Li Yundi – the incredible talent Chopin himself would be proud of

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Yundi Li is a well-known China born and bred classical pianist of his generation. He was considered second to none pianist that emanated from the Republic of China during the 21st century. He was the first ever youngster to have won the International Chopin Competition at the age of 18 years. After winning this award, he rapidly became well-know not only in China but also all over Europe, America and so on. Various record-breaking concerts, recordings, classical pieces are accredited to Yundi Li. He was well known to be a consistent and diligent man in his music career which without doubt earn him so many accolades, awards, international recognition e.t.c. he was in the year 2010 awarded a Gold Medal for Merit to Culture Gloria Artis by the Polish Government because of his ceaseless contribution and impact to their culture. He was considered by some as a genius of the piano because of his very rapid ability to learn various skills and moves on the piano in a very short period on time.



He was born in 7th October, 1982 in Chongqing to the family of Li Chuan and Zhang Xiaolu who were at that time both worker in a steel company named Sichuan Chongqing. His success today being a world class pianist can be accredited to his parent who although were not music inclined but encouraged young Yundi Li at the age of 3 years old by buying him an accordion or also called the harmonica. Which he studied so well and perfectly that at the age of four his progress is so pronounced to the extent that he attracted the attention of Tan Jianmin who at the time was a professor of music in China. This marks the beginning of Li’s successful music life as he won the golden prize for the Chongqing Children’s Accordion competition. Li’s journey as an Accordion player ends in the year 1989 as his Accordion tutor, Professor Tan Jianmin referred him to a well renown piano tutor of their time in China, Dan Zhaoyi. This mark the beginning of Li’s professional piano journey. Li studied with Dan Zhaoyi from 1989 to about 1993. He then seek to further his professional piano career by gaining admission into Shenzhen Arts School located in the axis of China.

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His accomplishments start with winning the Chongqing Children’s Accordion competition at age 4. He then won the Piano Competition children’s category in 1994 in Beijing. Later in 1995, he won the Stravinsky International Youth competition in the first place and the next year was a big achievement for him also as he won the most contending competition which brings all together pianist all over the world to Asia annually. The consequents award he won with the years are shown below:

The victory of Li in the year 2000 edition of chopping Competition makes him to come to the limelight and places him on a demand far and near places. He got his first recording consisting entirely of Chopin’s pieces released in 2002 and in the very next year which is year 2003, Li made his Carnegie Hall debut to great acclaim. This gave the CD the award of the New York Best CD of the year. Li moved to Hong Kong in the year 2006 where he has since lived till date. 


Li’s repertory is so large and extensive, by simply taking in works by Domenico Scarlatti, Mozart , Schumann , Prokofiev, and Ravel . li’s performance style “is broad, almost chameleonic, sounding plush and Romantic and fiery for Chopin and Liszt, but turning grittier and darker for works such as Prokofiev Second Concerto.

In addition to his repertoire, Li has written and recorded exclusively for Deutsche Grammophon. Yundi Li has then consistently performed numerous concerts around the world.