George Li '19 MM Harvard/NEC Awarded Soloist Recording of the Year by Opus Klassik

George Li, student of Wha Kyung Byun wins the Opus Klassik award for his debut recording "Live at the Mariinsky"

George Li live at the mariinsky album

George Li '19 MM Harvard/NEC has been awarded Soloist recording of the year (music 19th century) / piano by Opus Klassik for his debut recording, Live from Mariinsky (Warner Classics). The recording, which was released in October 2017, features George's live performances of works by Haydn, Chopin, Rachmaninov, and Liszt. At NEC, George is a student of Wha Kyung Byun.

George has had a busy year leading up to this award, with musical activities taking him all over the world. In June, George performed back-to-back concerts in St. Petersburg at Mariinsky Concert Hall, followed by a concerto concert with the Mariinsky Orchestra and Maestro Valery Gergiev. George also went to the Colmar Festival in July to join the National Philharmonic Orchestra of Russia, conducted Maestro Vladimir Spivakov, to give a performance of Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody on a theme of Paganini and Tchaikovsky’s First Piano Concerto, all in one concert.
George opened the 25th Verbier Festival with a performance of Mendelssohn’s First Piano Concerto with the Verbier Festival Orchestra conducted by Maestro Valery Gergiev.



George made his debut with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra this summer at the Bravo Vail Festival.

George then went on to Los Angeles to play the Grieg’s piano concerto with the the LA Philharmonic Orchestra at the Hollywood Bowl, for which LA Times wrote George a wonderful review. George then went to the headquarters of NPR to be featured on a Tiny Desk Concert, produced by Tom Huizenga.


In Chicago, George gave a performance of Chopin’s first concerto with the Grant Park Symphony Orchestra. In the Chicago Tribune, Howard Reich reviewed George’s performance:

In a performance that must be termed extraordinary, Li brought to Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 1 in E Minor so much of what one hopes to hear in this work: heartfelt lyricism, unruffled virtuosity, moments of high drama and deep introspection and something more, as well: individuality.

Before returning to NEC, George embarked on an eleven city tour of China.

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