B i o g r a p h y
Praised for her “extraordinary skill” in the South China Morning Post (Hong Kong), and the “epitome of poise and polish” in The Straits Times (Singapore), as well as “a pianist who gives new spirit and breath of life to [her] bewitching performances” in the Ragusa Times (Sicily), 24-year-old Singaporean pianist Churen Li continues to impress audiences with her musicality, poetry and charm. She was listed in 2018 on Singapore Tatler's Generation-T List, a celebration of "50 of the brightest connectors, creative visionaries, influential innovators and disruptive talents in Singapore".
Currently holding positions as part-time academic faculty at Yale-NUS and Artist Fellow at the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music (National University of Singapore), she performed as soloist in a tour of Macau and Hong Kong with the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music Orchestra, at the invitation of Singapore’s High Consulate in Hong Kong as part of Singapore’s 50th jubilee celebrations of independence in 2015. Other concerto engagements include performances with the Singapore Symphony Orchestra, Klassische Budapest Philharmonic, Metropolitan Festival Orchestra Singapore, Mikhail Jora Philharmonic of Bacau and National University of Singapore Symphony Orchestra.
Churen has won top prizes at international and national competitions, including First Prize at the Cambridge University Music Society Concerto Competition, International Young Talents Piano Competition of Barlassina (2014), the International Piano Competition “Pietro Argento” (2014), the PianoTalents Milano (2014), the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory Concerto Competition (2014), the Ars Nova International Piano Competition (2012), and the National Piano and Violin Competition – Senior Category (2011), and Third Prize at the Aarhus International Piano Competition (2011). In 2014, Churen was featured as a President’s Young Performer in her home country, Singapore. She is also the recipient of prestigious grants, including the Tan Kah Kee Postgraduate Scholarship (2015), the FJ Benjamin-Singapore Symphony Orchestra Bursary (2013) and the National Arts Council Arts Scholarship (2011-15).
An active recitalist and orchestral soloist, Churen performed at venues in the USA, Denmark, Italy, Wales, Ireland, England, Korea, Indonesia, and Singapore, as well as at top international festivals such as the Norfolk Festival (USA), Aspen Music Festival (USA), Four Seasons Chamber Music Festival (USA), and ISA Music Festival (Austria). She has also performed as a soloist with the Singapore Symphony Orchestra, Klassiche Budapest Philharmonic, Mikhail Jora Philharmonic of Bacau and NUS Symphony Orchestra. An avid chamber musician, she regularly collaborates in chamber music recitals with artists such as Michael Kannen, Keiko Sekino, the Rolston Quartet, and the Haystack Quintet.
Churen is also passionate about new music, having experimented increasingly with combining musical genres, as well as reflecting on the relationship between musical and societal evolution. In September 2018, she presented asold-out concert at Zouk, a popular nightclub in Singapore, juxtaposing Western art music in a contemporarily subversive environment. She was among the ten pianists selected in 2018 to participate and perform in the Darmstadt International Summer Course for New Music, and in the same year, at the prestigious Roche Continents programme in Salzburg, an interdisciplinary programme of workshops and lectures in the arts and in science.
Churen attained her Bachelor’s Degree from the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music (National University of Singapore), where she studied with Albert Tiu, and graduated aged 19 as the youngest of her cohort. She then continued with a Master’s Degree at the Yale School of Music, where she studied with Peter Frankl and Hung-Kuan Chen. She has recently completed a Master of Philosophy in Music degree at the University from Cambridge, presenting her dissertation on “An Autoethnographic Approach to the Analysis of George Crumb’s Five Pieces for Piano”.