Biography

Li Yundi (Chinese: 李云迪, pinyin: Lǐ Yúndí) (born October 7, 1982) is a well-known young classical pianist. He is also popularly known by the Western iteration of his name, Yundi Li. Born in Chongqing, China, Li is most well known for being the youngest pianist to win the prestigious International Frederick Chopin Piano Competition at the age of 18. Li currently resides in Hannover, Germany, where he studies with his teacher Arie Vardi at the Hannover Conservatory of Music.


Li has received top awards at various competitions. In 1995, he was awarded first place at the Stravinksy International Youth Competition. In 1998, he won the 1998 South Missouri International Youth Piano Competition. The next year, he won the Liszt International Piano Competition in the Netherlands, and the China International Piano Competition. He also won first place at the Gina Bachauer Young Artists International Piano Competition.

In October 2000, Li participated in the 14th International Frederick Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw. He was the first participant to be awarded First Prize in 15 years, and at 18 years of age, the youngest winner in the competition’s history. Li is also the competition’s first Chinese winner. Li was given a Polonaise award by the Chopin Society for his performance at the competition.


Li’s debut in the United States took place in June 2003 at Carnegie Hall, as part of Steinway and Sons’ 150th Anniversary Gala. His United States concerto debut took place the next month, when he performed Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 1. He was also honoured at a special reception at the home of the Chinese Ambassador to the United States, where he performed for various officials of the US State Department.

Currently, Li’s performance programmes and records consist exclusively of works by Chopin and Liszt. His second recording of Liszt for Deutsche Grammophon, whom he still—as of 2004—records for, was released in August 2003 named “Best CD of the Year” by the New York Times. His third recording, comprising Chopin’s four Scherzi and three Impromptus, was released in late 2004. Recently, he has also given a recital in the renowned Wiener Musikverein, performing works by Mozart, Scarlatti, Schumann, and Liszt.

Yundi Li is on the roster of Columbia Artists Management under the personal direction of Ronald Wilford and Jean-Jacques Cesbron.

Edited by brand929 on 10 Jul 2006, 19:06

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