Press material

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Press reviews

„The new Scelsi CD is great! Great playing and recording and of course, great music!“
(David Lang, composer)

„Sometimes something special comes along and is not discovered by the wider public. One such phenomenon is the Viennese pianist Cecilia Li. Originally from Taipei, she attended Salzburg’s Mozarteum, then studied at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna. Today she lives and works in the centre of the Austrian capital. Listening to her Haydn (F Major, Hob. XVI:23) or to Schubert’s E Major Piano Sonata it is clear that she has that she has absorbed the local sensibility with every fibre of her body. Alongside a stately precision, Li’s touch has a delicate vein which encourages listeners to pay attention, continually making them prick up their ears. Baroque pearls by Domenico Scarlatti and the spherical, repetitive modernity of David Lang or Philip Glass combine to form an intelligent whole. Metamorphosis Two by Glass not only marks the end of the recital; it is a statement about the continual need for change. In the soft clusters of contemporary music Cecilia Li catches piano music’s continual transformation. Yes, it is worth letting yourself fall, worth listening and thinking along.“
(Daniel Wagner, Wiener Zeitung, ProgrammPunkte, 4-10 February 2012, p.5.)

„I am listening to your CD Piano Phonotope… My piece sounds very beautiful and moody. And I loved the Haydn – the Schubert is on right now and it sounds great too!“
(David Lang, composer)

… Needless to say, they’re all speechlessly beautiful and soaring.
(Dr. Dr. John Young)

…Your piano solo at the Strovolos Theatre on October 25th left a deep impression with the music loving audience of Cyprus – especially in regard to the high standards and quality of the Austrian music and piano education apart from cliché and trivial culture…
(Dr. Eva Hager, Austrian Ambassador in Cyprus)

Eine gebürtige Taiwanesin und Neo-Österreicherin war der Star des Empfanges zum Nationalfeiertag der österreichischen Botschaft in Nikosia: die Pianistin Cecilia Li. Cecilia Lis Piano Solo, das einen breiten Bogen europäischer Musik mit besonderem Schwerpunkt auf zeitgenössische Musik spannte, wurde vom Publikum als sehr anspruchsvoller und bemerkenswerter Beitrag der österreichischen und Wiener Konzertkultur empfunden. Die österreichische Botschaft in Nikosia schätzte sich laut einer Aussendung glücklich, anlässlich ihres ersten Empfanges zum Nationalfeiertag ein solch qualitativ hochwertiges kulturelles Markenzeichen setzen zu können.
(Taiwan Nachrichten Nr. 16, 2005)

…her manner to play the piano, her ability to control all parameters of the sound with highest precision, to hear between the notes and to even hear the whole richness in a big audience, has impressed me much…
(Ayis Ioannides, composer)

…Cecilia Li has an extraordinary musical empathy at her disposal, a subtle and warm expression, a complex array of moods, a precise touch that is rich in nuances, and yet she retains the most important overall ability for musical expression, of making music talk…
(Meira Farkas, concert pianist)

…I was very impressed by your ‚Goldberg Variations‘, so clear, brilliant, full of energy and contrasts. My best congratulations…
(Dominique Merlet, concert pianist)

…My best congratulations to your fascinating interpretations of Sebastian Bach’s Goldberg Variations. I am really impressed by your attitudes…
(Norman Shetler, concert pianist)

…Cecilia Li is a small, petite person. Hearing her play is not enough; you have to have seen her at work to understand who she is. A special blend of tension and release emanates from her person whenever she sits in front of her instrument. Her power is not brute, physical force, but rather a highly spiritual energy. This is not to say that she can’t pull her weight if need be, or that she lacks an understanding of sensual pleasures. On the contrary: she is richly endowed with the balance of qualities that is prerequisite for the creation of conclusive interpretations. Her repertoire covers a wide range, reaching from Bach to Cage, from Debussy to Scelsi, and Cecilia Li has an unerring sense of how to weight the various musical actions and reactions.
(Dr. Gertraud Cerha)

…Cecilia Li’s interpretation of the 12 Préludes pour piano, Book II by Claude Debussy shows clearly that she is entirely at home with Debussy’s world. She develops an impressively rich array of nuances, makes ample use of differences in shades of sounds and awes the audience with the brilliance of her artistry. I consider this recording one of the best interpretations that I know…
(Meira Farkas, concert pianist)

The same holds true for her Homage à Erik Satie. Here, too, she completely immerses herself in Satie’s world and delivers a convincing, colorful interpretation with a meditative approach.
(Meira Farkas, concert pianist)

…I want to compliment you on your recordings of Debussy and Satie […] I experience your attitude and your breath in the music with great joy and respect…
(Matthias Naske, Director of the Salle de Concerts, Luxemburg)

…The improvisation of unusually beautiful, lyric piano works by Erik Satie played by Cecilia Li in an intuitive and masterly way formed the basis of the choreography…
(Salzburger Nachrichten)

…Her interpretation fascinates by technical perfection and powerful play as well as by impressing sensitivity….
(Brigitte Ratz, president of the „1. Wiener Frauen-Kammerorchester“/ Austria)

This recording has very excellent quality with good sonority, vital tempo, human tone, and simplicity to express Bach ’s music itself. If you like Gould, you’d better hear this recording.
(Review by a Japanese listener on

…“Cage – pour les oiseaux” selects sounds of infinite grace and tenderness, distilled by Cecilia Li, who remains “royally calm” while wrenching the melodic and rhythmic elements from the keyboard of her Steinway…
(L’Ùnione Sarda, Carlo Argiolas)

…The encounter took place between the sensational pianist Cecilia Li and a dancer of rare skill, Sebastian Prantl, and was characterized by an unusual sensitivity. It was also an encounter of music and dancing under the auspices of Cage, this musician of great expressive and experimental force whose work is quoted throughout the whole central part of the performance „Cage pour les oiseaux“ (Cage for the birds), from „Two Pieces for Piano“ over „In a Landscape“ and „Quest“ down to „Bacchanale“ in the nervously precise, electrifying piano of Li, who draws from vast musical resources to devise evocative atmospheres…
(La Nuova, Walter Porcedda)

…Scenes of silence were followed by phrase in which the extraordinarily sensitive pianist Cecilia Li played Arvo Pärt, Giacinto Scelsi, Schubert, Ravel, “Haiku” of John Cage…
(Kurier, Vienna)

…Cecilia Li is a highly qualified pianist whose musicality together with her accomplished technique assure a very fine performance…
(Antonio Lopezrios, Conductor)

…Cecilia Li is a virtuosic pianist who pairs elegance with power. Her dexterity is excellent. Her recital of the Préludes op. 11 by Alexander Scriabin was also greeted with great applaus…Such outstanding concerts are an enormous enrichment to Prien`s cultural life.
(Chiemgauer Zeitung)

…The powerful interpretation by Yuri Seiler (violoncello), Friedrike Stöckel (violine), Cecilia Li (piano) expressed the spirit of the work. Cecilia Li who took the lead in this trio has a fluent finger technique, thus mastering an important Mendelsohn criterium…
(Peter Cossé, Salzburger Nachrichten)