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Yundi Li: The pianist with a quiet approach to fame

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Talk Asia: Yundi Li
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Chinese pianist Yundi Li is one of the world's foremost performers
  • Youngest ever winner of prestigious Fryderyk Chopin Piano Competition
  • Believes that China will produce lots more talented musicians and artists

(CNN) -- A classical pianist with a rock star following, Yundi Li has been packing concert halls for nearly a decade.

The 28-year-old Chinese performer has been playing the piano for twenty years and has won numerous accolades, including the prestigious Fryderyk Chopin Piano Competition in 2000. Held every five years Li became the competition's youngest ever winner, and the first pianist deemed worthy of top honors for ten years.

With a more muted style than his contemporary Lang Lang, Li has still achieved great renown among classical aficionados and has a large fan base in China. However he does not think that fame has changed him.

"I think everyday for my life is quite simple: practice, focus, go on stage, interview and also master class. So it's always kind of the same... but I also find a lot of interest to be visiting a lot of different countries and see a lot of friends, to see a lot of music fans," he told CNN.

"This kind of communication gives me a lot of energy to continue, to bring more great music, more great performances."

After living in Hannover, Germany, for a few years, Li now resides in China again and believes it is an exciting time to be in the country.

"I think China's now growing very fast, a lot of young talent will also come out. Especially this generation will have a lot of chances to go outside, study or have a lot of chances to hear wonderful performances, to hear great music. I think that's also great and everything's more open so I'm very glad to be living in this generation," he said.

Li intends to play and perform until his old age, believing that in music the best comes to those who wait and that enjoyment is the key to everything.

"The arts takes time I think, especially music, needs time... like wine. You need experience, you need life and you need to be with piano. You don't need to rush, because music can't be rushed and you really need to enjoy what you are doing, especially what you are playing, everyday. That's it, I believe this."

 
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