Li Yuan was born in Jinan, Shandong Province and is a graduate of the China Conservatory of Music, majoring in Erhu Performance. She commenced studies on the erhu at the age of 7 with Zhang Ling Jie of the Shandong Art Institute, and was admitted into the Middle School of the China Conservatory of Music in 2003, where she studied under He Chu Rong.
In 2009, she began her training under the tutelage of Liang Ling Ling at the China Conservatory of Music, School of Chinese Music, with a minor in Guzheng Performance under the guidance of Yang Xi. She was a key erhu and zhonghu performer in the China Conservatory Youth String Orchestra, Youth Folk Music Orchestra, and National Youth Orchestra, performing in South Korea, Chaozhou, Nanjing, Shanghai and many other cities.
A multiple award winner, she garnered 3 first prizes in the Shandong Youth Musical Instrumental Competition, the grand prize in the Yili Music Competition, and first prize in the Xinghai Erhu Music Competition (Youth Category). She was also a participant in the Liu Mingyuan Erhu Competition.
Li Yuan joined SCO as zhonghu musician in 2013.