Hee Ah Lee, “The 4 Finger Pianist”

Lee Hee-Ah (born July 9, 1985), is a pianist notable for only having four fingers. She was born in Seoul, South Korea, with severe disabilities, including only two fingers present on each hand, no legs below the kneecaps, and mild brain damage.


…The piano has provided me with many benefits – consolation, courage, gratitude, and compassion are just a few. It has also given me the added opportunity to meet many world-wide friends.

–Hee Ah Lee

When she was 7, her mother started her on the piano to train her hands, which at the time couldn’t even hold a pencil. “However, as time went by, the piano became my source of inspiration and my best friend,” she recalls. Soon she diligently practised piano for hours at a time trying really hard to improve. For example, she worked on one passage from Chopin‘s Fantaisie-Impromptu for five years.

In 1992, she won the First Prize at the Korean National Student Music Contest, and has since won many more contests and has also played in many solo-concerts along with playing with many well-known artists. She was even awarded by the then President of Korea, Kim Dae-jung, for Overcoming Physical Difficulty. She has also been recognized as one of the best students in Seoul by the Korean Education Department. She currently attends The Korean National College of Rehabilitation and Welfare.

I’d been curious if there was more info available about the piano player in Hyewon Kwon’s “Bittersweet” piece for Tate Britain.

Based on this, it seems likely that Hee-Ah Lee (or in Korean “surname first” form, Lee Hee-Ah) is the pianist in that video.


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