… 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.
Li ripped off technical passages with quicksilver ease,
arched the melodies with the soul of a romantic poet
and knocked off one masterpiece after another like an artist decades older.
Mr. Li seized your attention from the beginning.
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.
No matter what he touched — tonal or atonal,
fast or slow, loud or soft —Li turned it into a
brightly coloured, clearly articulated, neatly paced narrative.
There was mind-boggling fluency in Li’s fingerings, an effortlessness to his playing,
a beguiling fluidity to his phrasing, a precision to his crisp attacks.
The young George Li, … demonstrated the depth of his talent and understanding,
from Haydn to Bartok and back.