Ipoh Echo is saddened with the news on the passing of renowned classical pianist, Dennis Lee Ean Hooi, at the age of 76 in London last Saturday.
Born in Penang, Dennis began taking piano lessons at the age of six, under the tutelage of Ruth Ramanathan, the wife of the first mayor of Penang. He won an Associated Board scholarship to study violin and piano at the Royal College of Music, London, at age fourteen.
Throughout the years, he would go on to win many prizes all across the globe. He performed widely in the USA, Europe, Southeast Asia and other places. He would spend over 30 years as an examiner for ABRSM, which is one of five examination boards accredited by Ofqual to award graded exams and diploma qualifications in music within the UK’s National Qualifications. He was in demand as a lecturer, festival adjudicator and judge of various competitions.
He was also a Steinway Artist, which is a title only conferred upon the best pianists of his or her time, putting Dennis in the company of such famous musicians as Billy Joel and Sergei Vasilievich Rachmaninoff.
He leaves behind his wife, Mdm Toh Chee Hung, who is also an accomplished musician.
Dennis was a member of Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra and had visited on occasion to perform in the late Dato K.K.Lim’s residence to a select group of guests.