Cellist Si-Yan Darren Li made his professional debut at the age of nine and has since gone on to an international career as a recitalist, chamber musician and teacher. He has appeared in solo and chamber music performances at Carnegie Hall’s Stern Auditorium, Weill Recital Hall, Alice Tully Hall, Merkin Hall, 92nd Street Y, Kennedy Center, Victoria Concert Hall in Singapore, Izumi Hall in Osaka, Suntory Hall in Tokyo and National Concert Hall in Taipei. Li has also performed in many renowned music festivals, including the Ravinia Festival, Kronberg Academy Cello Festival and Verbier Festival.

Li is a prizewinner in numerous prestigious competitions, including the Tchaikovsky International Competition in Moscow and Young Concert Artists International Auditions in New York. He is also a recipient of the American Masterpieces grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

At CIM, Li teaches chamber music for the conservatory and for the Young Artist Program (YAP) in our preparatory division. 


  • The Juilliard School; studied with Fred Sherry and Harvey Shapiro 
  • Peabody Institute; studied with David Hardy and Alan Stepansky 
  • Other mentors included Orlando Cole, Gary Hoffman, Tsuyoshi Tsutsumi, Frans Helmerson, Pamela Frank, Joel Smirnoff and Michael Tilson Thomas

Teaching Experience

  • Cleveland Institute of Music (2017-present)
  • University of Central Florida (2016-17)
  • Indiana University (2009-16)
  • Rocky Ridge Music Center Young Artist Seminar (2015-present)