Li Yundi (Chinese: 李云迪, pinyin: Lǐ Y˙ndÝ) (born October 7, 1982)
is a well-known young classical pianist. He is also popularly known by the
Western iteration of his name, Yundi Li. Born in Chongqing, China, Li
is most well known for being the youngest pianist to win the prestigious
International Frederick Chopin Piano Competition at the age of 18. Li
currently resides in Hannover, Germany, where he studies with his teacher
Arie Vardie at the Hannover Conservatory of Music.
At the age of four, Li began to learn the accordion. Only one year later,
he won the top prize at the Chongqing Children's Accordian Competition. Li
began studying piano at the age of seven at his parents' request; two years
later, he began to study with Dan Zhao Yi, one of China's most renowned
piano teachers, his ambition already to become a professional pianist. In
1994, Li entered the junior high school associated with the Sichuan Music
Li has received top awards at various competitions. In 1995, he was
awarded first place at the Stravinksy International Youth Competition. In
1998, he won the 1998 South Missouri International Youth Piano Competition.
The next year, he won the Liszt International Piano Competition in Holland,
and the China International Piano Competition. As well, he won first place
at the Gina Bachauer Young Artists International Piano Competition.
In October 2000, Li participated in the 14th International Frederick
Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw. He was the first participant to be
awarded First Prize in 15 years, and at 18 years of age, the youngest winner
in the competition's history. Li is also the competition's first Chinese
Li was given a Polonaise award by the Chopin Society for his performance
at the competition.