Alumnus, Studio of Eduardus Halim
A native of Shenzhen, China, TianYi Li was born with a rare heart condition and a weak immune system that forced him to stay away from school for most of his childhood. Thus, piano became one of his only friends. After winning several piano competitions in China, and with a healthier body, TianYi went abroad to study in the United States in his early teens, at Professional Children’s School in New York City, knowing practically no English. Within six years, he had finished his high school and undergraduate curricula, graduating cum laude from NYU Steinhardt, where he studied piano with Eduardus Halim. During this time, TianYi was awarded Third Prize alongside three other special prizes at the 2017 Tbilisi International Piano Competition, only five months after undergoing an open-heart surgery. After finishing his Master of Music studies at the Juilliard School in 2020, he was accepted by the school’s C.V. Starr Doctoral Program, and will be pursuing his Doctor of Musical Arts degree under the guidance of Jerome Lowenthal.
TianYi’s passion for music extends beyond solo piano playing in the forms of collaboration and composition. A newfound interest in contemporary music led him to participate in AXIOM and New Juilliard Ensemble, performing ensemble works in Peter Jay Sharp Hall and Alice Tully Hall in the 2018 and 2019 seasons. He was the pianist and narrator in the 2014 YoungArts production of Heathers and 2015 production of Peter Pan, in which artists ranging from dancers to filmmakers came together to create and perform a full play based largely on improvisation. In 2018, TianYi’s works Kaleidoscope and Tomorrow and Tomorrow premiered in the Double Vision Concert at Juilliard, a showcase featuring works by the school’s gifted composer-performers.