The Chinese pianist, Ji Liu, was born to a family with an interest in music, where his mother played guitar and his father played the trumpet, although his parents were not professional musicians. He started his early musical education at the age of 3. Whilst still only 13, he won an international competition to perform a recital at New York's famed Carnegie Hall. That concert proved to be a major turning point in his career. He initially studied piano and conducting at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music, after which he studied under Dmitri Bashkirov at the Escuela Superior de Musica Reina Sofia in Madrid. In 2007, he was awarded a full scholarship to continue his Bachelor of Music focusing on Piano Performance with Prof. Christopher Elton and Composition with Ruth Byrchmore at the Royal Academy of Music in London. In 2013, he graduated his Master of Music with both a Distinction and a DipRAM for his extraordinary Final Recital from the Royal Academy of Music.
Described as the "Wunderkind Pianist" by the Guardian and "A Major Talent" by ClassicalSource.com, Ji Liu positions himself at the top of the record charts and delight audiences around the world. In 2014 when he was 23, his debut album, “Piano Reflections” produced by Grammy-winning producer Andrew Cornall and released by Classic FM/Universal Music, immediately topped No.1 and stormed the UK charts since its release, making him the UK’s biggest-selling classical breakthrough artist of 2014. The album was also nominated as the "best classical album of year" at the prestigious Chinese Music Award in 2015. Liu has then released another two chart-topping albums, "Piano Encores" and "Pure Chopin" in 2015 and 2016 respectively.
As a soloist, Ji Liu has appeared at major venues and festivals internationally including London's Royal Albert Hall, Royal Festival Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Wigmore Hall, Barbican Centre, St. John's Smith Square and etc; the St. George's Hall and the new Liverpool Philharmonic Hall in Liverpool; Birmingham's Town Hall, Sage Gateshead in Newcastle; Old Vic Theatre and Colston Hall in Bristol; Royal Concert hall in Nottingham; Concertgebouw in Amsterdam; Auditorium du Louvre and Salle Cortot in Paris, Carnegie Hall in New York, Rachmaninoff Hall at Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow, Salle Garnier Opéra de Monte-Carlo; Théâtre de Champ Fleuri in La Réunion; Shanghai Oriental Art Centre, Shanghai Concert Hall and the Grand Theatre in Shanghai; Suzhou Culture and Arts Center; Kumho Arts Hall in Seoul; the Henley Festival in the UK; the Stavanger Chamber Music Festival in Norway, Verbier Festival and Gstaad Festival in Switzerland, Tongyeong International Music Festival in South Korea; The 3rd Krasnoyarsk International Music Festival of the Asia-Pacific region in Russia and etc.
Last season (2015-2016), Ji Liu has played Robert Schumann and L.v. Beethoven Piano Concertos with the Philharmonia Orchestra at the Dorking Halls and the Royal Festival Hall in London; and Sergei Rachmaninov's Piano Concerto No. 2 with Vasily Petrenko and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra at the sold-out Royal Albert Hall. He was also the soloist who opened the 2015-2016 season for the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and its new Liverpool Philharmonic Hall. In 2016, he has made his warm welcome-back to the Royal Festival Hall playing W.A. Mozart's Piano Concerto K.467 with the Mozart Festival Orchestra. Also, Mr. Ji Liu embarked a 5-city UK recital tour celebrating the new release of his "Pure Chopin" album.
As a hugely creative artist, Ji Liu has a rare and immense capability of playing music from J.S. Bach's Goldberg Variations (BWV 988) to Ligeti Piano Etudes to his own transcription of Skyfall. His piano playing always embraces distinctive quality of devotion, originality, purity and authenticity. Ji Liu's passion for new music has led him collaborating with some of the greatest composers of our time. In 2016, he played the World Premiere of Ludovico Einaudi’s new piano concerto with Maestro Damian Iorio and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra at the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall.
In his spare time, Ji Liu is enthusiastic about fashion, fine watches and visual arts. He likes sharp suits and unique shoes. He believes that classical music is for everyone, and one of his dreams is to make classical music more accessible and popular to a much wider audience.