The Well-Tempered Ear

Classical music news: Keep your eye — and ears — on young American pianist and competition winner George Li | August 14, 2010

By Jacob Stockinger

In case you haven’t heard, a recent and little known piano contest — the Thomas and Evon Cooper Competition) for young people at Oberlin College — was won by Lexington, Massachusetts pianist George Li (below).

Li is only 14. And from what I heard, of his playing of a solo Carl Czerny  work (not exercise) and a Chopin concerto, he has quite a future ahead of him.

Last Sunday, National Public Radio — now called simply NPR — had a great story about the competition and about Li that also included interviews with judges and other contestants.

The reporter was Noah Adams (below), a prize-winning veteran who wrote a book about his own experiences learning how to play the piano from scratch as an adult. (The book, still in print, is “Piano Lessons” and is a  fun read for adult piano students.)

Li’s victory and Adams’ reporting make for a good story that is entertaining and inspiring.

Here is link to the transcript:

And here is a link to the radio story you can stream so you can hear the gorgeous music:

I like such attention being paid to young people, especially when it doesn’t involve sports but art.

And a I think all media – new and old, print and broadcast — should do more reporting on young people and the arts.

What do you think?

The Ear wants to hear.

Posted in Classical music


  1. You’re right that more attention should be paid to young people and the arts, but there are already a number of Young Artists competitions that do just that. My soul-mate was a Young Artists contest winner as a high school pianist and is still playing in her late ’60s. As a member of the Inland (CA) Symphony, we had a Young Artists competition annually and when living in Japan, my son performed in such contests. Of course, the quality/level of the contestants varies widely but these are important forums for expression, no matter the level.

    Comment by Larry Retzack — August 14, 2010 @ 11:18 am

    • HI Larry,
      That all sounds good, even exemplary.
      But with all the talk about school budgets being cut, especially in the arts, we need even more public spotlights on kids and the arts in all forms.
      And in should just be news about contest winners, stars and prodigies.
      The arts are for all of us to enjoy and practice on whatever level we are capable of.

      Comment by welltemperedear — August 14, 2010 @ 11:26 am

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    Pingback by Classical music news: Keep your eye — and ears — on young American pianist and competition winner George Li | 7 Top M Download — August 14, 2010 @ 6:37 am

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