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Berklee's Newest Musician: Steven Li

Updated: Apr 16, 2022

Getting accepted into a great college is a desire for many students. One such highly revered school is Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA. Berklee is one of the highest ranking schools internationally for musicians and composers. Not only did Steven Li get accepted into Berklee College of Music, he also received a prestigious merit scholarship.

Steven Li is a senior in Concert Orchestra. He is a violinist, erhuist, and composer. The talented musician has been playing the violin for four years and erhu for fifteen. We all know what a violin is, but the word “erhu” may not be familiar to some. It is a two-stringed Chinese instrument that originated from the Tang dynasty in China. Steven’s path was influenced by his parents, who both have a master’s degree in oriental music. His dad also teaches as an erhu professor.

Steven Li posing with his two instruments: erhu and violin.

Surprisingly, music was not Steven’s first calling. “I did not like music at first,” he said. “But later, [I] started to feel passionate for music composition and creation.”

As he gained more and more appreciation for the creative process behind music, he started to look in unusual places for inspiration. Many of the ideas for his compositions come from “daily life, film, and games”. To display his hard work, Symphony Orchestra perform his and senior Krystal Dang’s arrangement at the POPS concert on May 18.

“The piece I’m preparing is inspired from a video game called Genshin Impact…I am heavily inspired by the clash of chinese and western styles together to create a sensational and warming track,'' said Steven.

Although it was difficult to find the right resources to learn and stay motivated, Steven kept himself busy by coming up with “better ideas on how to create texture” as well as how to “incorporate orchestral structure in his music compositions.”

“When I first joined orchestra, it was challenging because I only had a few months of experience,” he added. “After many rehearsals and performances, I managed to progress really quickly.”

Aside from helping him improve his musicality, being in orchestra has provided Steven with a second family and the journey has taught him several valuable character traits.

“Orchestra has taught me to be humble and inclusive, and [I’ve] met many wonderful people who have become my friends,” remarked Steven.

As a composer as well, Steven mentioned that ‘春时•重山赋(Serenity)’, an oriental pop piece, is his favorite composition as of yet. You can listen to it on soundcloud and YouTube. He also creates EDM (electronic dance music) and pop music.

At Berklee, Steven plans to major in Contemporary Writing and Production. As for future plans, he hopes to “create some more inspiring music for self-satisfaction and listener satisfaction. [And] make more influential music and spread it through media.”

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