Shen Yili is a National Class One Performer and received the 28th Plum Blossom Award for Chinese Theatre. Amongst the 3rd batch of artists completing the Kunqu Performers’ Training Course, Shen holds an MFA degree conferred by the Shanghai Theatre Academy. Specialising in guimendan roles, Shen is a protégé of Wang Yingzhi, and later received personal guidance and teaching from famous Kunqu Opera artists such as Zhang Jingxian, Zhang Xunpeng, Hua Wenyi, Zhang Jiqing, Shen Shihua, Wang Fengmei, Liang Guyin and Wang Zhiquan etc. She won the Leading Performer Award at the 11th Shanghai Magnolia Performing Arts Award.
In 2009, she performed A Dream in the Peony Garden with the BBC Symphony Orchestra. Shen also established “Yili School” and has held seminars on “Kunqu Opera” in higher education institutions, libraries and communities in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Europe and the US.