pianist and composer
Originally from Page, Arizona, Navajo pianist Connor Chee began piano lessons at age 6 with Sue Barney, and later Debbie Mitchell. At age 10, his family relocated to Cincinnati, Ohio, where he attended the School for Creative and Performing Arts.
While there, he studied under Anna Weinstein and Simon Goykhman.
At age 12, Chee won a gold medal in the World Piano Competition’s Young Artist Division, earning him his first performance at New York City’s Carnegie Hall. In the following years, he went on to win multiple awards in the World Piano Competition, earning performances at the United Nations, and an international feature on CNN.
While in Cincinnati, Chee performed with the Cincinnati Pops, the Hamilton-Fairfield Symphony Orchestra, and the Blue Ash Montgomery Symphony Orchestra. At Age 17, he graduated from the School for Creative and Performing Arts, and began studies at the Eastman School of Music under Professor Rebecca Penneys. Chee received his Bachelor of Music from Eastman in 2009, and went on to earn a master’s degree from the University of Cincinnati’s College Conservatory of Music, studying under Professor Elizabeth Pridonoff. Recently, he was awarded a First Prize in the 2016 Bradshaw & Buono International Piano Competition, and performed in the winners' recital at Carnegie Hall. He also received the award for "Best Instrumental Recording" at the 16th Annual Native American Music Awards for his album "The Navajo Piano."
In addition to winning "Best Instrumental Recording," Chee was also nominated for "Best New Artist" and "Record of the Year." The album features original piano compositions and transcriptions based on traditional Navajo chants.
Chee is currently a voting member of The Recording Academy (the GRAMMY® Awards), and continues to perform throughout the United States. He is currently located in Phoenix, Arizona.
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"Connor Chee is the best piano teacher I ever had. He was supportive, motivating and consistent. He's undoubtedly the best pianist I've ever had the pleasure to hear perform and anyone would be lucky to be his student. My only regret is that I didn't take our lessons more seriously."
-Elijah B. on July 5, 2016
"Connor is absolutely an amazing individual and pianist!!! We miss him dearly and know he will make his mark in the world. Thank you Connor for the gifts you give every day."
-Lisa M. on July 5, 2016
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Mary Beth Crandall