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Yundi Li – The Other Side of Stardom (10 Jul 2004)

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<p>Yundi Li made his mark in his late teens. Now 21, the young man won thunderous applause with his excellent piano performance. His enviable career was launched with his victory at an international competition three years ago. In October 2000, Yundi Li flew to Poland to play in the 14th Warsaw Chopin Competition. At the final round of the contest, Li, nervous as he was, won the First Prize with seasoned skills, as the first person to receive the paramount award in 15 years and the youngest champion in the Chopin contest&#39;s history. Yundi was born in 1982 in Chongqing, a city in central China. His father, Li Chuan, was a manager at a steel mill, while her mother, Zhang Xiaolu, was working at a state-owned enterprise. Although none of Yundi&#39;s parents had received formal musical training, they were keen lovers of classical music. They sponsored their child&#39;s instrumental classes. Yundi Li started learning accordion at the age of three. At the age of seven he began to take piano lessons. At the age of eleven, Li went to Shenzhen with his tutor Dan Zhaoyi, one of the most renowned piano teachers in the country. Unlike other children of his age, Yundi&#39;s childhood was packed with piano classes. Besides the Chinese world, Yundi Li is also a big hit with Japanese fans. In 2003, Li, as a member of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, played Grieg&#39;s piano concerto in various cities in Japan. Yundi was delighted to play in the team under the directorship of Paavo Jarvi, an young talent famous for his unconventional philosophy of music. Classical music is deeply indebted to Continental Europe. As Hua Di, Yundi&#39;s current piano teacher, believes, it is essential for Asian young musicians to acquire a sound knowledge of Western culture, which is the stepping-stone to serious music. As Li is still a complete stranger to the European market, it takes some time for him to establish his stronghold on the continent. In 2003, Yundi has made his debut performance at Prague, Czech Republic and Paris, France. He did not only show off his charisma as an individual pianist, he also demonstrated the strength of the up-and-coming Chinese musicians. From one city to another and from one show to the next, Yundi Li was highly approved by audience around the world. His road to success was paved with determination. All legends will come to an end, but the pursuit of art will never.</p>

Program: 
Young Chinese Musicians
Publish Date: 
Saturday, July 10, 2004
Station: 
RTHK
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