Interview with Yamaha & Bösendorfer Artist Churen Li
Praised for her “extraordinary skill” in the South China Morning Post (Hong Kong), and the “epitome of poise and polish” in The Straits Times (Singapore) well as “a pianist who gives new spirit and breath of life to [her] bewitching performances” in the Ragusa Times (Sicily), 22-year-old Singaporean pianist Churen Li continues to impress audiences with her musicality, poetry and charm. She was listed on Singapore Tatler's Generation-T List 2018, a celebration of "50 of the brightest connectors, creative visionaries, influential innovators and disruptive talents in Singapore."
In 2015, she performed as the soloist in a tour of Macau and Hong Kong with the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music Orchestra, at the invitation of Singapore’s High Consulate in Hong Kong as part of the SG50 celebrations. Other concerto engagements include performances with the Singapore Symphony Orchestra, Klassiche Budapest Philharmonic, Metropolitan Festival Orchestra Singapore, Mikhail Jora Philharmonic of Bacau and NUS Symphony Orchestra.
Churen has won top prizes at international and national competitions, including the 1st Prize at the International Young Talents Piano Competition of Barlassina (2014), International Piano Competition “Pietro Argento” (2014), PianoTalents Milano (2014), Yong Siew Toh Conservatory Concerto Competition (2014), Ars Nova International Piano Competition (2012) and National Piano and Violin Competition – Senior Category (2011) and 3rd Prize at the Aarhus International Piano Competition (2011). In 2014, Churen was featured as a President’s Young Performer in her home country, Singapore. She is also the recipient of prestigious grants including the Tan Kah Kee Postgraduate Scholarship (2015), FJ Benjamin-Singapore Symphony Orchestra Bursary (2013) and the National Arts Council Arts Scholarship (2011-2015).
She has been invited to perform recitals and chamber music at international festivals such as the Norfolk Festival (USA), Aspen Music Festival (USA), Four Seasons Chamber Music Festival (USA), ISA Music Festival (Austria) and at concert series in the USA, Denmark, Italy, Wales, Ireland, England, Korea, Indonesia and Singapore. She is also passionate about contemporary music and enjoys working with composers and artists to explore issues of performance gesture and embodiment in performance. She is amongst the 10 pianists selected to participate in the Darmstadt International Summer Course for New Music 2018.
Churen attained her Bachelor’s Degree from the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music (National University of Singapore), where she studied with Albert Tiu and graduated at age 19 as the youngest of her cohort. She then continued with a Master’s Degree at the Yale School of Music, where she studied with Peter Frankl and Hung-Kuan Chen. Since 2017, she has been studying at the Vienna University of Music and Performing Arts with Jan Jiracek von Arnim.