Praised for his “sensitive and unpretentious musicality” by Pianist Magazine, and referred to as “a major talent” by The Classical Source, Ji Liu has positioned himself as one of the brightest stars in classical music. In addition to topping the classical charts as a Global Classic FM artist on numerous occasions, he also delights audiences around the world, from the Royal Albert Hall in London to Carnegie Hall in New York.
2020 is an 18-hour composition written for setting a new Guinness World Record. Ji Liu notes ‘The year 2020 has been unusual in many aspects. The global effect of coronavirus has changed our way of life dramatically. As a son, a friend, and a citizen of our society, I have experienced this new unnatural normal; especially when we are required to distance from each other. This dreadful virus has not reduced our most basic needs, that of love, affection, music, family, friendship and humanity. On the contrary, I have never treasured warmth, greetings, reunion, live performances or anything that would touch our heart, no matter small or big, little or great, short or long, as much as I have then in 2020.
Despite the up-and-down situation of this ongoing pandemic throughout 2020, there are always things which we would cherish. As a composer-pianist, I can’t perform for people in live settings as much as I’ve done before. I have explored new ways of documenting this year, reflecting what I see and feel, and connecting and communicating our emotions and experiences through my compositions and online performances.
I have been drafting musical sketches and fragments throughout this year with thought to the heroes – doctors, nurses, to drivers of public transportations, delivery staffs, etc. – we owe so much. These key-workers have been on the frontline day and night with devotion and passion. Not only have their effects touched me, but it has also inspired my musical work; encouraging me to dream, and expand my artistic vision.
Therefore, in honour of key-workers throughout the world and to honour their endurance, I have brought together my musical sketches to form an epic 18-hour musical challenge. I wish to express my deepest regards to those affected by the pandemic and to salute and show my respect to everyone who has been striving for hope, brightness and solidarity to humanity. Thank you all.’