Joao Perez ’25 Selected for Prestigious Aspen Music Festival

Image from concert performed by the TCU Symphony Orchestra featuring Orchestra, Strings, Wind Symphony, Concert Chorale, and Frog Corps in the Van Cliburn Concert Hall at TCU.

Joao Perez selected the School of Music to develop his craft and perform under the guidance of renowned faculty.

In the TCU Violin Studio, students refine their craft in the classroom, on stage and in the world.

Assistant Professor of Violin Haerim Lee’s career at the College of Fine Arts is marked by a passion for creativity and encouraging students to expand their natural talents, including Joao Perez ’25, who earned a prestigious spot in the Aspen Music Festival Orchestra this summer. The festival is regarded as one of the top classical music festivals in the United States.  

“Dr. Lee pushes me beyond my limits every day and has empowered me to have a voice in the highest of places,” said Perez. “During my studies, she has shown me patience, application and never-ending kindness. This has shaped me for the better, and as I visit Aspen, I will take what I have learned from TCU and share it with others.”  

Journey to the Aspen Music Festival  

Lee has mentored Perez throughout his journey of earning a Bachelor of Arts with an Arts Leadership and Entrepreneurship minor. Lee draws from her extensive performance career to help students learn different styles, approaches and ideas to develop their musicianship and pedagogy.

Joao Perez wearing a burgundy suit stands against a brown background.

Joao Perez ’25

“I ask my students to raise their own expectations of themselves, not for me, not for others, but only for themselves,” said Lee. “Every student has a different goal, and my job is to advise them toward their individual goals and ensure they are well-prepared for life after our lessons and without me. My goal is to always keep their curiosity alive.”  

During the winter break, Perez’s schedule was filled with serious practice and intense focus to prepare for the Aspen Music Festival’s audition process, requiring an entire week of recording alone to capture the perfect clips. 

“Throughout the year leading up to this point, what kept me motivated was watching and learning from competitions, colleagues and new forces in the music world,” said Perez. “The journey to get here was not easy, but with every attempt, I grew stronger and became more consistent in what I wanted to musically convey. I’m confident that I will be prepared to soak in all the experiences at the Aspen Music Festival better than ever before.”  

Fostering Creativity & Excellence  

Assistant Professor of Violin Haerim Lee

Assistant Professor of Violin Haerim Lee

Perez arrived at the School of Music eager to develop his craft and perform under the guidance of renowned faculty.

“From the moment I set foot on campus, TCU ensured I had a well-rounded education and always emphasized working together,” said Perez. “And let’s not forget, the campus itself is beautiful. These elements made my decision easy.”  

While in the violin studio program, Perez studies with Lee have taught him not to aim for success in every endeavor.  

“I always encourage my students to try as many different things as possible in music, from various styles, ensembles, repertoire to arts administration skills,” said Lee. “Teaching is truly a joint creative process in finding the best solutions together and I love it.”