Emily Li obtained her Bachelor and Master Degree in music from Hong Kong Baptist University (HKBU) and Chinese University of Hong Kong, major in composition. She was a lecturer and the handbell director in the Music Department of HKBU from 1997-2004. At present, she is the Artistic Director of Hong Kong Handbell Academy, Hong Kong Youth Handbell Ensemble (HKYHE), Bell Allure and The Clappers; Founder and Music Director of Gloves Handbell and Chairperson of Handbell Association of Hong Kong (HAHK).
Emily started ringing handbells in 1986 and has since developed an obsession with this instrument. She learnt handbell solo from renowned soloists Christine Anderson, Nancy Jessup and Nancy Hascall, and has completed the Graduate Program in Handbells at Concordia University, Wisconsin. She had studied with handbell masters Kay Cook, William Payn, David Davidson and Arnold Sherman in handbell performance, conducting and composition. She is listed in the Who’s Who in Handbells for her outstanding achievement in handbells performance and education.
Having the mission to promote handbell ringing in Hong Kong, Emily resigned from her lecturer’s post at HKBU in 2004 and founded the Hong Kong Handbell Academy, which aims to provide handbell resources and professional training for the general public. She founded HKYHE in 2005 and started training handbell conductors and performers of the young generation. In 2006, she founded Handbell Association of Hong Kong and organized the annual Hong Kong Handbell Festival. Under her leadership, the Association has joined the International Handbell Committee in 2010 and made Hong Kong the host city of the International Handbell Symposium in 2020.
Emily actively participates in overseas handbell festivals to work and perform with great handbell masters. She has led her choirs to ring in various public performances and recordings for TVs, radios and international conferences, where their performances were highly appreciated. These include the biennial International Handbell Symposium, Asian Youth Arts Festival in Kagoshima, and concerts in Taiwan, Singapore, New York and Phoenix City. She also served as the clinician at the National Seminar in Cincinnati, USA and the massed ring conductor at the 15th International Handbell Symposium in Liverpool in 2012.
As a handbell soloist, Emily has performed handbell solo in Hong Kong, China, Singapore and the United States. In 2012, Emily collaborated with the composition department of the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts and premiered 7 original handbell solo pieces, making a step forward to promote handbell ringing in the music community.
Emily also composes and arranges handbell music. Her original compositions Cantabile (2006) and Nocturnal Fantasy (2012) , commissioned by Huston Bronze Ensemble, were both published and recorded in CDs in the United States.