Sunny Li is a Chinese concert pianist based in London. She started learning the piano at the age of four, she had her first public performance in China at the age of six, and she won the first prize in the Chinese Talented Pianist Competition in 2003.
Since then, Li has continued to wow classical fans all around the world. This week however, she’s had a video of her unusual piano practice go viral.
While her own YouTube upload of the video only has a modest amount of views, Classic FM picked up the impressive performance and posted it to its Facebook page, which currently has over 200,000 views and over 1,500 shares since it was put up there two days ago.
And it’s the 500+ comments and counting on Classic FM’s post that has caught MI Pro’s eye.
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While a large portion of these comments are positive and praise the talented musician, there are of course a few that think playing two pianos at the same time is ‘not actually that hard’.
But there are also, as is always the case in the comment section of pretty much any video, a worrying number of comments talking inappropriately her physical appearance and the way Li is sitting.
While this causes a lot of people to role their eyes at the crass comments, it unfortunately proves that there is still a long way to go for women in music to be properly respected.
You can bet your life that if Li were a man, half of those comments would not be written.
With all of this attention on her, Li has spoken to MI Pro about the nature of viral videos and how she hopes to “kick kids off the PlayStation”.
“The wonderful impact of my fun piano workout, as I like to call it, is extremely pleasing,” said Li. “This was just a normal days practice for piano concerto, but as a short break I thought I’d have a bit of fun and do some filming.
“By filming myself it also allows me to study my playing at a later date. Since the age of four when I started to play the piano, and in later life when I was gaining success with classical music awards in China, I have always studied what I do very carefully to try and reach perfection.”
Speaking about the comments on her video, Li told MI Pro that so far they have been “truly enlightening” and have given her “an insight into the way classical music fans view such a fun workout!”
It’s clear that Li is incredibly optimistic and it's nice to see that some of the more crude comments have not the passion for keeping classical music alive.
“The most important thing to me is to get classical music talked about especially by the younger online generation. Having lived my life for classical music and the piano especially, I am terrified that it is becoming a dying art form,” said LI. “By doing creative things like this, and by utilising style and fashion, I hope to bring classical music to a younger audience – kicking kids off the PlayStation and onto the piano!”
Check out Sunny Li’s piano workout video below: