November 8, 2010
Pianist George Li, 15, Wins Young Concert Artists International Auditions, November 6 in New York City
Student of Wha-Kyung Byun in NEC Preparatory School and Walnut Hill School, Li Wins Three Years’ Professional Management
Will Perform with NEC Youth Philharmonic Orchestra, Dec. 15 in Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 4 with Conductor Benjamin Zander
George Li, the 15-year old piano prodigy from Lexington, won the 2010 Young Concert Artists International Auditions, Saturday night in New York City. One of three winners (the others were a violinist and a clarinetist), Li will be awarded three years of professional concert management by YCA. He also won five of the special prizes. He will perform Monday night (nov. 8) in the Winners’ Concert. At NEC, he can next be heard as soloist with the Youth Philharmonic Orchestra, December 15 in Jordan Hall, where he will perform the Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 4 with conductor Benjamin Zander.
A student of Wha Kyung Byun, Li is a 10th grader at the Walnut Hill School in Natick where he studies in the NEC at Walnut Hill music program. He is also coached by Laura Blustein in the chamber music program at the NEC Preparatory School, where he has played for four years with the Vivace Trio.
Li, who in August won the inaugural Thomas and Evon Cooper International Competition, joins current NEC college students Charlie Albright, piano, and Narek Haknazaryan, cello, who were YCA winners in 2009 and 2008 respectively.
Now celebrating its 50th anniversary, YCA was founded in 1961 by pianist Susan Wadsworth as a vehicle to discover and develop the careers of extraordinary classical musicians. Winners of the Auditions are selected by a jury of distinguished musicians. The sole criteria for winning are exceptional musicianship, virtuosity, and individuality. Auditions organizers stress that musicians compete against a standard of excellence, not each other and that any number of first prize winners—or none—can be selected each year. YCA’s three-year management services include the booking of concert engagements throughout the United States, publicity and promotional materials, and career guidance at no cost to the artists. Winners are presented at recitals in the Young Concert Artists Series in New York, at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. and at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston.
George Li Biography
George Li, of Lexington, Massachusetts, is a student at the Walnut Hill School and the New England Conservatory Preparatory School, where he studies piano with Wha Kyung Byun.
Li has performed publicly since he was 9 years old, gaining attention as a significant recitalist, chamber musician, and soloist with orchestra. He has appeared at the opening ceremony of Boston’s new Institute of Contemporary Art, at the inauguration of President Tony Woodcock at New England Conservatory, and at Boston’s Steinway Hall. He also played at New York’s Carnegie Hall for the PBS series From the Top, and he has been featured on WBZ-TV’s Liz Walker Show and ABC’s Martha Stewart Show. Li was presented by the Hilton Head International Piano Competition and by the Gina Bachauer International Piano Competition in solo recitals in March and April 2010, respectively.
As an active chamber musician, Li is the pianist of New England Conservatory’s Vivace Trio. Coached by Laura Blustein of NEC’s Preparatory School, the Trio has performed on From the Top’s radio series and at the Conservatory’s annual gala, Feast of Music. The ensemble also performed for members of the U.S. Congress at the Senate Office Building in Washington, D.C.
Li has performed with many symphony orchestras, including the Brooklyn Philharmonic Orchestra, Boston Philharmonic Orchestra, Simon Bolivar Youth Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela, Xiamen Philharmonic in China, Symphony Pro Musica, Waltham Symphony Orchestra, Nordic Chamber Orchestra Sweden, Princeton Symphony Orchestra, Albany Symphony Orchestra, and the Lexington Symphony Orchestra. He was invited to perform Chopin’s Concerto No. 1 at Assisi in the World Festival in Italy in May 2010. Li was also invited to perform Rachmaninoff’s Concerto No. 2 with Arkady Leytush conducting the Ridgewood Symphony Orchestra.
At age 6 and again at age 7, Li won first prizes in the Massachusetts Music Teachers Association piano competition. At the age of 9 he won second prizes in both the Virginia Waring International Piano Competition and the Cincinnati World Piano Competition. In 2008, at the age of 12, he won second prize in the Gina Bachauer International Piano Junior Artist Competition. In August 2010, he won the first Thomas and Evon Cooper International Competition in Cleveland, during which he played with members of the Cleveland Orchestra.
For further information, check the NEC Website at: www.necmusic.edu/ or call the NEC Concert Line at 617-585-1122. NEC’s Jordan Hall, Brown Hall, Williams Hall and the Keller Room are located at 30 Gainsborough St., corner of Huntington Ave. Pierce Hall is located at 241 St. Botolph St. between Gainsborough and Mass Ave.
ABOUT NEW ENGLAND CONSERVATORY
Recognized nationally and internationally as a leader among music schools, New England Conservatory offers rigorous training in an intimate, nurturing community to 720 undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral music students from around the world. Its faculty of 225 boasts internationally esteemed artist-teachers and scholars. Its alumni go on to fill orchestra chairs, concert hall stages, jazz clubs, recording studios, and arts management positions worldwide. Nearly half of the Boston Symphony Orchestra is composed of NEC trained musicians and faculty.
The oldest independent school of music in the United States, NEC was founded in 1867 by Eben Tourjee. Its curriculum is remarkable for its wide range of styles and traditions. On the college level, it features training in classical, jazz, Contemporary Improvisation, world and early music. Through its Preparatory School, School of Continuing Education, and Community Collaboration Programs, it provides training and performance opportunities for children, pre-college students, adults, and seniors. Through its outreach projects, it allows young musicians to engage with non-traditional audiences in schools, hospitals, and nursing homes—thereby bringing pleasure to new listeners and enlarging the universe for classical music and jazz.
NEC presents more than 600 free concerts each year, many of them in Jordan Hall, its world- renowned, 106-year old, beautifully restored concert hall. These programs range from solo recitals to chamber music to orchestral programs to jazz and opera scenes. Every year, NEC’s opera studies department also presents two fully staged opera productions at the Cutler Majestic Theatre in Boston.
NEC is co-founder and educational partner of From the Top, a weekly radio program that celebrates outstanding young classical musicians from the entire country. With its broadcast home in Jordan Hall, the show is now carried by National Public Radio and is heard on 250 stations throughout the United States.
Contact: Ellen Pfeifer
Public Relations Manager
New England Conservatory
290 Huntington Ave.
Boston, MA 02115