Pianist and HeifetzPEG faculty member Zhenni Li’s riveting personality and passionate performances have brought audiences to their feet around the world. Hailed for her “torrents of voluptuous sound…Li impresses as an artist of tremendous conviction, who fascinates even as she provokes“ by Gramophone Magazine, “a thrillingly good pianist” by The New Yorker and for her “…big,
gorgeous tone and a mesmerizing touch” by The Philadelphia Inquirer, Ms. Li has performed throughout North America, Europe, and Asia, in such notable venues as Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Merkin Concert Hall and WQXR’s Greene Space in New York, Philadelphia’s Kimmel Performing Arts Center, San Jose’s California Theater, the Grieghallen in Norway and Berliner Philarmonie in Germany.
Highlights of past seasons include debut recitals in Carnegie Hall’s Zankel Hall and the Berlin Philharmonie and her CD recording debut “Mélancholie” on the Steinway & Sons label. Featuring works by Schumann, Lourié and Bartók, Li’s playing was lauded by the Art Music Lounge as "…extremely expressive…with a smoldering undercurrent that reaches deep inside the notes…a fascinating album, one that points to an artist with a deep emotional commitment to the music she is playing." Upcoming projects include a concerto appearance with the National Symphony Orchestra of Dominican Republic, Fairbanks Symphony Orchestra, Knoxvilly Symphony Orchestra, recitals at Philadelphia’s American Philosophical Society, Oregon’s Portland Piano International, Rhode Island’s Jamestown Piano Association and Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concerts Series, as well as several recording projects including “Beethoven’s 65 Variations” and “Une lettre” of the works of Sergei Bortkiewicz for the Steinway & Sons label. A passionate advocate of new music, she will be giving the world premiere of works by Renee Favand-See and Samuel Zyman. Recent engagements include recitals at the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, D.C., McGill University and the University of Washington, performances of Beethoven’s Concerto No. 4 with the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Edward Gardner, Beethoven’s Concerto No. 2 and Rachmaninoff’s Concerto No. 3 with McGill Symphony Orchestra under Maestro Alexis Hauser and the NYCA Symphony Orchestra under Eduard Zilberkant, and Beethoven’s Concerto No. 5 with the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Symphony with Jason Weinberger. She also appeared as a guest artist for the New York Philharmonic
Symposium on Stravinsky with conductor Valery Gergiev. Ms. Li has garnered worldwide recognition, most recently as the winner of the 2017 New York Concert Artists Worldwide Debut Audition, Astral Artist’s 2016 National Auditions, the Grieg International Competition in Norway, and the unanimous 1st Prize at the Concours Musical de France. She is also a top prizewinner of the International Russian Piano Competition, Midwest International Piano Competition, the Kosciusko Chopin Piano Competition and The Heida Hermanns International Piano Competition. Her performances have been broadcast internationally on New York’s WQXR, Canada National CBC Radio, Norwegian National Radio: NPK P2/NPK Klassisk, Texas Public Radio, Chicago’s WFMT Public Radio, Iowa Public Radio, Philadelphia’s WWFM The
Classical Network and WRTI. A deeply devoted chamber musician, Ms. Li has collaborated with ensembles such as the New Orford String Quartet, the Jasper String Quartet, and Quatuor Hugo Wolf, and has appeared in concert series and venues including Bennett Gordon Concert Hall at Ravinia, Brandywine Museum in Philadelphia, Château de Fountainebleau in France, Church of the Holy Trinity at Rittenhouse Square, Salle Redpath and Pollack Hall in Montréal, and Théâtre de Vevey in Switzerland. Summer festival appearances include performances at such prominent chamber music festivals as Ravinia's Steans Music Institute, Music@Menlo, Kneisel Hall, Juilliard ChamberFest, Classical Bridge and Fontainebleau Festival in France.
Ms. Li holds a Bachelor and Master of Music degree, both on a full scholarship, from The Juilliard School, under the tutelage of Seymour Lipkin and Joseph Kalichstein. After obtaining her Artist Diploma studying with Peter Frankl at Yale School of Music, she completed her doctorate studies at the McGill School of Music under Dr. Stéphane Lemelin. She has served as Piano Faculty/Chamber music coach for the McGill School of Music for undergraduate students and for the HeifetzPEG Institute in Virginia and is also the co-founder and Artistic Director for “The Last Soirée”, a multi-genre performing arts series which launched in New York last spring, and ”Fishin’ in C Chamber Music Series”, a diverse chamber concert series in Philadelphia that launched in Fall 2018.