2011-03-22 Yundi Li London

Known as the “modern day Chopin” in China, Yundi Li is visiting London this month to launch his second album and accompanying DVD Yundi: Live in Beijing, which is a live recording of his concert at the Beijing National Centre of the Performing Arts and is released under the EMI Classics label.

The DVD is the first live recording from the impressive venue in Beijing, fondly nicknamed “The Egg” due its unique oval exterior, to be commercially issued for international release and captures the magic of Yundi’s interpretations of Chopin.

As the youngest and first Chinese winner of the prestigious Chopin International Piano Competition in 2000, Yundi has ‘rock star’ status in China and has an international following. Last year his first concert at the Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre in London was a complete sell out.

Returning to London this month to kick off his worldwide release of his new album and DVD Yundi commented: “I love coming to London it’s exciting and multicultural. It’s where a rich heritage meets contemporary creativity. I’m looking forward to visiting again and sharing my new album with all my fans in the UK, including the British Chinese community.”

The new album is his most accomplished to date and features four Chopin nocturnes. As a Chinese pianist, the disc concludes with Cai Yun Zhui Yue, one of the traditional Chinese pieces that have proved popular as encores with the pianist’s recital audiences around the world.

The UK tour will include:

* An exclusive recital and album signing at Foyles book shop on 21 March, 6.30pm – 8pm
* A master class at the Royal College of Music on 22 March, 11am – 1.30pm
* A master class at the University of Cambridge on 23 March, 1pm - 4pm

Track list

1. étude in C minor, Op. 10, No. 12, “Revolutionary”
2. Piano Sonata No. 2 in B-flat minor, Op. 35 “Marche funèbre”
3. Andante spianato and Grand Polonaise, Op. 22
4. Four Mazurkas, Op. 33
5. Nocturne No. 1 in B-flat minor, Op. 9, No. 1
6. Nocturne No. 2 in E-flat, Op. 9, No. 2
7. Nocturne No. 5 in F-sharp, Op. 15, No. 2
8. Polonaise No. 6 in A-flat, Op. 53 “Héroïque”
9. Traditional Chinese: Cai Yun Zhui Yue
10. Revolutionary Etude

Yundi Li’s biography

Internationally renowned pianist Yundi, a household name in his native China, was propelled into the international music scene in 2000 when he became the first pianist in 15 years to be awarded first prize at the Chopin International Piano Competition in Warsaw. At 18 years of age, Yundi was also the youngest and the first Chinese winner in the history of the prestigious competition. Since then, he has been regarded as a leading interpreter of Chopin’s music.

Critically acclaimed for his technical precision and boundless enthusiasm, Yundi has collaborated with such prestigious orchestras as the Mariinsky Orchestra, Berlin Philharmonic, Vienna Philharmonic, London Symphony Orchestra, Zurich Chamber Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony and Toronto Symphony Orchestra.  In his regular recital tours he has performed at the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Zurich Tonhalle, Royal Festival Hall (London), Carnegie Hall (New York), Herkulesaal (Munich), Salle Pleyel (Paris), Roy Thomson Hall (Toronto), Suntory Hall (Tokyo) and the Verbier Festival (Switzerland).

In 2010, Yundi was honoured to participate in the Chopin 200th anniversary festival in Warsaw. He also undertook two European tours, performed recitals across Japan and made return visits to Carnegie Hall, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and the Lanaudiere Festival (Canada).

Yundi has released nine CDs and DVDs worldwide.  In 2007, he became the first Chinese pianist to record live with the Berlin Philharmonic and Seiji Ozawa.  The disc of Prokofiev’s Second Piano Concerto and Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G Major met with rave reviews and was named ‘Editor’s Choice’ by Gramophone Magazine.

Born in Chongqing, Yundi began piano studies at age seven and in 1995 moved with his family to Shenzhen, where he received training from Zhaoyi Dan at the Shenzhen Arts School.  After his triumph at the Chopin International Piano Competition, he embarked upon six years of intensive musical studies at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater Hannover.