He loves eating Seafood Laska. He's one of the youngest finalists in 2016. He's 22 and is from Templestowe in Melbourne
Questions & Answers – Profile
Name: Michael Li (Surname pronounced “Lee”)
Male / Female? Male
When is your birthday? 03/10/1993
Where were your born? Melbourne
Where do you live this year when in Australia: Templestowe
Do you still study & where – when will you finish?
Currently studying piano with Glenn Riddle at the Victorian College of the Arts; The University of Melbourne
Also currently studying the Doctor of Medicine at St Vincent’s Hospital; The University of Melbourne
What drew you to become a musician? I have been fond of music (especially the piano) from a very young age. My parents are both music-lovers as well, and naturally, my love of music has grown stronger year-by-year.
Do you sometimes perform in an ensemble?
What is so special about the piano and its music?
The transformative power of the piano, turning lifeless ink on the page into a visceral creation, a unique medium that transcends words. It is almost as if the piano is another voice through which the performer speaks – a voice that can be as dramatic as it is restrained, as fiery as it is cold, as agitated as it is calm, and often all within the same sentence.
What else can you play? I did a couple years of orchestral percussion during high school
Do you sing? No
What are your hobbies and why are you passionate about them? I guess travel, whether that is visiting places overseas or places closer to home. There are many things which can only be experienced in the flesh, and the more we see and do, the more we colour our lives with the intangible.
Do you do a lot of travel? Where have you been overseas etc? Not that much, although I really do enjoy it. In Jan 2015, I went on a month-long trip around Europe with friends which was an incredible experience – we visited Italy, Austria, Germany, Netherlands, France, & the UK.
What are your goals over the next two years? I guess I don’t have specific goals The path we see ourselves travelling most likely won’t be the path actually taken.
Who inspires you and why? Which musician inspires you and why?
My father and grandfather have been great inspirations for me, their infallible characters and insurmountable determination drives me to work hard and push the limits of possibility every minute of every day.
In terms of musicians, I can’t quite pinpoint specific musicians, rather, I enjoy listening to the performances and the works of many musicians, past & present.
Which composer’s music do you love and why? Rachmaninoff; his music is a deluge of rich and dense romanticism; a force powerful enough to stir even the deepest of emotions.
Do you play sports? Occasionally I go cycling on the weekends, I also play a bit of table tennis.
Name 4 of your favourite things to do:
Travel (when possible)
What’s your idea of fashion/what do you prefer to wear?
Well, you see, I don’t know anything about fashion, I guess I just wear smart clothes that are also comfortable.
How do you relax and unwind from rehearsing? For some reason, practicing doesn’t tire me.
How do you care for your back etc. (to stop injuries etc)? I’ve never really had any issues with my back.
Do you love the movies? Actually no, for some reason I rarely go see movies. Last time I saw a movie in a cinema was actually in Shanghai (in China) a couple months ago. I was there visiting relatives, and I saw The Martian with one of my cousins.
List at least three bars / favourite spaces to hang out in Australia and why? I guess I usually hang out at friend’s places rather than specific spaces.
Favourite meal / food / fruit and why? All fruit basically. Also seafood.
What do you hope to get out of this Australian National Piano Award?
Hear from other talented pianists around Australia. Build on my performance experience through performing a program of challenging and varied repertoire at a high calibre event such as ANPA. Elevate my musicianship to a higher level.
How long have you been rehearsing for this event?
I guess it doesn’t really make sense to say that there’s been a specific time for which I’ve been preparing for ANPA. It’s more that I have somewhat of a unique bank of repertoire which I’ve built up over many years, from which I’ve drawn works to create an exciting program which I’ll present in Shepparton.
How did you hear about the Australian National Piano Award? From my teacher, and from fellow pianists.