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Artist of The Issue: Daniel Li

Artist of The Issue: Daniel Li

Artist of The Issue: Daniel Li


Li is an award-winning pianist who performs frequently in recitals.

Staff Writer

October 12, 2023

Sean Hwang '26 and Charan V. '26

Daniel Li ’24 is a Senior from Danbury, CT. At school, he is co-head of the Math Club and Songs for Smiles, co-captain of Varsity Swimming, and a member of Varsity Tennis. He is also an accomplished pianist, who won first prize at the Audrey Thayer Competition in 2022. At school, Li frequently performs in piano recitals. 

How did you become involved in music? 

I discovered my passion for piano in seventh grade at a chamber music camp, where I began to enjoy playing the piano, listening to music, and being part of a music community. At Hotchkiss, I have found support among the musicians in the school’s music program. These experiences created a strong sense of a music community for me to thrive in. 

How has your interest in music changed throughout your time at the school? 

When I first joined the school’s music program, I focused more on the technical aspects of playing the piano. I was absorbed in not making mistakes at competitions and concerts. However, as I performed more at recitals and competitions, I learned that the expression of my feelings and learning about the storytelling capacity of the piano is more important than achieving technical proficiency. The opportunity to be exposed to various kinds of music at the school has significantly developed my skills and allowed me to have more fun. 

What advice would you give to aspiring musicians? 

Listen to others perform, because the best way to learn how to express yourself through music is to learn the techniques and methods of expression employed by fellow musicians. If you feel connected to someone’s music, try to integrate elements of their performance into your own style. Soon, you’ll find out what makes you unique. For example, during my joint piano lessons, I learn a lot from my partner, who offers me valuable advice. We are surrounded by a talented, closely-knit, and uplifting music community. Take advantage of that. 

What’s your favorite piece to play? 

My favorite piano piece is one I played during my Lower Mid year, called Liszt Funerailles. The piece centers around funerals and death, and there are various beautiful musical components within it that allow me to practice expressing intense emotions.

Charan Venkataswamy is a staff writer for The Record.

November 16th

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Editor's Note: This article was recovered from The Record's online archive. There may be stylistic and visual errors that interrupt the reading experience, as well as missing photos. To read this article as it appeared in print, view our print archives.

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Editorials are written by members of The Record's Executive Board. They typically center on issues related to the school or student life on campus.

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