Chinese Concert Pianist
A ‘rising star of the piano’, Chinese pianist Siqian Li brings elegance, dynamism and exceptional musical quality to her performances. Commended for her ‘virtuosity and talent’ (Annecy Classic Festival), her ‘huge emotional range and effortless pianistic control’ (Paul Lewis), and her ‘graceful and touching’ (Emanuel Ax) approach, Siqian has appeared in concerts and recitals around the world.
Uncompromising in her dedication to the musical arts and connecting with audiences, Siqian is equally content on intimate stages as she is on the major stages. Previously, she has performed at international concert halls including Beijing Forbidden City Concert Hall, Tokyo Ginza Yamaha Concert Hall, Cairo’s Arabic Music Institute and Boston’s Jordan Hall, and more unusual settings, with recitals at the London School of Economics, 1901 Arts Club and the ever-charming Fidelio Cafe.
In 2014, Siqian appeared alongside Benjamin Grosvenor and David Fray in a recital at Annecy Classic Festival which was broadcast live on medici.tv, the world’s leading classical music channel. Consistently active on the festival circuit, Siqian has also given recitals at Festival d’Auvers sur-Oise, Dinard Festival International de Musique, Lancaster Music Festival, Shanghai International Music Festival, and BNP Paribas Rising Star Piano Festival.
A keen collaborator, Siqian actively seeks out opportunities to work with inspiring international artists. In 2021, Siqian collaborated with Latvian violinist Roberts Balanas on his debut album, which was released on Linn Records and has surpassed 150k plays on Apple Music. Elsewhere, Siqian has collaborated with a wide range of musicians worldwide, from the principals of the China National Symphony Orchestra, to violinist Jack Liebeck.
Siqian’s approach to her work as a pianist is compelling; ever-striving to find the truth within a piece, she invites audiences to have a genuine encounter with classical music. The level of depth Siqian brings to her musical exploration, coupled with her shining pianism, has led to her winning multiple awards. Stunning handling of the work of Schubert, Scriabin, Chopin and Ravel resulted in Siqian being awarded the first prize of the Chappell Medal Piano Competition 2020 (the Royal College of Music’s top award for pianists). Elsewhere, she has won the Grand Prix at the Krainev International Piano Competition, the first prize at the Imola International Piano Competition, Yamaha China Piano Competition Conservatoire, and the Puigcerdà International Festival Competition. Siqian was also a semi-finalist of the Leeds International Piano Competition in 2018, and has been among the highly selected competitors of some top competitions including Queen Elisabeth International Music Competition, Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, Rubinstein International Piano Masters Competition and Sydney International Piano Competition.
Most recently, Siqian and Roberts Balanas performed live and chatted with Sean Rafferty on BBC Radio 3 - In Tune ahead of their concert at the Bridgewater Hall. She also appeared on BBC Radio London’s evening show The Scene chatting about her music journey. Passionate about sharing thoughts and ideas in writing, Siqian’s latest article ‘The Power of Teachers’ has been featured on Classical Music UK.
An enthusiastic teacher, Siqian teaches privately in London, and has given masterclasses around the world, in institutions ranging from Yamaha Music China to Lancashire’s Rossall School. As an advocate of music education, Siqian has also delivered charity concerts in China to support children’s musical education.
Siqian’s attitude towards music has been shaped by three exceptional piano teachers. At just 10 years old, she was discovered by Professor Huiqiao Bao - one of the most prestigious pianists in China - who proceeded to teach her for twelve years, laying a solid foundation for her career. Professor Alexander Korsantia, whom Siqian later studied with in Boston, injected Siqian with his passionate attitude to music and bold approach to life, encouraging her to step out of her comfort zone and break limits. Then, Professor Norma Fisher, whom Siqian studied with in London, brought her understanding of music to a whole new level. These teachers have helped to sculpt Siqian into a curious, driven artist, committed to always staying at the top of her creative powers.
Siqian studied Music at the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing, becoming the first pianist to be awarded the “Best of the Best - Top and Innovative Talent” diploma and the scholarship from China’s Ministry of Culture. She then went on to obtain a Master of Music Degree with Academic Honours and a Graduate Diploma at the New England Conservatory in Boston, before receiving an Artist Diploma at the Royal College of Music in 2020. Siqian is a Yamaha Young Artist, and generously supported by the Drake Calleja Trust and the Talent Unlimited Foundation.