Joungbum Lee, composer

Joungbum Lee headshot

Joungbum Lee is a Chicago-based composer of chamber, electronic, film and orchestral music. Poetry, visual art, nature and Eastern/Western philosophy are all elements that influence Lee’s works. He completed a Bachelor Degree at Eastman School of Music and Masters at Rice University. His main composition teachers have been Carlos Sanchez-Gutierrez, David Liptak, Ricardo Zohn-Muldoon, Pierre Jalbert, Shih- Hui Chen, Shulamit Ran, Anthony Cheung, and Augusta Read Thomas.

Joungbum’s music has been commissioned nationally and internationally by world–renowned individuals and groups such as Amy Briggs, Kay Kim, Rochester Chamber Music Society, Musiqa Modern Ensemble, Mivos Quartet, Eighth Blackbird, Quince Vocal Ensemble, Imani Winds, Spektral Quartet, Ensemble Suono Giallo, Ensemble Composit, and Ensemble Dal Niente.

Lee’s work has received awards and recognitions such as 1st and audience prize for Sorodha Société Royale d’Harmonie composition competition 2019 (Belgium), 1st prize in Rochester Chamber Music composition competition 2009, prizewinner of the 23rd IBLA Grand Prize 2014, and Sejong International composition competition 2014.

Lee’s works have premiered at numerous music festivals such as SoundSCAPE (2016), VIPA (2016), June in Buffalo (2016), ilSuono Academy in Italy (2017), and Composit new music festival in Italy (2017). Recently his work was selected for The Keyboard in the 21st Century 2019—an international conference for composers in Hong Kong. Also his work, TAE (2019) for chamber orchestra and multi media will be premiered by Avanti! chamber orchestra in Finland. Joungbum is a current Ph.D. candidate at University of Chicago.

Joungbum Lee's piece condensed serenity premiered with the Grossman Ensemble on June 7, 2019

Performance notes:

Condensed serenity is inspired by a peculiar reoccurring dream of mine in which I see dozens of abstract images. Unlike my usual dreams that have some kind of narrative or based on my experience, this reoccurring dream has nothing but just a series of slightly vibrating and morphing images. Most of the images have a feeling of being observed from multiple bodies as if the dream is shared by others. It is a foreign sensation but there is strong calmness at the same time. Some of the images are thick and horizontal strips of gray and light blue rendered as fuzzy, hazy forms. Even though there seems to be no connection between successive scenes, I sense a sort of inevitability that unites individual images together. Within the dream some of the images remind me of the sound that I have forgotten. I do not remember what that sound was after I wake up. But I am inspired by the illogical sequence of images and sounds in this reoccurring dream and this piece is a reflection of my search for the forgotten sound.

Grossman Ensemble premieres Joungbum Lee's "condensed serenity"