The young and charismatic Chinese pianist Yundi (also known as Yundi Li) performs two programs this week from his homeland that can be viewed for free at medici.tv. On Friday, April 22 he will give a master class – available via delayed streaming – that will illuminate his approach to interpretation and his unique vision of the art of piano playing. The next day, on April 23, medici.tv will offer a live webcast of Yundi’s highly anticipated concert at Beijing’s National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA). The venue’s orchestra, under the direction of conductor Zuohuang Chen, will join Yundi for Liszt’s Piano Concerto No. 1. Yundi will also perform solo works by the composer with whom he is most closely associated, Frédéric Chopin – including three nocturnes and the Heroic Polonaise, Op. 53 – as well as Liszt’s Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2. The concert, part of the NCPA’s celebration of the 200th anniversary of Liszt’s birth, will also include Zuohuang Chen leading the orchestra in the Hungarian composer’s best-known symphonic poem, Les Préludes.
Yundi’s remarkable artistry first received international attention when he won the Chopin Competition in 2000, the youngest pianist ever to receive the prize. His master class will showcase his special affinity for the music of the Romantic era, as he shares anecdotes and gives memorable advice about some of the piano’s most popular repertoire. Is playing an innate gift or is it learned technique? Black magic or strenuous repetition? These are just some of the issues Yundi will touch upon. It promises to be a fascinating “up close” encounter with an artist whom the New York Times has called “a technically astounding pianist who is by turns elegant and rambunctious, coolly expressive and white-hot.”