The Kennedy Center

Yundi Li


Yundi Li was propelled into the international musical scene by winning first prize at the 2000 Chopin International Piano Competition in Warsaw. At 18 years of age, he was one of the youngest winners and was also the first person in 15 years to be awarded a first prize at this prestigious event.  In July 2003, Yundi Li made his American concerto debut with the Philadelphia Orchestra performing Chopin Piano Concerto No. 1. In April 2004 he completed his North American debut recital tour which included sold out performances in Boston, Vancouver, San Francisco and New York.  Highlights of recent seasons include concerts with the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, the London Symphony Orchestra at the Barbican Centre and in Seoul, South Korea. He has also collaborated with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra under Gustavo Dudamel, with the Wiener Symphoniker in both Vienna's Musikverein and in Japan; and with the Zurich Chamber Orchestra at the Tonhalle.  Mr. Li has performed recitals throughout the United States including New York's Carnegie Hall, as well as at major concert venues throughout Europe including Amsterdam's Concertgebouw, London's Queen Elizabeth Hall, the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris, and the Verbier Festival in Switzerland. In May 2007, Yundi joined forces with the Berlin Philharmonic and Maestro Seiji Ozawa to record Prokofiev's Second Piano Concerto and Ravel's Concerto in G major.

In 2008-2009, Mr. Li returns to the San Francisco Symphony, Baltimore Symphony, and Toronto Symphony; tours Japan with Valery Gergiev and the Kirov Orchestra; and gives recitals in Paris, London, Munich, Luxembourg and Valencia.  Yundi will also be featured in the 2010 Chopin anniversary festival in Warsaw.

Since 2001 Yundi has recorded six discs with Deutsche Grammophon featuring works by Chopin, Liszt, Scarlatti, and Schumann. The most recent recording is dedicated to the first piano concertos by Chopin and Liszt as performed with the Philharmonia Orchestra conducted by Sir Andrew Davis.  The Young Romantic, a television documentary film about Yundi Li, and featuring Maestro Seiji Ozawa and the Berlin Philharmonic, was recently broadcast worldwide.

Mr. Li's musical career began with the accordion at 4. His prodigious talent was recognized one year later, when he won the top prize at the Chongqing Accordion Competition.  He began piano stages at age seven.  Born in Chongqing, China, he was raised and educated there until 1995 when his family moved to Shenzhen, where he continued his studies with Zhaoyi Dan at the Shenzhen Arts School. 

Jan. 2009
Yundi Li

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