The Washington Post
“Li’s performance left no doubt that he combines staggering technical prowess, a sense of command, and depth of expression.”
The New York Times
“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.
“George Li plays Chopin brilliantly”
“A polished London debut recital…“Two contrasting Liszt favourites closed the official programme. The Consolation in D flat major rippled its nostalgic theme winningly, each note perfectly weighted. There were rustic cimbalom effects aplenty in the melancholic lassú section of the Hungarian Rhapsody no. 2 in C sharp minor (the most famous of the 19 Liszt wrote). Li tickled the bell-like tintinnabulations which open the lively friska, the rollicking theme pealing joyously.”
“Li is a stylish pianist with a stunning technique”
“Li brought a wealth of sonorities to the piano part, from warm lyricism to glittery cascades of sound.”
The Boston Music Intelligencer
“ruler-straight perfection of pulse, limitless velocity, gleaming clarity, a broad palette of colors including voluptuous pianissimos and triple fortes that never banged. All of this was in the service of an intellect which conjured a chess-master’s understanding of structure and strategy; his mind always worked several moves ahead of his hands.”
South Florida Classical Review
“Li is a first-class virtuoso, with an exciting, edgy style that makes the most of Rachmaninoff’s bravura flourishes…The excitement and blazing power he brought to the crashing crescendo that leads to the orchestra’s restatement of the first theme represented much more than just getting the notes right. In the last movement, he played with dash in the opening cascade of notes. Throughout with his assured technique, Li’s articulation was such that fast passages never became a blur…Toward the end, Li brought show-stopping power to the chords played against the theme in the orchestra, holding back at moments to give the passage maximum force.”
“This set was concluded with “XXVI. Prelude in D Minor: Allegro appassianato,” where Li displayed a wealth of skill. He laid out driving chords over a growing melody that burst into a variety of expressive glides and figures over this unceasing weight from the depths of the keyboard, powerfully sputtering to an end as Li drew magnificent nuance from the dying chords.”
Praised by the Washington Post for combining “staggering technical prowess, a sense of command and depth of expression,” pianist George Li possesses an effortless grace, poised authority, and brilliant virtuosity far beyond his years. Since winning the Silver Medal at the 2015 International Tchaikovsky Competition, Li has rapidly established a major international reputation and performs regularly with some of the world’s leading orchestras and conductors, such as Dudamel, Gaffigan, Gergiev, Gimeno, Honeck, Orozco-Estrada, Petrenko, Robertson, Slatkin, Temirkanov, Tilson Thomas, Long Yu, and Xian Zhang.
Li’s 2023-24 season begins with a recital at the Grand Teton Music Festival followed by his debut with the Aula Simfonia in Jakarta, Indonesia and conductor Jahja Ling. He embarks on an extensive tour in China including recital and concerto performances in Kunming, Beijing, and Shanghai. In Europe, Li presents recital programs in Viersen, Baden, Elmau, and Stuttgart, and he debuts with the Prague Philharmonia in Prague and Ljubljana. US performances include engagements with the Cincinnati and Milwaukee Symphonies, Florida Orchestra, Oklahoma City Philharmonic, and Chicago Sinfonietta; and recitals across the country from California to Florida. A committed collaborator, George returns to the ECHO series in El Cajon, CA with the Dover Quartet and San Francisco’s Davies Symphony Hall with violinist Stella Chen.
Recent concerto highlights include performances with the Los Angeles, New York, London, Rotterdam, Oslo, St. Petersburg, Buffalo Philharmonics; the San Francisco, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Dallas, Tokyo, Frankfurt Radio, Sydney, Nashville, New Jersey, New World, North Carolina, Pacific, Valencia, Montreal, and Baltimore Symphonies; as well as the Philharmonia, DSO Berlin, Orchestra National de Lyon and Orchestre Philharmonique Royal de Liège in Belgium. His eight-concert tour of Germany with the Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra included performances at the Berlin Philharmonie, Philharmonie am Gasteig Munich, and the Stuttgart Liederhalle. Collaboration with the Mariinsky Orchestra included performances at the Paris Philharmonie, Luxembourg Philharmonie, New York’s Brooklyn Academy of Music, Graffenegg Festival, and in various venues throughout Russia.
In recital, Li has previously performed at venues including Carnegie Hall, Davies Hall in San Francisco, Symphony Center in Chicago, the Mariinsky Theatre, Elbphilharmonie, Munich’s Gasteig, the Louvre, Seoul Arts Center, Tokyo’s Asahi Hall and Musashino Hall, NCPA Beijing, Shanghai Poly Theater, and Amici della Musica Firenze, as well as appearances at major festivals including the Edinburgh International Festival, Verbier Festival, Ravinia Festival, Festival de Pâques in Aix-en-Provence Festival, and Montreux Festival. An active chamber musician, Li has performed alongside Benjamin Beilman, Noah Bendix-Balgley, James Ehnes, Daniel Hope, Sheku Kanneh-Mason, and Kian Soltani.
Li is an exclusive Warner Classics recording artist, with his debut recital album released in October 2017 which was recorded live from the Mariinsky. His second recording for the label features Liszt solo works and Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No.1, which was recorded live with Vasily Petrenko and the London Philharmonic and was released in October 2019. His third album with the label, which will include solo pieces by Schumann, Ravel and Stravinsky, is scheduled to be released in the spring of 2024.
Li gave his first public performance at Boston’s Steinway Hall at the age of ten, and in 2011 performed for President Obama at the White House in an evening honoring Chancellor Angela Merkel. Among Li’s many prizes, he was the recipient of the 2016 Avery Fisher Career Grant, a recipient of the 2012 Gilmore Young Artist Award, and the First Prize winner of the 2010 Young Concert Artists International Auditions. He is currently pursuing an Artist Diploma at the New England Conservatory, continuing to work with Wha Kyung Byun. When not playing piano, George is an avid reader and photographer, as well as a sports fanatic.