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2024 Alumni Enterprise Awardee Corin Lee

Announcing Music Academy of the West 2024 Alumni Enterprise Awardee Corin Lee

The annual award supports Music Academy alums in their professional pursuits of innovative projects

The winning project revolutionizes how students learn music by integrating virtual reality with rehearsal sessions

The Music Academy of the West, now in its 77th Summer Music Festival season which runs through August 3, has awarded Music Academy alum Corin Lee the 2024 Alumni Enterprise Award (AEA) for his innovative endeavor VR Practice.

The AEA, among the Music Academy’s robust alumni efforts, supports and funds innovative projects in artistic expression, audience development, education, community engagement, social justice, and technology. 

Lee attended the Music Academy as a violin fellow in 2009 and today is a member of the string quartet ETHEL and founder of The Liberated Performer, a program that trains and empowers performers to conquer stage fright. He has appeared as a soloist on the great American stages, traditional and otherwise — from Carnegie Hall’s Stern Auditorium to The Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery; from Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center to EDC Las Vegas. Lee received degrees from The Juilliard School and Yale School of Music, and an honorary doctorate from Denison University.

Lee’s award-winning project, VR Practice, aims to revolutionize how students learn music by integrating virtual reality and artificial intelligence with practice and rehearsal sessions. With VR Practice, students studying intermediate to advanced classical music can practice with a professional musician, an ensemble or pianist in a concert hall. A student can also learn from an AI chatbot custom-built for each piece, giving access to a large database of knowledge. String quartet ETHEL, in partnership with the School of Music at The University of Oklahoma are developing this pilot project.

As the 2024 AEA recipient, Lee received an award of $7,000 to support the continuation and completion of his project as well as educational, training, and networking opportunities.

The 2024 AEA selection committee reviewed a worldwide pool of alumni applicants, each presenting innovative projects with potential to make a meaningful impact among their communities and beyond. Lee was ultimately selected among five impressive AEA finalists who also presented inspiring projects, including: 

  • Dr. Akkrawat Srinarong violin (‘04), Asean Youth Music Incubators
  • Alek Sharader tenor (‘06, ‘08), Comic Book: The Opera
  • Joanne Evans mezzo-soprano (‘22), Daughter of God
  • Julia Dawson mezzo-soprano (‘09, ‘10, ‘11), Obscura Nox

The Music Academy selection committee was particularly impressed by Corin’s commitment to providing access to high quality and innovative training to further classical musicianship and artistry through a bold new venture. This is another example of how the Music Academy is committed to uplifting and supporting our alums in their pursuit of innovation and success.

AEA at the Academy’s Summer Music Festival

As part of the Music Academy’s Summer Music Festival, Lee will demo his innovative VR Practice videos and conduct his Liberated Performer workshop, offering personalized and immersive performance feedback and guidance to Music Academy fellows. Learn more about this award and past recipients at

About the Music Academy of the West

Located in Santa Barbara, the Music Academy of the West creates a space where exceptional talent can thrive by encouraging artists to stretch, experiment, improvise, and play. The Music Academy provides artists with the tools they need to become not just great musicians but great leaders. The Music Academy’s programs include the annual eight-week Summer School & Music Festival featuring trains up to 150 fellows ages 18-34 and presents more than 130 performances and events, competitions, and a fully staged opera; Sing!, a children’s choir that performs with local, national, and international partners; the MAX (Music Academy Exchange) partnership with international orchestras; the innovative Alumni Enterprise Awards; and the Mariposa Series of concerts by Academy-affiliated artists. The 2024 Summer School & Festival takes place from June 12 through August 3.

Press Contacts

For further information, contact:

Kerry Allen
Vice President, Marketing & Communications
Music Academy of the West



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