Photo by Ryan Brandenberg

Photo by Ryan Brandenberg


Zhenni Li

Hailed as “a magnetic pianist–with fire and poetry” by music critic David Dubal and for her “big, gorgeous tone and a mesmerizing touch” by The Philadelphia Inquirer, pianist Zhenni Li’s passionate performances have brought audiences to their feet around the world. A winner of Astral’s 2016 National Auditions, Ms. Li has performed throughout North America, Europe, and Asia, in such notable venues as Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Merkin Concert Hall and WQXR’s Greene Space in New York, Philadelphia’s Kimmel Performing Arts Center, San Jose’s California Theater, the  Grieghallen in Norway and the National Concert Hall in Tianjin, China. 

Highlights of the 2017-2018 season include debut recitals in Carnegie Hall and the Berlin Philharmonie and her CD recording debut, “Mélancholie,” for the Steinway & Sons label, featuring works by Schumann, Lourié and Bartók.  Other upcoming engagements include a concerto appearance with the Fairbanks Symphony Orchestra and recitals at the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, D.C., Philadelphia’s American Philosophical Society, McGill University and the University of Washington, as well as the preparation of the complete Préludes for solo piano of Claude Debussy.  Recent engagements include performances of Beethoven’s Concerto No. 4 with the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Edward Gardner, Beethoven’s Concerto No. 2 and Rachmaninoff’s Concerto No. 3 with McGill Symphony Orchestra under Maestro Alexis Hauser and the NYCA Symphony Orchestra under Eduard Zilberkrant, and Beethoven’s Concerto No. 5 with the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Symphony with Jason Weinberger.  She also gave solo recitals in Philadelphia, Montréal and China, performed in collaborations with the Jasper and New Orford String Quartets, and appeared as a guest artist for the New York Philharmonic Symposium on Stravinsky with conductor Valery Gergiev.

Ms. Li has garnered worldwide recognition, most recently as the winner of the 2017 New York Concert Artists Worldwide Debut Audition, Astral Artist’s 2016 National Auditions, the Grieg International Competition in Norway, and the unanimous 1st Prize at the Concours Musical de France.  She is also a top prizewinner of the International Russian Piano Competition, Midwest International Piano Competition, the Kosciusko Chopin Piano Competition and The Heida Hermanns International Piano Competition.  Her performances have been broadcast internationally on New York’s WQXR, Canada National CBC Radio, Norwegian National Radio: NPK P2/NPK Klassisk, Texas Public Radio, Chicago’s WFMT Public Radio, Iowa Public Radio, Philadelphia’s WWFM The Classical Network and WRTI, and Hunan Daily in China.

A deeply devoted chamber musician, Ms. Li has collaborated with ensembles such as the New Orford String Quartet, the Jasper String Quartet, and Quatuor Hugo Wolf, and has appeared in concert series and venues including Bennet Gordon Concert Hall at Ravinia, Brandywine Museum in Philadelphia, Château de Fountainebleau in France, Church of the Holy Trinity at Rittenhouse Square, Salle Redpath and Pollack Hall in Montréal, and Théâtre de Vevey in Switzerland.  Summer festival appearances include performances at such prominent chamber music festivals as Ravinia's Steans Music Institute, Music@Menlo, Kneisel Hall, Juilliard ChamberFest, and Fontainebleau Festival in France.

Ms. Li holds a Bachelor and Master of Music degree, both on a full scholarship, from The Juilliard School, under the tutelage of Seymour Lipkin and Joseph Kalichstein.  After obtaining her Artist Diploma studying with Peter Frankl at Yale School of Music, she is currently completing her doctorate studies at the McGill School of Music under Dr. Stéphane Lemelin.  She is a Piano Faculty/Chamber music coach for the McGill School of Music for undergraduate students and is also the co-founder and Artistic Director for “Zhenni’s Schubertiade”, a multi-genre performing arts series which will launch in New York this spring.