Harvard’s George Li Wins $20,000 Prize at National Chopin Competition

By Victor Chen, bostonese.com

Boston, March 9, 2015, — Close to 400 of his Facebook friends liked George Li’s status update last week: “I am honored to participate in the 2015 National Chopin Piano Competition and won the Third Prize”. George Li also shared the picture below on his timeline.

The finals concert was held at Miami-Dade County Auditorium on March 1. Founded by Mrs. Blanka A. Rosenstiel in 1977, the Chopin Foundation stemmed from the First National Chopin Piano Competition held in Miami in 1975 under the auspices of the American Institute of Polish Culture. This year marks 40th anniversary of the first National Chopin Piano Competition in the US.

Besides winning the $20,000 cash prize, George Li is invited to have an audition in Warsaw this Spring for the Warsaw Competition. As a student at the joint Harvard-NEC program, George Li enjoyed the few days away from Boston and its history making snowfall this winter.

The 2015 International Chopin Piano Competition will be held in Warsaw, Poland in October. The Chopin Competition was initiated in 1927 and has been held every five years since 1955. It is one of most prestigious piano competitions in the world.
Winners of 2015 National Chopin Piano Competition(from chopin.org).

Seventeen-year-old Eric Lu won the First Prize which includes a cash award of $75,000, concert appearances and entrance to the Chopin Competition this Fall. Rachel Naomi Kudo won the $35,000 Second Prize which also wins her a spot at the Chopin Competition.

George Li performed Chopin’s Concerto No. 1 at the finals concert. “Clearly the audience favorite, Li took a big boned, quintessentially romantic approach to the score. He exhibited real affinity for the pulse of Chopin’s melodies and rhythmic curves. Li’s playing of the slow movement was dreamy and poetic and his incisive rhythm caught the dance-infused character of the finale,” wrote classic music critic Lawrence Budmen.