Accompanists - The Muri Masterclasses

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Kimiko Imani

Japanese-born pianist Kimiko Imani performs as a soloist and versatile chamber musician.
She currently teaches at the Hanns Eisler School of Music Berlin and has been a lecturer at the
the Berlin University of the Arts. Kimiko Imani studied with Anatol Ugorski at the Detmold University of Music, where she passed her concert exam in 2005. In 2017, she took up studies in fortepiano at the Schola Cantorum Basiliensis in Basel with Edoardo Torbianelli in order to refine her early classical and romantic repertoire. Among other prizes, in 2000 she won the GWK sponsorship prize from the
Society for Westphalian Cultural Work in Münster.
The pianist performs as a soloist with renowned orchestras in Japan and Europe and made her debut
as a soloist with the Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra at the Suntory Hall in Tokyo. Her
primary passion, however, is chamber music. She regularly performs at international music
international music festivals and concert series in Europe and Asia, including Tokyo Spring, the Sony Music Foundation, the Palau de la Música Catalana, the Ljubljana Festival and the Moritzburg
Festival. She has an intensive collaboration with the bassoonist Sergio Azzolini and the oboist Maurice Bourgue. Since 2011 they have formed the Maurice Bourgue Trio, an outstanding ensemble
ensemble that has released its first CD with Sony Classical.
The ongoing collaboration with Albrecht Mayer led to concerts in 2020 by NDR
Hamburg and ARTE tv, which were broadcast live on behalf of Deutsche Grammophon. Most recently
the duo gave a recital in Québec/Canada in 2022. Further CD productions have been made for GWK-
Records, CAvi Music and Deutschlandradio Kultur.

Jin-Young Lee
was born in Busan, South Korea where she also studied the piano. After completing her degree, she continued studying with Prof. Bernhard Wambach, Prof. Arbo Valdma and Prof. Jürgen Glauss at the Folkwang University of the Arts in Essen and at the University for Music and Dance in Cologne where she obtained her diploma and her concert exam. In addition to her solo career as a pianist, Jin-Young Lee focuses on chamber music, contemporary music and accompanying Lied singers on the piano. She works regularly as a piano accompanist with renowned singers, instrumentalists and conductors at international music festivals, master classes and competitions. As a soloist and chamber musician she has undertaken numerous concert tours throughout Europe and Korea. Jin-Young Lee works as a lecturer  at the University for Music and Dance in Cologne and Mainz and as an accompanist at WDR.

Junko Oka

was born in Kyoto, Japan. She started playing the piano at the age of ten. After graduating from the piano department of Osaka College of Music, she moved to Switzerland. She studied under Jean-Jacques Balet in the Haute École de Musique de Genève and graduated with a bachelor's degree in the accompaniment department. During her studies, she served as an accompanist assistant in the horn class of Bruno Schneider, and upon graduation, she served as an accompanist assistant in the class of oboist Maurice Bourgue (2006-2010).
Afterwards, she began her professional career as a chamber musician and also served as an official pianist for numerous music academies, festivals, and international competitions. These include the Tibor Varga International Violin Competition in Switzerland, the Xi'an International Oboe Festival in China, the Hamamatsu International Wind Instruments Academy in the oboe class with Luca Vignali and Mizuho Yoshii (2017-2019), the Kusatsu International Summer Music Academy in the violin class with Werner Hink (2015) class with  Milan Turkovoc(2016) and the International Oboe Competition of Japan in Karuizawa, Tokyo/2012, 2015, 2018,2023) and others.
She has performed with various domestic and international artists and has engaged in diverse activities such as recordings, chamber music, recitals, TV and Radio (NHK-FM) . She has also been active as an orchestral pianist, including the Swiss Romande Orchestra, Macau Symphony Orchestra, and major orchestras in the Kansai region of Japan.
She is currently serving as an accompanist in the classes of Fagotto, Laurent Lefèvre and Julien Hardy, in the classe of the oboe of Jacques Tys and Conservatoire national supérieur de musique de Paris.
She founded the Ensemble Minamo with bassoonist Laurent Lefèvre and engages in performance activities.

Betty Lee
Highly praised for her sensitive and expressive playing, New Zealand pianist Betty Lee was awarded ‘The Best Accompanist’ prize at the 16th International Tchaikovsky Competition in St. Petersburg in 2019. Currently based in Munich, Betty has established herself as a prominent collaborative pianist throughout Europe and New Zealand. Distinguished artists she has collaborated with include Veronika Eberle, Dag Jensen, András Adorján and Ulf Rodenhäuser.
Betty graduated with a Bachelor of Music degree with First Class Honours from the University of Auckland studying under Bryan Sayer. She was the winner of the New Zealand National Concerto Competition and the recipient of a German Academic Exchange (DAAD) Scholarship to further her studies in Germany. Betty worked with renowned pianists Gerhard Oppitz and Helmut Deutsch at the Hoch-schule für Musik und Theater München. Since her graduation with Meisterklassendiplom in solo and Liedgestaltung, Betty joined the faculty at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater München in 2000. She is the official pianist for the prestigious ARD International Music Competition and Aeolus International
Competition for Wind Instruments.
In addition to her work as a collaborative pianist, Betty is a certified transformative coach and positive psychology practitioner. She supports musicians and artists who feel “stuck” to see through the fog of their immediate pressures and works on helping them to create a purposeful and meaningful path that feels authentic for them. She helps them gain the clarity and confidence they need to make the desired changes they want.
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