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Verizon Hall at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts will be rededicated as Marian Anderson Hall, home of The Philadelphia Orchestra

Julia Li

Musicians Behind the Scenes: Julia Li

Posted by:  The Philadelphia Orchestra on January 04, 2022

Where were you born? I was born in Hefei, China.

What piece of music could you play over and over again? The solo sonatas and partitas by Johann Sebastian Bach.

What’s your favorite Philadelphia restaurant? Fiorella has been my new favorite. Their menu changes seasonally, and everything is consistently delicious!

Tell us about your instrument. I play on a violin owned by The Philadelphia Orchestra. It was made by Joseph Guarneri in Cremona, Italy, circa 1700. 

What’s in your instrument case? Other than my violin and bows, I always have rosin, pencils, nail clippers, nail files, spare strings, and cough drops.

What piece of music never fails to move you? “Nimrod” from Elgar’s “Enigma” Variations.

When did you join the Orchestra? In January 2014.

Do you play any other instruments? I have been playing viola since high school. Recently I’ve been trying to practice piano a little bit every day, but I’m still pretty bad!

What’s your favorite type of food? I am always in the mood for Asian cuisine.

What books are on your nightstand? Hard copy or e-reader? I’m currently reading a hard copy of Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End by Atul Gawande.

Do you speak any other languages? My Mandarin is not amazing, but I can survive in China.

Do you have any hobbies? I practice yoga and do the New York Times Crossword daily. I also keep up with Formula One and watch every Grand Prix.

Do you have a favorite movie? The original Godfather. 

What’s the last recording you purchased? CD or download? I have a premium Spotify subscription and use it for everything from symphonies to podcasts.

When was the first time you heard The Philadelphia Orchestra? I first heard the Orchestra live in 2007 when I started studying at the Curtis Institute of Music. I still remember the program: Tchaikovsky’s First Symphony and Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring with Christoph Eschenbach conducting. 

Other than Verizon Hall, where is your favorite place to perform? The Musikverein in Vienna.

Photo: Jessica Griffin

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