American Pianist George Li Takes Moscow by Storm at Tchaikovsky Competition

By Xinming Li,

Lexington, Mass., June 26, 2015, — On Father’s Day of 2015, Mr. Jian Li and his son Andrew Li were having Zongzi for lunch, a delicacy from the Dragon Boat Festival. There eyes glued to the TV screen on which George Li was performing live in the round 2 of Tchaikovsky Competition. “Go George!” shouted Andrew Li, the little brother, whiling taking a selfie in front of the TV set with his cell phone.
(from left) Andrew and Jian Li cheered for George Li from their home in Lexington, Mass.

“He is totally absorbed by the music. Nothing matters to him at the moment but the music, and the audience can feel it,” said Mr. Jian Li while watching the webcast.

Li performed four classic pieces flawlessly, and won loud applause from the audience in between. Lister’s Hungarian Rhapsody was one of George Li’s favorites. He performed it at the State Dinner in the White House for President Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel in June 2011.
President Obama and the First Lady signed the group photo at the State Dinner. They wrote “You make us proud”(file photo).

Li wrote on Facebook today:”I am completely humbled to learn that I got into the Final Round of the International Tchaikovsky Piano Competition!!! Thanks to all your great supports my dear FB friends!!!”

This is certainly not a surprise for his fans. Nick Sterner, a celoist from Boston, commented:”George! I’m so excited for you! Your Mozart was spectacular! So poised and elegant. The second movement was beyond tragic. Your artistry spoke so purely in that movement, the sombre feeling and melancholy. The program for the final round looks spectacular! I’m so excited to see the reaction of the audience after the Tchaikovsky and Prokofiev especially.I’m so glad to have accompanied you when you played Schumann with BPYO. I can’t stress my excitement enough, this is such an accomplishment and triumph for you, for Boston, for the U.S. and most importantly, for music.”

Li will perform on June 28 for Round 3. The program includes Pyotr Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto 1 in B-flat minor, Op. 23, Sergei Prokofiev, Piano Concerto 3 in C major, Op. 26.

Yoonjin Jung‎, a 12-year-old who doesn’t have a Facebook account yet, wrote the following on Facebook:”Hi George! My name is Yerin Yang and I’m 12 years old. I wanted to write earlier, but since I don’t have a Facebook and my mom just made FB friends with you now, I couldn’t. (This is my mom’s account.) I first saw you playing piano (I also play too) on YouTube, then at the Chopin National Competition, and now at the Tchaikovsky competition. Every single note you play is unbelievably amazing!!! During the first and second round of the Tchaikovsky competition, I could NOT take my eyes off the computer screen when you played. (Your Beethoven and the Hugarian Rhapsody was especially just OMG!) I’m not good at interpreting pieces (maybe because I’m too young or don’t have enough “talent”) but I really want to play and interpret like you do. You inspire me so much. I am a HUGE fan of yours. I’ll always be cheering for you!”

You can also cheer for George Li Sunday, June 28, by watching the live webcast of Li’s round 3 performance. Please visit between 12:45 to 2:00 PM ET on June 28 for the webcast.