October 7, 1982 |
Chongqing, Sichuan, China
|Awards||International Frédéric Chopin Piano Competition
2000 1st in place
2000 The Fryderyk Chopin Society and Warsaw City Council ex aequo prize for the best performance of a polonaise
Li Yundi (simplified Chinese: 李云迪; traditional Chinese: 李雲迪; pinyin: Lǐ Yúndí) (born October 7, 1982) is a Chinese classical pianist. He is also popularly known as Yundi and formerly Yundi Li. Born in Chongqing, Li is most well known for being the youngest pianist to win the International Frédéric Chopin Piano Competition, in 2000, at the age of 18. He currently resides in Beijing. Since 2014, he has introduced the great Russian composer Rimsky-Korsakov's famous "Flight of the bumblebee"(in piano solo arrangement by Rachmaninoff) to mainland China as well as the rest of the world. He played it in the New Year's Concert in Beijing and the review described it as the worst performance of the year. The available audience video captured the disaster moment and immediately catched thousands of eyes all over the internet and many recordings of this piece made by his colleague flooded Weibo(i.e. Chinese facebook)which made "Flight of the Bumblebee" as the hottest topic at one time. Li has been known as an ambassador in promoting classical piano music, and he was "successfully" making Rimsky-Korsakov a well-known name to his young fans, after his Chopin, Liszt and Beethoven.
His father, Li Chuan, and his mother, Zhang Xiaolu, were both workers for the Sichuan Chongqing Steel and Iron Company. Although coming from a family of non-musicians, Li took to music early. When he was three years old, his parents bought him an accordion after he became so entranced by an accordion player in a shopping mall that he refused to leave. He mastered the instrument by the age of four, studying with Tan Jianmin, a music professor in China. Only one year later, he won the top prize at the Chongqing Children's Accordion Competition. Li began studying piano at the age of seven. Two years later, his teacher introduced him to Dan Zhaoyi, one of China's most renowned piano teachers, with whom he would study for nine years. Li's ambition was to become a professional pianist. In 1994, he entered the Shenzhen Arts School, Shenzhen, China. He later studied at the Hochschule für Musik, Theater und Medien Hannover in Hanover, Germany.
Li has received top awards at various competitions. He won the Children's Piano Competition in Beijing in 1994. In 1995, he was awarded first place at the Stravinsky International Youth Competition. In 1998, he won the 1998 Missouri Southern International Piano Competition (Junior Division). The next year, he took Third Prize at the International Franz Liszt Piano Competition of Utrecht, as well as being a major winner in the China International Piano Competition. He also won first place at the Gina Bachauer Young Artists International Piano Competition.
In October 2000, at the urging of the Chinese Culture Ministry, Li participated in the 14th International Frédéric Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw. He was the first participant to be awarded First Prize in 15 years. At 18 years of age, he was the youngest winner—and the first Chinese—in the competition's history. Li was given the "Polonaise award" by the Chopin Society for his performance at the competition.
Performing and recording career
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 U.S. State Department.
Li's second recording of Liszt for Deutsche Grammophon, for whom he exclusively recorded until November 2008, was released in August 2003 and was 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. He is scheduled to release a recording of Beethoven sonatas in late 2012 for Deutsche Grammophon. He has also given a recital in the renowned Musikverein in Vienna, performing works by Mozart, Scarlatti, Schumann, and Liszt.
Li is the subject of a 2008 feature-length documentary, The Young Romantic: Yundi Li, directed by Barbara Willis Sweete. He appeared as a Pennington Great Performers series artist with the Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra, also in 2008.
- Complete Nocturnes (EMI Classics)
- Piano Sonata in B minor No. 3 op. 58
- Andante spianato et Grande Polonaise brillante op. 22
- Études op. 10 Nos. 2 + 5 op. 25 No. 11 »Winter Wind«
- Nocturnes op. 9 Nos. 1 + 2 op. 15 No. 2
- Impromptu op. 66 (Fantaisie-Impromptu)
CD |D|D|D| 4714792
- Piano Sonata in B minor
- La Campanella
- Widmung after Schumann: Liebeslied
- Liebestraum No. 3
- Tarantella from Venezia e Napoli
CD |D|D|D| 471 585–2 SACD |D|D|D| 474 2972 Awards: Echo Award 2003
Chopin: Scherzo & Impromptus
- 4 Scherzi:
- No. 1 op. 20 · No. 2 op. 31
- No. 3 op. 39 · No. 4 op. 54
- 3 Impromptus
- No. 1 op. 29 · No. 2 op. 36
- No. 3 op. 51
SACD |D|D|D| 474 8782 CD |D|D|D| 474 5162
- Liszt: Rhapsodie espagnole
- Mozart: Piano Sonata KV 330
- D. Scarlatti: Sonatas K. 380 + K. 13
- Schumann: Carnaval op. 9
CD |D|D|D| 477 557–1 |G|H|
Chopin & Liszt Piano Concerto No.1
- Liszt: Concerto for piano no.1 in E-Flat,S.124
- Chopin: Concerto for piano no.1 in E-minor,op.11
CD |D|D|D| 00289 477 6402 |G|H|
Yundi – The Young Romantic
- Frédéric Chopin: Scherzo in B minor, op.20 Scherzo in B flat minor, op.31 Scherzo in C sharp minor, op.39 Scherzo in E major, op.54; Franz Liszt: Grandes Études de Paganini: La Campanella
- Bonus: Yundi Li plays at La Roque d’Anthéron
DVD 3079058 EuroArts/Ideale Audience
Yundi's Beethoven Sonata Album
- Appassionata, Moonlight, Pathétique sonatas
- Chan, Vivien Pik-Kwan. "Shenzhen pianist shows forte". South China Morning Post (Hong Kong =2000-10-21). p. 1.
- Bargreen, Melinda (2005-04-10). "Piano prodigy loves what he is doing, as his brilliance attests". Seattle Times. p. J1.
- Kishinami, Yukiko (2001-05-03). "Piano prodigy restores luster to Chopin competition". Daily Yomiuri. p. 1.
- Eatock, Colin (2008-02-13). "Pianist as pop star. Is Yundi Li better than Lang Lang? He says he doesn't care". Globe and Mail (Canada). p. R1. Retrieved 2008-02-14.
- "Charity show for Shenzhen pianist". South China Morning Post (Hong Kong =2000-12-01). p. 5.
- "Pianist Yundi is back with Deutsche Grammophon", Gramophone, May 4, 2012
- "Pianist Li Yundi becomes a Hong Kong resident". South China Morning Post (Hong Kong =2007-01-16). p. 2.
- "EMI Classics Signs Chinese Pianist Yundi". LSM Newswire. March 22, 2010. Retrieved 2010-03-22.
- "Review: Piano Maestro Li Yundi, Royal Festival Hall". The London Insider. March 16, 2010. Retrieved 2010-03-18.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Li Yundi.|
- Li Yundi at Deutsche Grammophon
- Li plays Chopin Scherzo No. 1 Op. 30
- Sina Video Li plays his version of the Flight of the Wasp! (the bumblebee was busy!)
- YouTube Yundi Li rehearses Beethoven's Sonata No. 23 in F Minor, Op. 57 "Appassionata", 3rd movt. (03/01/2014)
- Biography of Li Yundi (written by Richard Dyer, Globe Newspaper Company, 4/10/2004)
- 'The young romantic: A portrait of Yundi Li'
- "Why Yundi Li Got Cut," Wall Street Journal, November 29, 2008