Tereza Lee is an inspirational force of nature. Because of her outreach to Sen. Richard Durbin (D-IL) about her family’s precarious immigration status, he was inspired to introduce the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act in 2001 that put undocumented immigrant children on a pathway to permanent U.S. residency. Known as the “original dreamer,” Tereza continues her activism to this day working for the benefit of others.

Tereza Lee

Born in Brazil to Korean parents, she was raised in Chicago where she began to play the piano at seven. At 16, she was awarded a scholarship to the Merit School of Music and won first prize in the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Youth Concerto Competition. She went on to appear as a soloist with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and had her Carnegie Hall debut in the Weill Recital Hall in 2009. She has also appeared as a soloist at Steinway Hall and Lincoln Center.

A graduate of Manhattan School of Music (MSM), where she earned her Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees, she is currently pursuing her Doctor of Musical Arts Degree at MSM while serving as a teaching fellow and a faculty member of MSM Sunday. Married to jazz trombonist Danny Kirkhum, Tereza now resides in New York City. 

Because of her unusual passion to aid others while pursing the highest standards of music, performance and music education, it is Stay Thirsty Magazine’s privilege to name Tereza Lee a SPOTLIGHT ARTIST for Fall 2017.

Chopin Scherzo No.3, Op.39 performed by Tereza Lee


All opinions expressed are solely those of its author and do not reflect the opinions of Stay Thirsty Media, Inc.