“My first choice is Steinway.”
Steinway Artist Yundi Li was propelled onto the international stage when he won first prize at the XIV Chopin International Piano Competition at the age of 18, becoming the youngest and first Chinese winner in the history of the renowned competition. Since then, he has been regarded as both an international piano star, and a leading exponent of Chopin’s music. In 2014 he was invited to serve on the jury of The 17th International Fryderyk Chopin Piano Competition, and was later presented a Gold Medal for Merit to Culture ‘Gloria Artis’ by the Government of Poland.
Described by the New York Times as "a technically astounding pianist who is by turns elegant and rambunctious, coolly expressive and white-hot," YUNDI has performed in such venues as Carnegie Hall (New York), Royal Festival Hall (London), Musikverein Vienna, Alte Opera Frankfurt, Herkulessaal (Munich), Konzerthaus Berlin, Gewandhaus zu Leipzig, Salle Pleyel (Paris), Mariinsky Concert Hall (St Petersburg), National Centre for Performing Arts (Beijing), Seoul Arts Centre and Suntory Hall (Tokyo). Orchestras and conductors with whom he has collaborated include the Berliner Philharmoniker and Seiji Ozawa, Leipzig Gewandhausorchester and Riccardo Chailly, Mahler Chamber Orchestra and Daniel Harding, Rotterdam Philharmonic and Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Philharmonia Orchestra and Andrew Davis, Mariinsky Orchestra and Valery Gergiev, and the Israel Philharmonic and Gustavo Dudamel. He has also performed with the Vienna Philharmonic, National Symphony Orchestra (Washington), Philadelphia Orchestra, Toronto Symphony and NHK Symphony.
YUNDI is a proud ambassador of the Red Cross Society of China and for his hometown of Chongqing. Equally committed to promoting classical music in an educational context, YUNDI is one of the pioneers of musical education in China, where his success story has played a crucial role in millions of children learning the piano. He has also given masterclasses at the Royal College of Music, University of Cambridge and Qinghua University in Beijing. In Autumn 2012, he was appointed Associate Dean and Professor of the Piano Faculty at the Sichuan Conservatory of Music.
YUNDI has released fifteen CDs worldwide on Deutsche Grammophon and EMI Classics. His 2003 release, Liszt, won the German Echo Album solo award; the Netherlands Edison Award; the Chinese Gold Record Award; and was listed as the New York Times ‘Annual Recommendation’. His 2007 live recording with the Berliner Philharmoniker and Seiji Ozawa on the Deutsche Grammophon label was met with rave reviews and named ‘Editor’s Choice’ by Gramophonemagazine. He released the complete Chopin Nocturnes; Live in Beijing (the first live recording to emerge from the National Centre for Performing Arts in Beijing since its inception in 2007); and Red Piano on On EMI Classics.
Born in Chongqing, YUNDI began piano studies at age seven. He subsequently trained at the Shenzhen Arts School and Hochschule für Musik und Theater Hannover. YUNDI has been a Steinway Artist since 2001. He is managed by Li Chuan.