Countertenor Yichen Li is a diverse musician who has performed extensively in opera, oratorio, and chamber music and has won numerous awards as a vocalist and piano accompanist. As an active performer, Dr. Li has recently appeared in leading roles such as Oberon in Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Nerone in Monteverdi’s L’incoronazione di Poppea, and Nero-Caligula in Ilya Demutsky’s Black Square. Past performances include Purcell’s King Arthur, Puccini’s Gianni Schicchi, and Yang Ming’s Sister Jiang. Additionally, Dr. Li has performed as a soloist with Sinfonia da Camera Chamber Orchestra, Concerto Urbano Baroque Ensemble, and Estampe Trio.
In addition to Dr. Li’s career as a vocalist, he has earned many achievements as a pianist. Highlights of Dr. Li’s piano accomplishments include the first places in both solo piano and piano accompanying at the 5th Jiangsu Collegiate Music Competition.
Dr. Li earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music Education (piano concentration) from Nanjing Normal University, where he served as a teaching assistant in several music classes. He received a Master of Music degree in Vocal Performance from Illinois State University and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Vocal Performance and Literature at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign under the tutelage of Dr. Ollie Watts Davis. His primary teachers include Professor Wang Bing, Professor Liu Yixin, Professor Tatyana Ivanovna, Dr. Daniel Schuetz, and Dr. Charlotte Mattax Moersch.
Dr. Li is currently serving on the voice faculty at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the University of Illinois at Springfield. Dr. Li also serves as a member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) and the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA).