My Interview with George Li, a seasoned pianist at 16

George Li’s offical website illuminates his musical accomplishments while it resonates with gratitude for a community that has supported him over the years. A page link to a “family” circle of parents, teachers, mentors, and others, sends a heartwarming message that it takes a village to raise and nurture a musician as incomparably gifted as George.

A photo tribute to Li’s piano teachers that dates back to the pianist’s early years of study includes an equal tier of love and appreciation for all.

Each mentor is uniquely honored for having contributed to George’s musical development.

Still, an assortment of prizes and concert appearances could otherwise dominate his web profile.


“In July, George Li performed Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 1 with the Cleveland Orchestra and won first prize in the Cooper International Competition 2010. His generous prize package included $10,000, a full four-year scholarship to the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, and concerto performance opportunities in Beijing and Shanghai, China.

“In November, George took home top honors in the Young Concert Artists International Auditions. His winnings included debut performances in New York, Washington, D.C., and Boston, as well as three or more years of professional concert management by the YCA. (Read congratulatory letter.)

“In 2010, George successfully performed four newly-learned concertos with six symphony orchestras, as well as eight major solo recitals (for more information please visit George’s Highlights and Calendar). All of these performances received standing ovations and glowing Reviews.

“In addition, George successfully completed his ninth grade academic curriculum with excellent grades and wonderful compliments from all of his teachers.”

The most recent accolade was a music commentator’s remarks published in the May/June Issue of the International Piano:

“Just as with Lang Lang, it was clear that I was listening to a major talent that possessed all the ingredients for future greatness. It was equally apparent that I wasn’t listening merely to Li’s potential, what I was hearing was already mature artistry.”


George Li granted me a very special interview that fleshed out the magnitude of his intelligence, musical talent and sensitivity to life. It was a unique exploration of his artistic process and evolving life philosophy that befit a seasoned and wise prophet.

(On a personal note, George lives in Lexington, Massachusetts and attends the Walnut School for the Arts. A student at the New England Conservatory, he has a full roster of classes and a crowded schedule of solo recitals and chamber music performances that have taken him across the country.)


The Interview

(SK denotes an abbreviation for Shirley Kirsten)

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