Yundi Li’s piano-playing is a revelation. No one plays
Chopin more beautifully right now, and the lightning speed with
which he negotiates the tricky scherzos of the world’s most beloved
composer for the solo piano only complements the ease and delicacy
of his phrasing. After he won the International Chopin Piano
Competition when he was 18, Deutsche Grammophon signed him to a
multi-year recording contract and he began to star in his own solo
programs and as guest artist with some of the world’s great
symphony orchestras. He comes to UCSB’s Campbell Hall on Tuesday,
April 11, ready to shred.
1. He’s got a Steinway in his corner. “The
piano is great, but there must also be a good tuner, because
humidity can affect the instrument.”
2. He hasn’t played the accordion in years, but
he did start on it, and it was through the accordion that he
discovered that he loves to perform.
3. Winning isn’t everything. Li insists that he
was as surprised as anyone that he won the Chopin competition, and
now, six years later, he no longer competes.
4. Stolpman Vineyards is sponsoring, and that
means plenty of nice syrah will be poured at the inevitably wild
5. He’s traveling by himself, so there will be
no annoying gatekeeper types to separate him from the crush of
concert pianist groupies.