Born into a family of well-known musicians in Shanghai, Weigang Li began studying the violin with his parents at the age of five and attended the Shanghai Conservatory of Music at age fourteen. Three years later, in 1981, he was selected to go to study for one year at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music through the first cultural exchange program between the sister cities of Shanghai and San Francisco. In 1985, upon graduating from the Shanghai Conservatory, Weigang Li left China again to continue his studies at Northern Illinois University and later studied and taught at the Juilliard School as teaching assistant to the Juilliard Quartet.
Besides his parents, Mr. Li's teachers have included Shmuel Ashkenasi, Tan Shu-Chen and Isadore Tinkleman. Mr. Li was featured in the 1980 Oscar-winning documentary film, From Mao to Mozart: Isaac Stern in China. He made his orchestral debut at seventeen with the BBC Symphony Orchestra. He has appeared as soloist with China Philharmonic, Shanghai Symphony, Asian Youth Orchestra, Seoul Chamber Orchestra, Rochester Philharmonic, Richmond Symphony, and BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra.
Weigang Li is the first violinist of the Shanghai Quartet since its founding in 1983. Currently in its 30th season, the Shanghai Quartet has performed over 2000 concerts; recorded 30 CD albums, including a newly released 7-discs cycle of complete Beethoven string quartets on Camerata label; earned the reputation as one of the world's most outstanding string quartets. Weigang Li plays over 100 concerts annually with the Shanghai Quartet, touring major music centers of Europe and North America. He has performed in Amsterdam, Budapest, Hamburg, London, Milan, Montpellier, Moscow, Munich, Prague, Rome, Vienna and Warsaw, as well as every major city in the US. In Asia, he is also actively concertizing and giving master-classes in China, Japan, Korea and Singapore.
Mr. Li is a professor of violin at Montclair State University in New Jersey and Bard Conservatory in New York. He also holds the title of Guest Concertmaster of the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra and Guest Professor of Chamber Music at both the Shanghai Conservatory and the Central Conservatory in Beijing.