Yundi Li

Piano

Biography

YUNDI was propelled onto the international stage when he won first prize at the XIV Chopin International Piano Competition at the age of 18, becoming the youngest and first Chinese winner in the history of the renowned competition.
Since then, he has been regarded as a leading exponent of Chopin’s music.
In recognition of his contribution to Polish culture, the Government of Poland presented a Gold Medal for Merit to Culture ‘Gloria Artis’ to YUNDI in 2010. On autumn 2014, the Fryderyk Chopin Institute, as the organizer of The International Fryderyk Chopin Piano Competition has invited Yundi to be one of the jury of The 17th International Fryderyk Chopin Piano Competition in 2015, who is also the youngest juror of the competition. The New York Times praised his performances “the brilliant young Chinese pianist, has proved a technically astounding pianist who is by turns elegant and rambunctious, coolly expressive and white-hot.”

On his regular recital tours, YUNDI performs at such prestigious venues as Carnegie Hall (New York), Royal Festival Hall (London), Philharmonie Berlin, Alte Opera Frankfurt, Herkulessaal (Munich), Gewandhaus zu Leipzig, Salle Pleyel (Paris), Moscow International House of Music, Mariinsky Concert Hall (St Petersburg), National Centre for Performing Arts (Beijing), Seoul Arts Centre and Suntory Hall (Tokyo). Orchestras and conductors with whom he has collaborated include the Berliner Philharmoniker and Seiji Ozawa, Leipzig Gewandhausorchester and Riccardo Chailly, Mahler Chamber Orchestra and Daniel Harding, Rotterdam Philharmonic and Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Philharmonia Orchestra and Andrew Davis, Mariinsky Orchestra and Valery Gergiev, and the Israel Philharmonic and Gustavo Dudamel. He has also performed with the Vienna Philharmonic, National Symphony Orchestra (Washington), Philadelphia Orchestra, Toronto Symphony and NHK Symphony.

YUNDI has an extensive discography on Deutsche Grammophon and EMI Classics. In 2007, he became the first Chinese pianist to record live with the Berliner Philharmoniker and Seiji Ozawa. This Deutsche Grammophon disc met with rave reviews and was named ‘Editor’s Choice’ by Gramophone magazine. For EMI Classics, he recorded the complete Chopin Nocturnes, Live in Beijing and Red Piano, an album celebrating piano music written by Chinese composers. YUNDI’s recent CD on Deutsche Grammophon pairs Beethoven’s ‘Emperor’ concerto (Berliner Philharmoniker / Daniel Harding) with Schumann’s Fantasie in C; this follows a disc of three of Beethoven’s piano sonatas.
Yundi’s new recording albums of Chopin Preludes was released in the autumn of 2015, and Ballades in the spring of 2016.Then, Yundi started his recital tour of all Chopin program. YUNDI's 2016 spring tour includes Carnegie Hall in New York City, Paris, London, Berlin, Vienna and Rome.

Born in Chongqing, YUNDI began piano studies at age seven. He subsequently trained at the Shenzhen Arts School and Hochschule für Musik und Theater Hannover.

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Yundi Li
©Chen Man / Mercury Classics

 

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