Awarded Second Prize and Audience Prize at the 2011 Westfield International Fortepiano Competition by a jury that included Robert Levin and the late Christopher Hogwood, (forte)pianist Mike Cheng-Yu Lee’s performances have been described as “portraying integrity, purity, complexity and truth… with balance and control that are breathtaking.” Peter Jacobi of the Bloomington Herald Times writes: “As a keyboard performer, Lee really is a major talent, no doubt about it…[his] Mozart was absolutely radiant, a lesson in refinement mixed with deep devotion.”
An advocate of pianos that span the eighteenth century to the present, Mike has appeared with the New World Symphony at the invitation of Michael Tilson Thomas and has collaborated with musicians including Joseph Lin (Juilliard String Quartet), the Formosa Quartet, among others that integrate modern and period instruments. He has performed and given masterclasses at Oberlin Conservatory, the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, 23Arts Festival (NY), Mayfest Chamber Music Festival (NY), the Bloomington Early Music Festival (IN) and others.
Current projects include the complete cycle of Mozart’s piano sonatas and Beethoven Perspectives, a series of lecture-recitals that explore connections between works by Beethoven and others. As a published scholar, he has presented on issues of musical form, performance practice, and musical embodiment at the Society of Music Theory and the European Music Analysis Conference.
Mike Cheng-Yu Lee has served as Visiting Assistant Professor at Indiana University–Bloomington and was previously Lecturer of music theory at Yale University. Mike studied at Yale University and holds a Ph.D. in musicology from Cornell University where he won the Donald J. Grout Memorial Dissertation Prize. His teachers have included Malcolm Bilson, Boris Berman, and the renowned Haydn scholar James Webster. Mike is Lecturer of Piano/Keyboard Performance at the Australian National University, School of Music and Director of the ANU Keyboard Institute.