ABOUT THE ARTISTS
CHAMBER MUSIC CONCERT
2024 CONFERENCE GUEST ARTIST
Originally from Page, Arizona, Navajo pianist Connor Chee is known for combining his classical piano training with his Navajo heritage. 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. Chee was awarded a First Prize in the 2016 Bradshaw & Buono International Piano Competition, and performed in the winners’ recital at Carnegie Hall.
Chee has released 3 studio albums of original pieces and piano transcriptions of Navajo music. The Navajo Piano won Best Instrumental Recording at the 16th Annual Native American Music Awards, and his piece “Beginnings” won Best New Age Song. In addition to winning Best Instrumental Recording, Chee was also nominated for Best New Artist and Record of the Year.
Chee’s most recent release, Scenes from Dinétah, features piano pieces written about elements of Navajo life and culture. It has been accompanied by the release of several music videos filmed on the reservation, directed by Navajo filmmaker Michael Etcitty Jr.
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.