Christian Li has become the youngest ever artist signed to Decca Classics!
Currently just twelve years old, Christian began his violin journey at the age of five. Christian quickly began to receive prizes and recognition for his prodigious skills, winning the first prize in the Golden Beijing violin competition in China in 2014 and first prize in the young violinist category of the Semper Music International Competition in Italy. He came to international attention after his incredible performance at the Menuhin Competition Geneva 2018, where he won the joint Junior 1st Prize. Watch his Junior Finals performance with L’Orchestre de Chambre de Genève on YouTube below.
For his first release with Decca Classics, Christian has recorded Antonio Bazzini’s La ronde des lutins (‘Dance of the Goblins’). Composed in 1852, the piece demands a lot from a virtuoso violinist, with its extended passages of rapid double stops, artificial harmonics in double stops and left-hand pizzicati. Christian was delighted to follow in the footsteps of some of his violin heroes – including Itzhak Perlman, Maxim Vengerov and Yehudi Menuhin – in recording this challenging and playful work.
Speaking in between his Year 7 lessons, Christian said, “I’m so excited to have signed to Decca Classics just after my 12th birthday, and to be releasing my very first recording! I love playing the violin, and really hope you enjoy listening.”
2019 was a big year for Christian. He made debuts with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra at the Sydney Opera House, the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra at the Sidney Myer Music Bowl in front of an audience of 10,000 and with the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra at the Sydney City Recital Hall and the Melbourne Recital Centre. He also gave his UK debut tour, performing at the Cheltenham, Harrogate and Gower International Festivals and performed in Tel Aviv and Norway. Future appearances include recitals and performances with orchestras in Australia, Europe, Israel and the USA.
Christian’s top tip is to always eat a banana before the concert begins. He does get nervous before a performance, but finds his nerves slipping away as he steps onto stage. When he’s not playing the violin, he enjoys swimming, football and reading – his favourite series is Harry Potter. When not listening to classical music, he likes to listen to movie soundtracks by composer John Williams and watch sci-film films about space exploration.
He enjoys listening to movie soundtracks by composer John Williams, watching sci-fi films about space exploration and reading the Harry Potter series. Christian also speaks Mandarin, which he practises at home with his parents.
Christian studies with Dr Robin Wilson, Head of Violin at the Australian National Academy of Music in Melbourne and plays on a rare 3/4 size violin made by Dom Nicolo Amati in 1733, on generous loan from Reuning & Son Violins Boston, and a rare 19th century bow made by Pierre Simon, on loan from Florian Leonard Fine Violins, London.
Watch Christian performing Bazzini’s La ronde des lutins now: