George Li

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George Li (黎卓宇)
Birth name George Li
Born August 24, 1995 (1995-08-24) (age 21)
Origin Massachusetts, USA
Genres Classical
Occupation(s) Pianist
Instruments Piano
Years active 2004-present

George Li (Chinese: 黎卓宇; pinyin: Lí zhuōyǔ) (born August 24, 1995) is a Chinese American pianist.

Early life[edit]

George Li was born on August 24, 1995, in Boston, Massachusetts, to parents from the People's Republic of China.


Li has been performing publicly since the age of nine. He has been gaining attention as a significant recitalist, a chamber musician, and a soloist with orchestra. At the age of eleven, he performed at New York City's Carnegie Hall. The performance was featured in the new TV series produced by NPR, From the Top.[1] He also performed on the Martha Stewart Show two weeks later.[2] Li has also performed at the Rose Garden in the White House for the President Barack Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Li's piano professors are Russell Sherman and Ms. Wha Kyung Byun.

Li has been renowned as a frequent performer of piano concertos with many prestigious orchestras. Among the concertos he has performed include Haydn Piano Concerto No. 11, Saint Saens Piano Concerto No. 2, Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 1, Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 4, Mendelssohn Piano Concerto No. 1, Mozart Piano Concerto No. 21, Schumann Piano Concerto in A minor, Chopin Piano Concerto No. 1, and Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No. 2. These orchestras include the Cleveland Orchestra (Jahja Ling conductor);[3] Xiamen Philharmonic (China; Tao Lin conductor), Symphony Pro Musica (Mark Churchill conductor),[4] Simon Bolivar Youth Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela (Venezuela; Sarah Ioannides conductor), Boston Philharmonic Orchestra (Benjamin Zander, conductor),[5] Brooklyn Philharmonic (Arkady Leytush conductor),[6] Spartanburg Philharmonic Orchestra (Sarah Ioannides conductor),[7] Miami Symphony Orchestra (Eduardo Marturet conductor),[8] Waltham Symphony Orchestra (Patrick Botti conductor),[9] Nordic Chamber Orchestra Sweden (Christian Lindberg conductor),[10] Princeton Symphony Orchestra (Benjamin Zander, conductor),[11] Albany Symphony Orchestra (David Alan Miller Conductor),[12] Lexington Symphony Orchestra (Jonathan McPhee, conductor),[13] Orchestra "I Solisti di Perugia" (Spoleto, Italy),[14] Southern Arizona Symphony Orchestra (Linus Lerner, conductor),[15] Rdigewood Symphony Orchestra (Arkady Leytush conductor) [16] and the Youth Philharmonic Orchestra of New England Concervatory (Benjamin Zander, conductor).[17]

Li was awarded the first prizes in the Massachusetts Music Teachers Association state competitions at the age of 6 and 7. In 2005, Li won second prizes in both the Virginia Waring International Piano Competition [18] and the Cincinnati World Piano Competition at the age of nine. In 2008, Li won the second prize in the Gina Bachauer International Piano Junior Artist Competition.[19] In 2010, Li has won the first prize in the Cooper International Piano Competition[20][21] Li has also won the first prize in the Young Concert Artists International Auditions.[22]

On June 7, 2011, Li performed for President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama, German Chancellor Dr. Angela Merkel and her husband Dr. Joachim Sauer at a state dinner in the White House Rose Garden.[23] On June 23, 2011, Li was selected to be one of the two recipients of the 2012 Gilmore Young Artist Award. He is currently the youngest recipient of the award.[24]

On July 1, 2015, George Li won 2nd prize, tied with Lukas Geniušas in the XV International Tchaikovsky Competition.


Li resides in Lexington, Massachusetts. He graduated from Walnut Hill School and the New England Conservatory Preparatory School, where he studies with Wha Kyung Byun. Li's previous piano teachers include Dorothy Shi (杨镜钏) and Yin Chengzong (殷承宗).[25]

Li is currently an undergraduate/masters student in the dual degree program at Harvard University and the New England Conservatory.


  1. ^ "NPR From the Top TV Series Season 1: Episo 4". 
  2. ^ "George Li On Martha Stewart Show - World News". Retrieved 2011-10-25. 
  3. ^ "Cooper International Piano Competition: reflections and the final round at Severance Hall". The Blog. 
  4. ^ "Piano virtuoso, 12, dominates Pro Musica's season opener". Telegram & Gazette (Worcester, MA). November 19, 2007. 
  5. ^ "Guest soloist at 13; BPO taps pianist George Li to help open 149th Worcester Music Festival". Telegram & Gazette (Worcester, MA). October 16, 2008. 
  6. ^ "The 18th Interfaith Concert of Remembrance". Interfaith Committee of Remembrance. October 25, 2008. 
  7. ^ "13-Year-Old, George Li, Performs with Spartanburg Philharmonic". December 2, 2008. 
  8. ^ "Review: Pianist George Li, 12, celebrates Mendelssohn's bicentennial" (PDF). March 24, 2009. 
  9. ^ "Pianist George Li is joining the Waltham Symphony Orchestra to Perform the Mendelssohn's Concerto No.1". March 28, 2009. Archived from the original on 2012-03-15. 
  10. ^ "George Li's Swedish Tour". From The Top Green Room. September 16, 2009. 
  11. ^ "Princeton Symphony Orchestra's 30th Season Opens with Wunderkind Pianist George Li". Town Topics. October 7, 2009. 
  12. ^ "Albany Symphony Orchestra @ Palace Theatre". November 14, 2009. 
  13. ^ "Li to perform with symphony Saturday". Lexington Minuteman. November 14, 2009. Archived from the original on 2011-11-30. 
  14. ^ "Assisi nel Mondo Festival – George Li and Mindy Chen with the I Solisti di Perugia". Umbria Online News. May 29, 2010. 
  15. ^ "Piano phenom stuns SASO audience". Arizona Daily Star. September 26, 2010. 
  16. ^ "Ridgewood Symphony to Present Teen-Aged Piano Prodigy". Ramapo Times. April 4, 2011. [permanent dead link]
  17. ^ "YPO + Zander". December 15, 2010. Archived from the original on 2011-10-09. 
  18. ^ "2005 winners list". Virginia Waring International Piano Competition Official Website. January 2005. 
  19. ^ "2008 Junior Competition WINNERS LIST". Gina Bachauer International Piano Competition Official Website. July 2008. Archived from the original on 2011-07-27. 
  20. ^ "Pianist George Li, 14, is the Winner of the Cooper Competition". The Thomas & Evon Cooper International Piano Competition Official Website. July 30, 2010. 
  21. ^ "Lexington youth wins music competition". by Cindy Cantrell, West People column, Boston Globe. August 20, 2010. 
  22. ^ "George Li, pianist". Young Concert Artists Official Website. December 2010. Archived from the original on 2011-07-22. 
  23. ^ "Press Release" (PDF). White House. June 7, 2011. 
  24. ^ "Current Gilmore Young Artists". June 23, 2011. 
  25. ^ "NEC Prep Pianist George Li Plays at White House". New England Conservatory Official Website. June 8, 2011. 

External links[edit]