Zhang Li started learning the Liuqin under the tutelage of her father Zhang Ziqiang, and music educators Ye Kexin and Zeng Qingrong to learn the liuqin and pipa. She was also a winner of numerous national youth competitions. In 1995, she graduated from the Shanghai Conservatory of Music with a Bachelor’s degree, majoring in liuqin, under the supervision of Gu Jinliang. With her outstanding grades, she was the recipient of scholarships from the Conservatory annually. She also minored in zhongruan and pipa under Zhu Xincheng and Zhou Lijuan, and guided by Hu Dengtiao, Xia Feiyun, He Zhanhao, Wang Yongji and Shen Guoqin to broaden her musical horizons. Upon graduation, she joined the Shanghai Chinese Orchestra and thereafter, became part of the Singapore Chinese Orchestra in 2005.
In 1995, she participated in the Liuqin (Professional) Category of the International Chinese Instrumental Competition, where she obtained the second prize. In 1998, she was appointed by the Shanghai Conservatory of Music as a member of its examination committee, and invited to participate in performances under the Shanghai Spring International Music Festival and Macau International Music Festivals. She also recorded her individual album then.
In Singapore, she has been coaching the plucked string sections of Raffles Institution, Pasir Ris Secondary School, CHIJ St Nicholas Girls’ School and Nanyang Primary School, which achieved exemplary results in the Singapore Youth Festival Central Judging Competitions. Over the years, Zhang Li has nurtured many students specialising in the Liuqin at the Singapore Raffles Music College.
From 2015, she was appointed as the Liuqin Instructor for the Singapore National Youth Chinese Orchestra. In the same year, together with her friend, they established the New Play Chamber Orchestra, which aims to provide performing opportunities for passionate young musicians.
In 2017, Zhang Li was invited to be an Adjudicator for Liuqin Competition held in China. 4 Liuqin Members from the Singapore National Youth Chinese Orchestra participated in the competition and won 2 Silver and 2 Bronze awards.