Violinist Wanzhen Li was appointed to the National Symphony Orchestra by Christoph Eschenbach in September of 2015. The Boston Globe describes her playing: "Li established a sense of nostalgia ... that provided a framework for the musical journey. Her tone seemed to cry. It was great playing; fun to hear." Ms. Li has appeared as soloist with the Binghamton Philharmonic (New York), Guilford Symphony (North Carolina), Grosse Point Symphony (Michigan) and Interlochen Arts Academy Orchestra. She won first prizes in the Detroit Bohemians, the Eastern Music Festival, and the Interlochen Arts Academy Concerto Competitions. Last summer, she was invited as a performer and violin faculty at the Eastern Music Festival in Wu Han, China. In January, Ms. Li was invited by Itzhak Perlman to perform a solo recital at The Kristy and James H. Clark Arts Center as part of the Perlman Music Program's Alumni recital series. Last season, Ms. Li soloed with Xi'an Symphony Orchestra (China) and served as their guest concertmaster. Ms. Li performs frequently with violinist Itzhak Perlman and has accompanied him to Israel, Florida, and Vermont for residencies with the Perlman Music Program. She also performs frequently with ensembles such as the New York Chamber Soloists and the New York Classical Players. As a soloist and chamber musician, she has performed in venues including Rose Hall of Lincoln Center, Peter J. Sharp Theater, The Metropolitan Museum, Alice Tully Hall, Hunter Collegein New York, Jordan Hall in Boston, Kravis Center for the Performing Arts in Florida, Chicago Symphony Hall, Spruce Peak Performing Arts Center, Vermont, Princeton University, and Tel Aviv University.
An active chamber musician, Ms. Li has been invited to festivals including Yellow Barn, Kneisel Hall, and The Perlman Chamber Music Program. In 2012, she was invited by pianist Lars Vogt to the chamber music festival of "Spannungen: Musik im Krafwerk Heimbach" in Germany, where she collaborated with renowned violinist Christian Tetzlaff, cellist Alban Gerhardt, Gustav Rivinius, Tanja Tetzlaff, among others. Her live performance was recorded and released by Avi-Music record label. She also appeared on the First Monday Series at Jordan Hall, Boston, by invitation of cellist Laurence Lesser. Ms. Li has shared the stage with many of the world's celebrated artists including Anthony Marwood, Paul Katz, Peter Frankl, members of the Juilliard String Quartet, the Peabody Trio, the Cavani Quartet, and musicians from the New York Philharmonic. Her solo and chamber performances have also been broadcast on German radio "Deutschlandfunk"and IPRInterlochen public radio.
During her studies, Ms. Li led both the Juilliard Orchestra and the New England Conservatory Philharmonia as concertmaster for performances under the batons of Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, Nicholas McGegan, Anne Manson, Benjamin Zander, and Yu Feng, at venues including Boston's Jordan Hall, New York's Alice Tully Hall, Peter J. Sharp Theater, and Beijing's National Centre for the Performing Arts.
Born in Xi'an, China, Ms. Li started playing the violin at age 4, studying with her parents, who are both professional violinists. At the age of 14, she left to come to the USA to study at the Interlochen Arts Academy with Hal Grossman. As a Jerome L. Greene Fellow, Ms. Li went on to study at The Juilliard School (BM,MM) with Ronald Copes and Donald Weilerstein, and later at the New England Conservatory (GD) in Boston. She has also been mentored by Itzhak Perlman and Christian Tetzlaff.
Ms. Li plays on a 1756 Gennaro Gagliano violin generously on loan to her from a private collector in Michigan.