BOOKING NOW: Chuanyun Li

Never one to shy away from expressing his raw emotion and artistic rarity on and off the stage, violinist Chuanyun Li has been described as everything from genius to crazy misfit.  His true flamboyance, however, is never found in his outfit or public persona but in the unconventional interpretation of some of the master pieces written for the instrument he has excelled before his 10th birthday.  Since winning First Prize in the 5th International Karol Lipiński and Henryk Wieniawski Young Violin Player Competition at the age of 11 with the unanimous decision by 20 jurors, Li has embarked a career that started with a full scholarship to Juilliard under the instruction of Dorothy DeLay and Itzhak Perlman. It’s no wonder that critics claim Li “shares Perlman’s amazing dexterity in untangling virtuoso pieces ... and despite his technical accuracy and incredible speed, plays with great abandon and a lot of soul.” - Seattle Times, 2008.

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If China wants to have a great violinist, they have one.
— Ruggiero Ricci, 2004
The ghost of Kreisler might have smiled at Li Chuanyun’s violin work in the Praeludium and Allegro... he sailed through the dazzling work with pizazz...
— The Washington Post

Li added to his international fame in 2002 with his solo violin performances and original soundtrack recording for the movie Together (IMDb: He Ni Zai Yi Qi) directed by Golden Globe Award winning director Chen Kaige. “Li’s ethereal playing has given the movie such a magnificent aural backdrop,” proclaimed the Washington Post.  Soundtrack from the motion picture is available on iTunes here. In 2004, Li appeared alongside pianists Lang Lang and Yundi Li in a documentary series on outstanding Chinese musicians produced by Radio Television Hong Kong (RTHK).

After Li performed the Khachaturian Violin Concerto at the Lincoln Center in 2006, famed New York Times music critic Bernard Holland proclaimed, “the chance to hear Mr.Li’s violin playing made the evening all worthwhile.”  Li participated in the Aspen Music Festival for six consecutive years and furthered his studies with Delay and Kurt Sassmannshaus at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM), and Joey Corpus in New York City with the generous support of the Clarisse B Kampel Foundation.  In addition to his win at the Wieniawski Young Violin Player Competition, Li also won the Nakamichi Violin Concerto Competition in Aspen (1998) and numerous awards in China when he studied with Professor Yaoji Lin from the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing before his Juilliard’s days.

He impressed me with his ability to immediately turn a musical idea into performance reality... His technique is so stupendous, there is no barrier between a musical thought and the sound that comes out of the violin.
— Kurt Sassmannshaus, former teacher of Chuanyun Li at the U of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music

Li has recorded 10 CDs and DVDs to date, including two versions of the Paganini’s Complete 24 Caprice at the age of 14 and 27, Salut d’amour: Richard Strauss Violin Sonata, and the Stradivari Campaign (DVD) commissioned and sponsored by the Stradivadi Society in which he performed with 10 rare Italian violins valued at over US$25 million at the Beijing Concert Hall. Li tours extensively in Asia, Australia, Europe and North America and has worked with numerous orchestras, including the Detroit Symphony Orchestra under Neemi Järvi, Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra under Valery Gergiev, Philharmonia Orchestra under Vladimir Ashkenazy, the China National Symphony Orchestra, the Hong Kong Philharmonic under Edo de Waart, and the Iceland Symphony Orchestra under Rumon Gamba among many others.