The Korean-American cellist is the recipient of the inaugural Gurrena Fellowship from the Meadowmount School of Music

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Sydney Lee

The Meadowmount School of Music has awarded its inaugural Gurrena Fellowship, worth $50,000, to 25-year-old cellist Sydney Lee. The announcement was made at the final student concert of this year’s session, on 10 August, at which Lee performed Schumann’s Sonata for Violin and Piano No. 1 in A minor, op. 105.

’I am so honoured and grateful to be the first recipient of this amazing award,’ said Lee. ’Meadowmount has been instrumental in my development as a musician, so this really means so much to me. What an incredible opportunity! I am so excited for another year of continued friendship and music-making with Meadowmount.’

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Sydney Lee (centre) accepting the Gurrena Fellowship from Meadowmount artistic director Janet Sung (left) and executive director Mark Hayman (right)

The new Gurrena Fellowship, created in memory of David A. Barnebl by his wife Linda Gurrena Barnebl, will provide support to an exceptional student artist at Meadowmount School of Music at the end of each season. It aims to enable extraordinary young artists to pursue their careers with vigour and passion to do so without the burden of financial constraint. During the Fellowship year, the recipient receives a housing allowance, professional artist management services including consulting by Monica Felkel Creative Partners, featured concert engagements supported by Meadowmount School of Music, and continued training by Meadowmount faculty for the summer of 2023.

Lee won first prize at the 2022 Washington International Competition and second prize at the Classic Strings International Competition. Additional competition success includes first prize at the International Antonio Janigro Cello Competition in Croatia, second prize at the Lennox International Young Artists Competition, and was a winner of the New York Classical Music Society Recital Series.

She is founder of the Galvin Cello Quartet, which won second prize at the 2021 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition and joined the Concert Artists Guild roster earlier this year. Lee is pursuing a DMA degree at Northwestern University, where she continues her studies with Hans Jørgen Jensen. This summer was her seventh year at Meadowmount; her mother, also a cellist, is a Meadowmount alumna.

Meadowmount School of Music was founded in 1944 by violinist and pedagogue Ivan Galamian. Musicians ages 13 to 30+ from around the world gather at the school’s campus in the Adirondack Mountains of upstate New York to further their musical skills. Alumni of the school include s Itzhak Perlman, Yo-Yo Ma, Pinchas Zukerman, Jaime Laredo, Lynn Harrell, Kyung-Wha Chung, Ani and Ida Kavafian, Joshua Bell, James Ehnes, Rachel Barton Pine, Alisa Weilerstein, and Jessie Montgomery.