Singaporean pianist Churen Li seeks innovative and personal approaches to concert programming, combining diverse genres with improvisatory and experimental practices. The past two seasons included debuts at the Singapore International Piano Festival and Singapore International Festival of Arts, as well as more than 100 solo concerts that featured an eclectic repertoire from Chopin and Debussy, to Michael Jackson, John Williams, and George Crumb. In July 2022/23, she opened the Singapore Symphony Orchestra’s 2022/23 season with Grieg’s Piano Concerto conducted by Han-Na Chang.
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 then went onto complete a Master of Philosophy in Music at Cambridge University, presenting her dissertation (with distinction) on “An Autoethnographic Approach to the Analysis of George Crumb’s Five Pieces for Piano”.
A prize winner at numerous international piano competitions, she has also been invited to perform at music festivals and recital halls all over the world, often appearing in partnership with luxury brands such as Cartier, Chanel and Richard Mille. She was also honoured in Singapore Tatler's Generation-T List in 2018. In 2015, 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. Other concerto engagements include performances with the Singapore Symphony Orchestra, Cambridge University Orchestra, Klassische Budapest Philharmonic, Metropolitan Festival Orchestra Singapore, Mikhail Jora Philharmonic of Bacau and National University of Singapore Symphony Orchestra. 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).
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 a sold-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 currently teaches at the Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music as an Artist Fellow. Her past teachers include Albert Tiu, Bernard Lanskey, Paul Liang, Peter Frankl and Hung-Kuan Chen.