April Zhi Li-Thompson

She begins by sharing how she learned to become better on the piano is to play in the hall of the hospital.  It was there that she gained the confidence for what she needed to become the pianist that she is today for the Houston Ballet Company.  She shares key tips on how to continuously improve the skills.  April also shares how piano teachers can assist their students in becoming pianists for ballet classes and eventually performances.





1. Slow 3 (plié and any adage) 2. Tango (fondu) 3. Quick 2 (tendu, dégagé) 4. Slow 3 (rond de jambe, Développé, stretch, adage) 5. Slow waltz (Balancé, waltz in center ) 6. Quick 3 (Pirouette in center) 7. Grand allegro (big jumps) 8. Quick 2 (petit jumps, coda) 9. Slow 3 (Reverence,adage)



This piece is “April” Zhi Li-Thompson personal improvisation on the arrangement of Zigeunerweisen by PABLO DE SARASATE used in the movie Sissi-Fateful Years of an Empress.




Pianist “April” Zhi Li-Thompson has performed in numerous concert venues throughout the United States and China. She has been a featured soloist and chamber musician in Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall, Borden Hall in Manhattan School and Music, the University of Central Oklahoma’s Jazz Lab, Beijing Concert Hall, Forbidden City Concert Hall, Xingtai Concert Hall and Beijing’s Contemporary Music Festival.  As the winner of the 2012 Duxbury Music Festival’s Chamber Music Competition and top prize winner of its Solo Competition, Mrs. Li-Thompson gave recitals at the Ellison Center for the Arts in Duxbury, Massachusetts.  Mrs. Li-Thompson was also the first prize winner of the 2012 Eisenberg-Fried Concerto Competition and performed as soloist with Manhattan School of Music’s top orchestra.



Mrs. Li-Thompson began her piano studies at the age of 4 and progressed rapidly under a number of great teachers in China. This resulted in her being accepted by the prestigious Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing for her Bachelor of Arts Degree.  She then moved to the United States to pursue her masters from the Manhattan School of music in New York City. She completed her degree and has been a Company and Academy Ballet class pianist and rehearsal pianist with Houston Ballet since 2015.  She is also a pianist at her church, Redeemer Sugar Land, making music with her husband Timothy. She is also a mother of two beautiful daughters who are obsessed with dance and good food.


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