Chinese classical pianist, Yundi Li, is a force to be reckoned with. At just 18 years of age, he won the 14th International Frédéric Chopin Piano Competition, making him the youngest and first Chinese winner in the history of the competition. He now has almost 20 million followers in China alone and is hailed by millions of fans around the world as the most flamboyant, original and talented virtuoso on the planet.
Following a hugely successful sold-out tour in Australia and New Zealand in 2018, Yundi will make his Perth debut next month with his Sonata World Tour. This highly anticipated concert, which will feature the works of Chopin, Schubert and Rachmaninoff, is a not-to-be-missed opportunity to experience Yundi’s spectacular talent live.
We were lucky enough to interview Yundi about what inspires him, his greatest professional achievement so far and how he spends his time when he’s not playing music.
Yundi Li will be performing at Perth Concert Hall on Tuesday 4 February, 7:30pm.
When and why did you decide to pursue a career in music?
Due to both of my parents loving music, I have been influenced by music since I was a child. Since I started to learn piano at the age of 7, music has become a career that I am willing to dedicate my life to. The reason is simple, because of love. When I won the Chopin International Piano Competition, I became even more determined to become a professional pianist and have worked hard to this day.
What is your favourite thing about being a professional pianist?
My favourite thing is how the audience’s mood changes with the music I play, and being able to affect the audience is what I think is the most fulfilling.
Who is your greatest musical inspiration?
Chopin is a musician I admire very much. His works always move me, and the patriotic enthusiasm resonates strongly with me. Chopin gave me a lot of musical inspiration.
What do you consider to be your greatest professional achievement so far?
It is my pride to be able to rely on my efforts to let more and more audiences in China understand and love classical music, and more and more children start to learn piano.
Are there any instruments other than piano that you play or would love to be able to play?
I used to learn the accordion when I was a child, but I haven’t played it for a long time.
What is your favourite song to play?
Currently, my favourite pieces are the pieces I am going to perform in this tour – the sonatas of Chopin, Schubert and Rachmaninov.
What is your favourite food?
Because I’m from Chongqing, it must be Chongqing hot pot.
With your busy schedule, how do you like to relax?
I generally relax through fitness. High-intensity touring also requires good physical support, so fitness is a two-way relaxation method for me.