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Born in Beijing, Mingdu Li is a recent graduate from the MMus in Composition at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, studying under Dr. Oliver Iredale Searle. She holds a BMus (Hons) in Composition from RCS, where she studied with Tom David Wilson, and a BSc (Hons) in Mathematics from University College London. In autumn 2024, she will begin her doctorate in composition at the Royal College of Music, London, under the supervision of Professor Kenneth Hesketh and Professor William Mival, kindly supported by the RCM Studentship.


Before transitioning her focus from maths to music composition, Mingdu's music had gained recognition from prestigious institutions and events such as the London Philharmonic Orchestra Soundworks and Summerfest at the Curtis Institute of Music. Her music has been performed at renowned venues, including London's Southbank Centre with the Rambert dance group, and Philadelphia's Field Concert Hall. After joining RCS and under expert guidance, Mingdu expanded her musical visions and diversified her interdisciplinary creations. She has composed music for student films at New York University, ballet at RCS, and various ensembles, such as the GAIA Duo, RCS Orchestra, Red Note Ensemble, Hebrides Ensemble, Mivos Quartet, and many more. Mingdu also has experience in workshops with the Imani Winds, Arx Duo, Leverhulme Conductors, and many others. She has taken masterclasses with world-class composers like David Serkin Ludwig, Errollyn Wallen CBE, Oliver Weber, Clemens Gadenstätter, Nick DiBerardino, Jonathan Bailey Holland, Dimitri Tymoczko, Stuart MacRae, David Fennessy, Linda Buckley, Anthony R. Green, and Kate Moore. 


Recently, Mingdu has concentrated her musical aesthetic on interpreting the 'silent' languages and concepts of maths and quantum physics into 'audible' compositions. Her music not only delves into the notion of humanity's insignificance in relation to our Creator, but also captures the human journey from existential confusion to ultimate questions about cosmic origins and destiny. She believes that this unique approach can serve as a conduit between scientific exploration and spiritual longing, inviting the audience to grasp both the complexities and wonders of the universe while inspiring them to reflect on their inner selves.


Her piece ‘Superposition and Measurement’ premiered as part of the RCS 175th-anniversary celebrations and was performed by the Hebrides Ensemble at Stevenson Hall in Glasgow. Her ‘Ghost Particles - Neutrinos’ was featured during Red Note Ensemble’s Noisy Night series, and her orchestral piece ‘Entropy’ won the 2022/23 Walter and Dinah Wolfe Memorial Prize. This latter work premiered at Glasgow's City Halls by the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Martyn Brabbins and was later broadcast on BBC Radio 3, accompanied by a brief interview. She is also the recipient of the 2023 Musicians’ Company Silver Medal


The Edinburgh Music Review has described her music as having "...a compelling ever-present pulse, conveying the sense of inexorability..." while Bachtrack Music Review characterized her compositions as exuding "a sense of an uncontrollable beast of pure energy... a confident work."

Lately, she has been selected to participate in the 2024/25 Britten Pears Young Artist Program, a new piece has been commissioned and will be supervised by composer Colin Matthew and Mark Anthony-Turnage.

Other Achievements

Work Experience

  • 2nd place in the BMOG (British Maths Olympiad for Girls), 2014.

  • Gold Medalist (Full marks) in the UKMT Senior Maths Challenge, both 2015 & 2016.

  • Bronze Medalist and Distinction Award in the BMO (British Maths Olympiad), both 2015 & 2016.

  • Represented UCL in the International Maths Competition for university students in Bulgaria, 2017 (the only 1st year team member).

  • Top 40s of the UK in the Imperial Maths Competition, 2018.

  • UCL Bridge Society President, 2017 – 2018.

  • Led the UCL Bridge Team won the 3rd place in the 2017 London Cup, 1st place in the 2018 Cambridge Open and 1st place in the 2018 Warwick Bridge Festival.

  • Interviewed by BBC Radio 4: a sport traditionally associated with ‘older people’ but that has many young players, 2018.

  • Summer Intern - London Metal Exchange

        Aug 2018 – Oct 2018

        Market Development, Quantitative Risk

  • Summer Intern - Bank of China International

        ​Jun 2018 – Aug 2018

        Risk Management, Global Commodity Strategy & Research

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