Celebrated American pianist, Dr. Julie Bees, is a Professor of Piano and Director of the Konrad Wolff-Ilse Bing Chamber Music Endowment Award at Wichita State University in Wichita, Kansas. She is also a founding member of The Orfeo Trio, a traveling piano trio that has most recently given recitals and master classes across Southeast Asia, including Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand.
Over her career, Dr. Bees has given countless performances as a soloist and collaborative pianist. Her most recent appearances include performing as a concerto soloist with the SAR Philharmonic in Hong Kong and with the WSU Symphony Orchestra during their tour of Spain.
Dr. Bees has also performed concertos with the Denver, Dallas, and Augusta symphony orchestras, as well as solo recitals at Merkin Hall in New York City, at the Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C., and as part of the Dame Myra Hess series in Chicago. Outside of the United States, she has performed in numerous cities, including Edinburgh, Glasgow, Vienna, Brussels, The Hague, Leipzig, Milan, Helsinki, Warsaw, and St. Petersburg. She has also performed and taught master classes in China, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, and Hong Kong.
As a collaborative pianist, Dr. Bees has performed with the Vermeer Quartet, the St. Petersburg String Quartet, bass-baritone Alan Held, the Viotti trio, American Chamber Players, and other ensembles and soloists.
A native of Miami, Florida, Dr. Bees earned a Bachelor of Music degree from the Peabody Conservatory of Johns Hopkins University in 1974. She then studied for two years at the Hochschule für Musik in Vienna, Austria, before earning a Doctor of Musical Arts Degree in 1982. Her mentors have included the acclaimed Leon Fleisher, Maria Curcio-Diamand, Dieter Weber, Noel Flores, Alexander Uninsky, Alfred Mouledous, Konrad Wolff, Peggy Neighbors Erwin, and Nelita True.
The highlights of Dr. Bees’ early career include two performances of the Mozart Piano Concerto, K. 488, with the Youth Symphony of New York, at Carnegie Hall and at Lehman College, and performances as a guest artist on the “Discovery” Recital Series recorded for broadcast on WQXR and National Public Radio.
Among her many accolades, Dr. Bees was awarded first place in the William S. Boyd National Piano Competition, Grand Prize at both the 1975 International Piano Recording Competition and the 1970 Dallas Symphonic Festival, and was a finalist in the 1968 New York Philharmonic Auditions for Leonard Bernstein’s televised “Young People’s Concerts.” She was also the national winner of the MTNA Collegiate Competition in Chicago in 1978, the recipient of the Olga Samaroff Prize at the University of Maryland William Kapell International Piano Competition and a finalist in the Beethoven Foundation Auditions.
In addition to her performance successes, Dr. Bees is a dedicated teacher and mentor. Her students have been successful in competitions at every level, including a bronze medal at the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition.