FORT MYERS, Fla. (April 10, 2023) – The Southwest Florida Symphony, the only professional orchestra in Lee County and fourth oldest orchestra in the state, is excited to partner with Grand Piano Series of Naples to feature pianist Ying Li for the final Masterworks concert of the season on Saturday, April 22 at 7:30 p.m. at Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall in Fort Myers. Li will perform as Maestro Radu Paponiu leads the orchestra in famed classical pieces by Jennifer Higdon, Sergei Rachmaninoff and Modest Mussorgsky.
As part of the symphony’s signature series, patrons will also have the opportunity to attend an exclusive pre-concert lecture prior to the show led by Li and Paponiu, including a Q&A session, to enhance the concert experience and provide insights into the pieces being performed. The lecture begins at 6:30 p.m.
Earlier in the week, on April 20 at 7:30 p.m., our partners at Grand Piano Series’ will feature Ying Li in Moorings Presbyterian Church in Naples, FL, for a solo piano recital. Two hundred years of evolution of piano repertory is on full display in this program, featuring Haydn, Liszt, and Grainger—all composers who were star virtuosos of their era. In addition, Stravinsky’s instant classic “The Firebird” is sure to amaze with piano fireworks. This performance will feature a special pre-concert talk with Mike Lee beginning at 6:30 p.m. For tickets, visit grandpianoseries.org or call 469-333-3231.
Praised as “graceful” and “lyrical” by Cleveland Classical, young Chinese pianist Li is the first-prize winner of the 2021 Young Concert Artists Susan Wadsworth International Auditions, as well as recipient of The Bridgehampton Chamber Music Festival Prize and the Tri-I Noon Recitals Prize. She has received top awards in numerous national and international competitions including the inaugural Antonio Mormone International Prize, Sarasota Artist Series Piano Competition, Brevard Music Festival, International Liszt Piano Competition for Young Pianists, and was a finalist at Concours musical international de Montréal.
Li has performed with many leading orchestras such as The Philadelphia Orchestra, New Jersey Symphony, Brevard Music Festival Orchestra, L’Accademia Orchestra del La Scala, and the NWD-Philharmoniker, and with renowned conductors such as Lina Gonzalez-Granados, Xian Zhang, Eric Jacobsen and Jonathon Heyward. She had played recitals at Carnegie Hall’s Zankel Hall in New York, Kennedy Center’s Terrace Theater in Washington D.C., Pepperdine University in Malibu, Evergreen Museum & Library in Baltimore, Sunday Musicale in New Jersey, Southeastern Piano Festival and the Honest Brook Music Festival.
Internationally, Li has performed recitals including Sala Verdi in Milan, Hammerklavier International Piano Festival in Barcelona, Musica Insieme Bologna, Teatro Alighieri in Ravenna, Fazioli Pianoforti in Sacile, and the C. Bechstein Series at the Konzerthaus in Berlin. She was also featured on WQXR’s “Eine-kleine Birthday-musik,” a free, all-Mozart live streamed concert from The Greene Space in New York City, to celebrate Mozart’s 266th birthday.
As an avid chamber musician, Li has appeared at prestigious festivals around the world including the Verbier Festival Academy, ClassicheFORME International Chamber Music Festival in Lecce, Ravinia’s Steans Institute, La Jolla Music Society, Great Lakes Chamber Music Festival, Norfolk Chamber Music Festival, the Artists Series Concerts in Sarasota and the Bridgehampton Chamber Music Festival.
Li began piano lessons at age five in China and was a student at the Elementary School division of the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing, then she moved to Philadelphia in 2012, at age fourteen, to study at the Curtis Institute of Music with Jonathan Biss and Seymour Lipkin. After receiving a Bachelor of Music degree at Curtis Institute in 2019, she received her Master of Music degree at The Juilliard School in New York with Robert McDonald and continues her studies with McDonald at the Juilliard School’s Artist Diploma Program.
The Southwest Florida Symphony’s Masterworks series is sponsored by Uhler & Vertich Financial Planners and the L.A.T. Foundation.
To purchase tickets or learn more, visit swflso.org/tickets/.
About the Southwest Florida Symphony
The Southwest Florida Symphony made its debut as a community orchestra on April 15, 1961, playing in schools and community centers, with a roster of only 24 volunteer musicians. Today, the symphony boasts a roster of 70 world-class musicians, and is Lee County’s only fully professional orchestra. The Southwest Florida Symphony’s 62nd year continues the orchestra’s tradition of artistic excellence as newly appointed Music Director Maestro Radu Paponiu leads his inaugural season of spectacular performances. Maestro Paponiu, the sixth music director in the organization’s history, also serves as the associate conductor and youth orchestra director for the Naples Philharmonic in addition to guest-conducting with orchestras throughout the United States and Europe. For more information about the Southwest Florida Symphony, upcoming season performances and subscription and ticketing information, visit swflso.org or call 239-418-1500.
About Grand Piano Series Grand Piano Series was founded in the spring of 2016 by classical pianist and chamber musician Milana Strezeva, photographer, pianist, and artist manager, Raniero Tazzi. This organization’s passion and mission are to preserve great music literature featuring artists of the highest caliber. Inspiring people of all ages to discover the richness and beauty of classical music through performance, study, and uncompromising excellence of outstanding musical experiences is at the core of our organization. Learn more at grandpianoseries.org.