About Esther Jeehae Ahn
Esther Jeehae Ahn has captivated international audiences with her rare blend of musical brilliance, sensitivity and emotional depth. She has performed in major venues, series and festivals, among them Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center, Boston Symphony Hall, Flynn Performing Arts Center, Calderwood Hall at Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Seoul Arts Center, Mozart Hall, Rockport Chamber Music Festival, International Mendelssohn Academy, Summer Institute of Contemporary Performance Practice, International Liszt Symposium and MusicFest Canada.
Ahn’s love for piano began early, when she performed in public in South Korea at the age of five. Her educational influences include training at the Music Academy of Seoul Arts Center, Walnut Hill School for the Arts and New England Conservatory’s Preparatory School. She earned her Bachelor and Master of Music degrees in piano performance from New England Conservatory and Doctor of Musical Arts degree in piano performance and literature from the Eastman School of Music, with a minor in accompanying and chamber music.
Ahn enjoys performing and teaching diverse repertoire and styles from traditional works to music of our own time. Her advocacy of new music has led to working closely with distinguished composers like Peter Maxwell Davies, Unsuk Chin, Rodney Lister and Rand Steiger, and concertizing contemporary works, among them John Cage’s Music of Changes, George Crumb’s Makrokosmos, Jeff Tyzik’s Images and John Harbison’s Piano Quintet.
She also gave the world premiere of Amy Dunker’s solo works written for the courageous people of Ukraine.
Ahn has won numerous prizes and awards, including first prizes in Junior Chopin Competition, Harvard Musical Association Competition, Boston Symphony Orchestra Concerto Competition, Busan Music Festival Competition, Yeum Piano Festival, Frances B. Lanier Award from New England Conservatory’s Preparatory School and Arnold C. Taylor Award from Walnut Hill School for the Arts where she graduated summa cum laude and was inducted to the National Society of High School Scholars. She was a guest artist at the South Korean launch of Steinway & Sons.
Ahn is now the director of Weber State University Piano Festival and is head of Student Services at the Rebecca Penneys Piano Festival at USF Tampa, a tuition-free summer festival for collegiate pianists worldwide, and a faculty mentor at Bravo Waukegan, a music education organization. She previously taught piano and keyboard sight-reading courses at New England Conservatory and Eastman School of Music and served on the piano faculty at Clarke University.