Si-Yan Darren Li

Cello

String Chamber Music Program Director and Faculty at Cleveland Institute of Music

Cellist Si-Yan Darren Li made his professional debut at the age of 9 and has since gone on to an international career as a recitalist, chamber musician, and teacher. He has appeared in solo and chamber music performances at Carnegie Hall’s Stern Auditorium, Weill Recital Hall, Alice Tully Hall, Merkin Hall, 92nd Street Y, Kennedy Center, Victoria Concert Hall in Singapore, Izumi Hall in Osaka, Suntory Hall in Tokyo, and National Concert Hall in Taipei. Mr. Li has also performed in many renowned music festivals, including the Ravinia Festival, Kronberg Academy Cello Festival, and Verbier Festival. An active chamber musician, he has collaborated with such esteemed artists as Emanuel Ax, Miriam Fried, Ilya Kaler, Lang Lang, Cho-Liang Lin, Thomas Quasthoff, Alexander Toradze, and members of the Juilliard, Takács, Cleveland, Casals, and Ébène quartets. His recording of the Bartók string quartets with the Euclid Quartet was highly praised by Gramophone magazine and American Recording Guide. 

Mr. Li joined the faculty of the Cleveland Institute of Music (CIM) in 2017 and currently serves as String Chamber Music Program Director. As a dedicated pedagogue, his student ensembles have won top prizes in major international and national competitions, including the Banff International String Quartet Competition, Bordeaux International String Quartet Competition, Melbourne International Chamber Music Competition, Wigmore Hall International String Quartet Competition, Fischoff Chamber Music Competition, and Coltman Chamber Music Competition. 

Mr. Li holds a Bachelor of Music degree from The Juilliard School and a Master of Music and Artist Diploma from the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University. In addition to Orlando Cole, his principal teachers include Fred Sherry, Harvey Shapiro, Alan Stepansky, and David Hardy. His other mentors include Gary Hoffman, Frans Helmerson, Ralph Kirshbaum, Tsutsumi Tsuyoshi, and Pamela Frank. Mr. Li plays a 1773 cello by Giovanni Battista Guadagnini, generously on loan from the private collection of Mr. and Mrs. Rin Kei-Mei.