Lecturer in Piano,
A seasoned performer, Bichuan Li displays a rare degree of musical integrity and a special talent for coaxing a wide variety of tone colors from the piano. The reviewer of her 1996 European debut in Sweden described her concert as "superb" and her performance "flawless." Reviewing her recital at the Shanghai Concert Hall, the music critic of the Jiefang Daily hailed her "refined technique and unfailing sensitivity" and "extraordinarily beautiful" lyric passages.
A native of Shanghai, Ms. Li started learning piano at the age of four. Circumstances decreed that words such as child prodigy or competition winner were never granted her, in contrast to the early life stories of most other accomplished concert pianists. Coming from a relatively well to do family, she was judged politically undesirable under the harsh communist regime. Her applications to the Shanghai Conservatory were denied again and again. Why? Her hands were too small and then she was too old. Refused to be discouraged, she struggled to continue her piano studies until the Cultural Revolution interrupted all of her education. During these difficult ten years, however, her passion for the piano never diminished and she became a "closet" pianist. These early difficulties implanted in her a sense of commitment and a maturity of character, which are evident in her extraordinary performing skill.
Ms. Li has been on the faculty at the University of Hawaii since 1986 and has been an Honorary Associate Professor of the Shanghai Teachers' University since 1991. A Music Teachers' National Association certified professional piano teacher, Ms. Li served twice as the President of the Honolulu Piano Teachers' Association and was the President of the Hawaii Music Teachers' Association from 1998 to 2000.
Augmenting her repertoire of Chopin, Mozart, Schumann, and other masters of the Western canon with piano music by women composers and modern Chinese composers, Ms. Li maintains an active concert schedule. She performs regularly in the United States and the Far East, and has enjoyed large audiences and rave reviews in Brazil, Sweden, Japan, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Shan Dong, Taiwan, the Philippines, Penang and Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia), Singapore and Bangkok. Portions of her Chinese piano music recital were broadcast several times by Hawaii Public Radio. Ms. Li has appeared as a soloist with orchestra and in numerous chamber music concerts, workshops and master classes.
Her CD, "In Clara Wieck Schumann's Circle," was released in 1998 on the Wa Nui label. It features Clara's Variations on a Theme by Robert Schumann, Schumann's Kreisleriana, music by Clara's father Friedrich, her brothers Alwin and Woldemar, her sister Marie, and her close friend Brahms. The CD is available through the ABC Music at 461 Cooke Street, Honolulu Hawaii 96813. The telephone number is (808)593-2575.