centre in Athens in 2019. In the same year, in celebration of the International Day of Peace, she partnered with UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, giving a speech and sharing the concert with Barbara Hendricks.
Ms Lee-Menuhin was born in Seoul, South Korea and studied at Chetham’s School of Music and the Royal Northern College of Music with Margaret Fingerhut in the U.K. She obtained a master’s degree as well as a performance diploma from the Royal Academy of Music in Denmark, studying with John Damgaard and Ronan O’Hora in London. She received numerous awards, including the prestigious Augustinus Award, and Prince Joachim, and Princess Alexandra’s International Prize, as well as winning the YAMAHA competition in 2002. She is currently pursuing a master’s degree in applied neuroscience at King’s College London. Her research interests include peak performance, mindfulness, prenatal stress, and the effect of nutrition on the brain. The diversity of interests in her life is manifested in many ways, from her love of learning, receiving certificates from Columbia and Harvard universities to her enthusiasm for cooking, gardening, and practising yoga at home.
Mookie lives in Switzerland with her husband and daughter. Their family world is filled with music, travel, reading and conversation… and skiing – a skill which Mookie is determined to master.
The diversity of interests and creativity is manifested in Mookie’s life in many different ways, from her love of food to her fascination with the brain and human behaviour. She finds great inspiration and solace in cooking, dreaming up exciting flavour combinations, inventing new recipes and composing new styles of presentation of the dishes for others to enjoy; and her naturally questioning mind and self‐discipline are evident in her approach to music.
Mookie feels privileged that music plays such a large role in her life. It has been a journey filled with struggles and satisfaction in equal measure, helping Mookie to grow and learn with every new experience.