UPDATE: George will be traveling again to Russia soon to perform in the Gala Concert of XV International Tchaikovsky Competition Winners. The event will be held in Irkutsk on September 13th. Other performers include Ganbaatar Ariunbaatar (baritone), Ionut Andrei Ionita (cello), Clara-Juma Khan (violin), and Denis Matsuev (piano). Ilmars Lapins is the Artistic Director and Chief Conductor.
URGENT UPDATE: George has made the extremely difficult decision to withdraw from the 17th International Chopin Competition. Click here to read the full message from George.
George enjoyed a stimulating return visit to the Verbier Festival in Switzerland. He had the honor of participating in masterclasses given by the renowned concert pianists András Schiff and Ferenc Rados. George is extremely grateful to Maestro Schiff for the valuable insights he provided into Beethoven’s final piano sonata, No. 32, Op. 111. Click here for a video interview of George.
George was recently interviewed by the Russian Gazette about the Tchaikovsky Competition and his life as a musician.
Tchaikovsky Competition Finals analysis from the online classical music publication Slipped Disc: “The performance of the second contestant, George Li, was sensational. He played Tchaikovsky First and Prokofiev Third with astonishing intensity, clarity and rhythm. His emotions were on the edge and virtuosity was beyond the edge of the conventional highest level of world class competitions performances. The audience reception was truly ecstatic, especially after Tchaikovsky. George seemed to be three heads higher than the others.” » Read the entire article here. » Click here for more reviews and reactions.
Watch the exciting video of the International Tchaikovsky Competition Round III (Finals) selection process.
In May, George made his New York concerto debut, performing Tchaikovsky with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s with Gerard Schwarz in the Young Concert Artists Gala Concert. The New York Times raved: “. . . the real revelation came in Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1, played by George Li . . . he is a powerhouse. I have seldom heard the many blazing octave passages in the outer movements played faster or more cleanly, let alone both at the same time.”
Silver medalist in the 2015 International Tchaikovsky Competition and winner of the prestigious XIV Concours International Grand Prix Animato 2014 Paris, George Li (黎卓宇) is regarded as one of the world's most talented and creative young pianists. His astonishing technique, distinctive tonal quality, and exceptional musicality have earned him consistent critical acclaim (New York Times, Washington Post, International Piano Magazine, Toronto Star, The Boston Phoenix, The Boston Music Intelligencer) and enthusiastic audience response worldwide for his solo recitals, orchestral collaborations, and chamber music performances.Continue reading.
In addition to winning the Grand Prix Animato Piano Competition (with the Schumann Prize, the Brahms Prize and the Audience Prize) in December 2014, George won third prize in the 2015 US Chopin Competition, and second prize in the 2014 Vendome Prize. In 2012, George received the prestigious Gilmore Young Artist Award, becoming its youngest recipient. With his exceptional musical gifts being recognized by Alfred Brendel, Dimitri Bashkirov, and Menahem Pressler, George was the winner of the Tabor Foundation Piano Award at the 2012 Verbier Academy. In 2010, George won first prize in the prestigious Young Concert Artists International audition and since that time has been under management of the YCA. In 2010 he also won first prize at the Inaugural Cooper International Piano Competition. In 2008 George won second prize at the Gina Bachauer International Piano Junior Artist Competition. In 2011 George performed at a State dinner for President Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the White House.
An active recitalist and orchestral soloist, George has performed in venues throughout the world, including the Concertgebouw (Amsterdam), the Musikverein (Vienna), Rudolfinum’s Dvorak Hall (Czech Republic), Severance Hall, Symphony Hall, Jordan Hall, Mechanics Hall, The Tabernacle, Alice Tully Hall of Lincoln Center, Merkin Hall, and the Kennedy Center.
George is also an enthusiastic chamber musician. Since the age of 9 George has regularly performed in chamber music concerts, with repertoire ranging from Haydn to Beethoven, Brahms, Shostakovich, and Bolcom. As a member of the Vivace Trio, George performed for members of the US Congress on Capitol Hill. He has also played chamber music concerts with The Boston Trio and in the Winsor Chamber Music Series.
George has frequently been featured as guest artist on National Public Radio (WGBH). He also appeared on CBS TV (the Liz Walker Show and the Martha Stewart Show). At the age of 11, George performed at Carnegie Hall as a featured pianist in the TV series produced by From the Top. George has participated in numerous world-renowned summer festivals including the Verbier Academy (Switzerland), the Miami International Piano Festival, the Southeastern Piano Festival, and the Gilmore Keyboard Festival. He has had master classes with renowned pianists Alfred Brendel, Emmanuel Ax, and Richard Goode.
A resident of Lexington, Massachusetts, George Li graduated from Walnut Hill School for the Arts and the Preparatory School of New England Conservatory, where he studied piano with Ms. Wha Kyung Byun (卞和暻). George’s previous piano teachers include Mrs. Dorothy Shi (杨镜钏) [from the ages of 4 to 12] and Mr. Chengzong Yin (殷承宗) [ages 7 to 12].
George is currently enrolled in the dual degree program at Harvard University and the New England Conservatory, continuing his piano studies with Ms. Wha Kyung Byun as well as Maestro Russell Sherman, a renowned pianist and Distinguished Artist in residence at the New England Conservatory. Finished reading.
Ilmars Lapins . Artistic Director and Chief Conductor
Fairfax Symphony Orchestra
Albany Symphony Orchestra
Windsor Symphony Orchestra
from the Dinard audience Wednesday evening after his first
Rising Star concert performance during the 26th International Music Festival.
He presented five encores in the packed Stephan-Bouttet auditorium to an audience
totally committed to his breathtaking virtuosity and natural grace.
is Li’s instinctive assimilation of style.
He plays like a great pianist at the apogeic intersection of
middle-aged vigor and the wisdom of maturity.
played by George Li, … he is a powerhouse.
I have seldom heard the many blazing octave passages in the outer movements
played faster or more cleanly, let alone both at the same time.
His first chords were unforgettable, even I would say, astonishing.
He took command of our ears in a moment and he kept that command throughout.
Mr. Li knew how to play Chopin’s wonderful heroics, but he also knew how to whisper.
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