On 10th October 2019 the Embassy of the Republic of Poland in Beijing hosted a ceremony of awarding the Gold Medal for Merit to Culture – Gloria Artis to the Chinese pianist Li Yundi. The winner of the 14th International Fryderyk Chopin Piano Competition received the award from the hands of Ambassador Wojciech Zajączkowski.
Li Yundi is the first Chinese winner of the International Fryderyk Chopin Piano Competition, as well as the youngest pianist to win the Competition: he was 18 years old at the time of his victory. Fifteen years after his triumph, Li Yundi returned to Warsaw to sit on the jury of the 17th edition of the Competition as the youngest juror in its history. Awarded for his performance of Chopin’s polonaises, the pianist is considered a prominent promoter of the Polish composer’s music. The artist’s discography contains several albums with his interpretations of Chopin’s ballads, mazurkas, preludes, nocturnes, sonatas, scherzos and concertos. Li Yundi has performed in many prestigious concert halls and at festivals alongside such famous artists as Berliner Philharmoniker and Seiji Ozawa, Leipzig Gewandhausorchester and Riccardo Chailly, Mahler Chamber Orchestra and Daniel Harding, Rotterdam Philharmonic and Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Philharmonia Orchestra and Andrew Davis, Mariinsky Orchestra and Valery Gergiev, Israel Philharmonic and Gustavo Dudamel. He also performed with Washington’s National Symphony Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, Toronto Symphony Orchestra and NHK Symphony Orchestra.
The Fryderyk Chopin International Piano Competition
In 2017, the Adam Mickiewicz Institute supported the pianist’s concert tour in his homeland, during which he performed Chopin’s piano concertos conducting the Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra from the piano. The concerts took place in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Chongqing and Shenzhen.
The Medal for Merit to Culture – Gloria Artis is a decoration awarded by the Minister of Culture and National Heritage of the Republic of Poland for distinguished contributions to, or protection of the Polish culture and national heritage.
Source: own materials, originally written in Polish by ZG, 11 Oct 2019, translated by AW, 12 Oct 2019