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About City

Can Li

PhD student

Music department

Email: can.li@city.ac.uk


PhD Title: ‘Perspectives on the Performance Aesthetic of Ferdinand David’
Supervisor: Dr. Ian Pace

Research topic

Ferdinand David (1810-1973) was 19th century musician from Germany, who is primarily known as a virtuoso violinist and, to a lesser extent, as a composer. Recently, in 2009, a collection of his manuscripts was discovered by Clive Brown. This discovery provides a new insight into David’s musical knowledge, as well as his performance style. Indeed, it is becoming common that the musical style of the nineteenth century is now being examined through lesser-known works, such as David’s. This study, based on existing and newly-discovered information, aims to investigate the performance aesthetic of Ferdinand David in the context of the historical violin playing.

Research Interests

  • Historical Performing Practice (especially late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries)
  • Violin Music and Performance in 18-20 Century
  • Germany Violin Performance
  • Musical Analysis for Performance and Edition
  • Performance Pedagogy
  • Orchestra Management
  • Viola Performance


  • Master of Music in Violin Performance, University of Surrey (2015-2016)
  • Master of Art in Violin Performance and Pedagogy, Wuhan Conservatory of Music (2011-2014)


  • Violin Teaching Assistant, Wuhan Conservatory of Music (2011-2014)


  • Can, L. (2014). Analysing the musical characteristics and performance for unaccompanied solo violin sonata See & Hear. CNKI (China National Knowledge Infrastructure), J622.1.


  • Associate Concertmaster in ‘Leatherhead concert’, organised by University of Surrey Orchestra in Christ Church (2016, 2015)
  • Solo Performance in ‘Guildford Summer Music on the Hilltop’, organised by University of Surrey in Christ Church (2016)
  • Solo Recital, organised by University of Surrey in Guildford (2016),
  • Solo Recital, organised by Wuhan Conservatory of Music in China (2014)
  • Violinist in ‘Celibidache International Music Festival’, organised by The European Youth Symphony Orchestra in Qintai Concert Hall (2012, 2013)
  • Violinist in ‘Wuhan Conservatory of Music Institutes 60 Anniversary Concert’, organised by China Eastern Symphony Orchestra in Qintai Concert Hall (2014)
  • Solo Recital in ‘New Contemporary Composition’, organised by Wuhan Conservatory of Music (2013)
  • Violist in ‘Mozart Music Concert’, organised by Wuhan Conservatory of Music Ensemble (2011-2014)
  • Solo Performance in ‘Masicong Music Festival’, organised by Violin Competition Institute in Hubei Province (2012)


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