Carl St.Clair, conductor
George Li, piano
RACHMANINOFF: Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini
TCHAIKOVSKY: "1812" Overture
Additional programming to be announced
No SummerFest is complete without Pacific Symphony performing Tchaikovsky’s thrilling “1812” Overture, complete with live cannons and brilliant fireworks. Plus, critically acclaimed pianist and International Tchaikovsky Competition Silver Medalist George Li joins the orchestra to perform Rachmaninoff’s “Rhapsody on a Theme by Paganini.”
Praised by The Washington Post for combining “staggering technical prowess, a sense of command and depth of expression,” pianist George Li possesses an effortless grace, brilliant virtuosity and poised authority far beyond his years. Since winning the Silver Medal at the 2015 International Tchaikovsky Competition, Li has rapidly established a major international reputation and performs regularly with some of the world’s leading orchestras and conductors such as Gergiev, Dudamel, Honeck, Petrenko, Tilson Thomas and Long Yu.
Recent and upcoming concerto highlights include performances with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, New York Philharmonic, Philharmonia Orchestra, Rotterdam Philharmonic, DSO Berlin, Frankfurt Radio Symphony, Oslo Philharmonic, Orchestre National de Lyon, Sydney Symphony and St Petersburg Philharmonic. In 2018/19, Li makes his debut with the London Philharmonic, Montreal Symphony, Tokyo Symphony and Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, embarks on a 11-city recital tour of China and is the soloist on the Russian National Orchestra’s major US tour with Mikhail Pletnev. He frequently appears with Valery Gergiev and the Mariinsky Orchestra, including performances at the Paris Philharmonie, Luxembourg Philharmonie, New York’s Brooklyn Academy of Music, Graffenegg Festival and in various venues throughout Russia.
In recital, Li performs at venues including Carnegie Hall, Davies Hall in San Francisco, the Mariinsky Theatre, Munich’s Gasteig, the Louvre, Seoul Arts Center, Tokyo’s Asahi Hall and Musashino Hall, NCPA Beijing, Shanghai Poly Theater and Amici della Musica Firenze, as well as appearances at major festivals including the Edinburgh International Festival, Ravinia Festival, Festival de Pâques in Aix-en-Provence Festival, and Montreux Festival.
An active chamber musician, Li has performed alongside James Ehnes, Noah Bendix-Balgley, Benjamin Beilman, Kian Soltani, Pablo Ferrandez and Daniel Lozakovich and future plans include collaborations with Daniel Hope, Sheku Kanneh-Mason and Lawrence Power. Li is an exclusive Warner Classics recording artist, with his debut recital album released in October 2017 which was recorded live from the Mariinsky.
Li gave his first public performance at Boston’s Steinway Hall at the age of ten and in 2011, performed for President Obama at the White House in an evening honoring Chancellor Angela Merkel. Among Li’s many prizes, he was the recipient of the 2016 Avery Fisher Career Grant, a recipient of the 2012 Gilmore Young Artist Award, and the First Prize winner of the 2010 Young Concert Artists International Auditions. In summer 2018, Li graduated from the Harvard University / New England Conservatory joint program, where he studied with Wha Kyung Byun.