On March 11, 2017, Schulich doctoral piano student Zhenni Li, a student of Prof. Stéphane Lemelin, was named winner of the New York Concert Artists and Associates Worldwide Debut Audition. Selected as one of three finalists, out of 165 who applied, Zhenni Li performed the Rachmaninov 3rd Piano Concerto in D minor, Op. 30 with the New York Concert Artists Symphony Orchestra, led by conductor Eduard Zilberkant. Preliminary auctions were held in Los Angeles, New York, Cologne, Warsaw, Budapest and Paris. Her prize includes a debut recital at Carnegie Hall, as well as debut recital at the Berlin Philharmonie and a CD recording on the Steinway and Sons Recording Label. Her performance can be watched here. Founded in 2008, New York Concert Artists and Associates are devoted to discovering young musicians of great talent, and giving them the opportunities to expose themselves to the world through their debut stages.
Zhenni Li is hailed is as “a magnetic pianist—with fire and poetry. Everyone should hear her” by music critic David Dubal, pianist Zhenni Li has performed throughout the U.S., Europe, and China. A winner of Astral’s 2016 National Auditions, she has appeared in such notable concert halls as New York’s Alice Tully Hall, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Morgan Library; San Jose’s California Theater; the Théâtre de Vevey in Switzerland; and the National Concert Hall of Tianjin, China. The Hunan, China native’s wideranging musical interests encompass a large repertoire ranging from Bach to Kirchner, including the complete Beethoven sonatas and the vast majority of Chopin works. She is currently preparing the complete piano works of Debussy.
In early April she will travel to Frankfurt to be one of three participating finalists for the Deutscher Pianisten Preis award.