Xiaoxuan Li

China I Age 17

Since appearing as the youngest competitor in the first edition of the Cliburn Junior Competition in 2015, Xiaoxuan Li—the only returning competitor—moved from Shanghai to Philadelphia, where he studies with Gary Graffman and Robert McDonald at the Curtis Institute of Music. He is a laureate of several international young artist competitions, including Cleveland (senior division, first prize, 2018); Zhuhai Mozart (first prize, 2015); Hilton Head (second prize, 2015); and Ettlingen (2012). He began piano at the age of 4 and has performed extensively throughout China, with other notable concerts including Salzburg Chamber Soloists and the orchestras of Canton, Hilton Head, Ashdod, and Macao.

“I would gladly spend the rest of my life studying the beauty and nuances of every composer, every piece, every iteration. Piano is the media of my emotion. It drives me, shapes me, and propels me to a higher place.”

Competitor Profile


Preliminary Round
BACH Prelude and Fugue in G Minor, BWV 861
LISZT Transcendental Etude No. 10 in F Minor
CHOPIN Barcarolle in F-sharp Major, op. 60

Quarterfinal Round
BEETHOVEN Sonata No. 7 in D Major, op. 10, no. 3
CHOPIN Nocturne in C Minor, op. 48, no. 1

Semifinal Round

LIEBERMANN Gargoyles, op. 29

SCHUBERT Impromptu in A-flat Major, op. 90, D. 899, no. 4

PROKOFIEV Sonata No. 7 in B-flat Major, op. 83


Final Round

PROKOFIEV Concerto No. 3 in C Major, op. 26