Introducing Rui Li



What is your name?

My name is Rui Li.

Where are you from?

I am from China, Liaoning Province. It is located in the northeast of the country. I earned my Bachelor of Music degree at Central Conservatory of Music, in Beijing and my Master of Music degree at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh.

How are you connected to the UNT Viola Studio?

I am currently a first year student in the Doctor of Musical Arts program at UNT.

Did you choose the viola, or did the viola choose you?

I began on the violin at the age of 6. However, at the age of 12, I went to a viola recital. After that, I decided to change to viola because I love the warmer sound and C string.

What is your favorite piece to play?

It is hard to choose, but I would say Hindemith Op.11 No.4. The beginning of the first movement has a dreamy and calm mood because of the lyrical melody. I love it so much.

What are your career goals?

I would like to be employed as a professional orchestra violist and become an instructor at a university.

If you couldn’t be in music, what career would you choose?

Music is my life. If I chose another career, I think I would be a medical doctor because I want to help people around me and take care of them.

If you could take a lesson from any person, alive or deceased, who would it be and why?

William Primrose. After reading this book “Playing the Viola: Conversations with William Primrose”, I wish I could have had a lesson with him. Also, I can learn from every person because everyone has something unique to offer.

Who has been the most influential musician in your life?

My most important musical influences have been my mentors, specifically the teacher I studied with for my undergraduate degree, Wing Ho.

Do you have any skills or hidden talents your fellow studio members wouldn’t know about?

I love cooking especially Chinese food. There are “Eight Culinary Cuisines” in China. I am especially good at cooking spicy food. I hope I can cook those for my friends in the future.


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