Agent swoop: Tchaikovsky runner-up gets signed in London

Agent swoop: Tchaikovsky runner-up gets signed in London


norman lebrecht

September 30, 2015

The American pianist George Li, silver medal winner in this summer’s Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow, has signed for global management with UK agecy Intermusica.

George is currently enrolled in the Harvard-New England Conservatory joint degree program, studying with Wha Kyung Byun and Russell Sherman.

Where was the US music biz when he impressed in Moscow?

george li1


  • All Keyed Up says:

    George Li is unquestionably the finest American pianist to come along since Murray Perahia & Richard Goode. That Intermusica had the wisdom to sign him up is all to their credit, and that the Moscow jury was foolish enough not to at least tie him for 1st place is a discredit to the Tchaikovsky Competition. The future will prove George Li to be the long-distance runner of the 2015 Tchaikovsky competition.

    • Ross says:

      Bold words

    • Marcel Lockhart says:

      He bothered me quiet a bit with hammering around on the piano. If he learns that to dazzle one doesn’t need to play loud, he will become a great one. If he doesn’t he will just remain a very good pianist.

    • Adèle Félix says:

      What a chauvinist you are ! Who will remember his 2nd prize in a couple of years ? He was just 19 during the TCH15, still has a long way to go learning, studing, a whole life actually ! Besides, your comment prooves that you have no idea of the rules that the jury of the competition must follow… Anyway, 1rt prize, 2nd prize, 3rd prize… Arturo Benedetti-Michelangeli NEVER won ANY 1st prize…

  • Stephen Best says:

    From the first time I heard George Li years ago, I sensed I was listening to greatness in the making, and indeed that has been the case. Not only is he a pianist of the highest order, he is also a delightful person. I am delighted not only for him, but for his family, whose support for his efforts is a joy to behold.

  • Karen says:

    Congratulations, George Li !!! What exciting news ! All your fans around the world look forward to coming to your concerts and hearing your wonderful performances ! Bravo, George Li, BRAVO !!!

  • Angela says:

    I thoroughly enjoyed Mr. George Li’s performances through all three rounds of the Tchaikovsky Competition this year. To me, he is a very fine musician and one of the brightest young stars in classical music today.

  • Andrys says:

    Intermusica is smart to grab him. Norman, I doubt that US music biz was not there in Moscow and interested. He’s a natural for concert hall mgmt and conductors.

  • Doug says:

    I see we have a few Intermusica employees leaving comments here. Frankly, I’m surprised Li even won the silver. When he played with my orchestra in 2012 his performance was totally unremarkable, devoid of any personality, let alone artistry. But he fits the bill in todays industry: loud, fast, Asian.

    • Errol Bennett says:


      First, if you are making an allegation that “a few employees of Intermusica” are the ones leaving comments here, you ought to provide proof and evidence. Otherwise, it is spurious, unfounded and false…never mind mean-spirited, vexatious and possibly defamatory. Your unsupported, unfounded allegation speaks more to me about the kind of person that you are.

      Secondly, you obviously feel you are more of an expert than the opinions of the 12 jury members ( ) as well as the opinion of Valery Gergiev who has praised Mr. Li. Again, your statement speaks to the kind of person that you are.

      Thirdly, if you are making a statement about “your orchestra in 2012” and publicly criticising Mr. Li and making defamatory statements, you ought to put down your real name and musical credentials in this public forum. Who are you ? Show your face and full identity to us please .

      Last but not least, the year 2012 or three years ago would amount to a long time ago for a very young person who was in the process of developing his techniques and musicianship. Mr. Li would have been a child of about 15 or 16 years old then. How he may or may not have performed from years ago when he was a child is irrelevant to his performance level and musicianship today.

      We are speaking about Mr. Li today in the context of his very fine performances at the Tchaikovsky Competition in the year 2015. I have read comments from many fine musicians and conductors who have praised Mr. Li’s performances at the Tchaikovsky.

    • da96103 says:

      Which performance is this? Is it on youtube?

      If what you said is true, then kudos to Mr George Li for improving by leaps and bounds in the last 2 years.

    • Sergey says:

      Doug, it looks like your understanding of piano performnce and general musicianship is pretty limited. I was listening almoost all Tcaikovsky competitions since 1970 and pretty well know a lot of winnerss either studiet with them or played with them. For pianists 2015 has definitely the strongest cast of participants, and Geroge was the best. It is not only my personal opinion, but a lot of my friends-pianists (including big number of Russians). I totally support the words of Errol Bennet. Li’s performance of Tchaikovsky #1 was the best. Decision of jury could be more favorable to G. Li, but still, he got one if the top prizes of one of the hardest and most prestigious music competitions worldwide. I also would like to know your real name and creditentials to understand if you have moral and profrssional right to make such judgements.

  • Enrique Sanchez says:

    Methinks DOUG is a troll or bigot.