Last year was Chopin’s 200th anniversary and to celebrate Chinese piano sensation Li Yundi chose to record an album showcasing some of the composers’ best-loved work.
Speaking to Classic FM about his motives behind the recoding, Yundi said that it had been an honour to record compositions by someone he views as the “greatest composer for piano”.
The Chinese-born artist is best known for being the youngest pianist to win the International Frederic Chopin Piano Competition at the age of eighteen years back in the year 2000.
Featuring a broad repertoire of Chopin’s work, Yundi revealed that he has been hugely influenced by his own cultural background when recording.
“Of course we have our beautiful arts and a lot of poems [in Chinese culture] and Chopin for me is really very poetic and his music is very powerful,” Yundi said. “He plays with so much energy and passion. For me it is really easy to get that feeling and those connections.
“In my mind Chopin is the greatest composer for piano. His whole life’s focus and concentration was only for piano and he made so much great music for all generations.”
As well as hoping to record the rest of Chopin’s works in the future, Yundi is also planning to champion Chinese music, especially works written in the last 50 years, like the Yellow River Piano Concerto.
Yundi now makes it his mission to develop the next generation of pianists and talks of recent masterclasses at Cambridge University and the Royal College of Music.
Last year was the bicentennial anniversary of Chopin’s birth, with many cities paying tribute to the composers with hundreds of events organised throughout 2010.
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