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Lang Lang: Bio

Very few artists can claim to have the same profound impact on the world of music as Lang Lang has had. As a pianist, educator and philanthropist, as well as an influential ambassador for the arts, Lang Lang has fully embraced new technology and innovation, leading the way in bringing classical music into the 21st century. Equally happy playing for billions of viewers at the 2008 Olympic Opening Ceremony in Beijing or just for a few hundred children in the public schools, Lang Lang is a master of communicating through music. Gifted with unique artistic and communicative skills, Lang Lang unites excellence and accessibility unlike anyone else, and builds bridges between Eastern and Western culture.

Heralded by the New York Times as "the hottest artist on the classical music planet", Lang Lang works with the most excellent classical musicians of our time. He has formed ongoing collaborations with conductors including Sir Simon Rattle, Gustavo Dudamel, Daniel Barenboim and Christoph Eschenbach and performs with the world's top orchestras, such as the Berlin and Vienna Philharmonics as well as America's leading orchestras. Lang Lang plays sold-out concerts in the major concert halls of every continent in the world. Recent memorable appearances include concerts at the prestigious Sydney Opera House, as well as a performance in the old town of Havana with Cuban jazz legend Chucho Valdés, fostering musical exchanges with Cuba. Lang Lang is known for thinking "outside the box" and frequently steps into different musical worlds, teaming up with artists from diverse genres. His performances at the GRAMMY Awards with Metallica, Pharrell Williams or jazz legend Herbie Hancock were hailed by millions of viewers. His video collaboration with dubstep dancer Marquese "Nonstop" Scott continues to inspire a global internet community.

For about a decade Lang Lang has contributed to musical education and support for children worldwide. In 2008 he founded the "Lang Lang International Music Foundation" aimed at cultivating tomorrow's top pianists, championing music education at the forefront of technology, and building a young audience through live music experiences. Headquartered in New York City, the Foundation has implemented its programs in North America, Europe and Asia, and was awarded an ECHO Klassik special prize in 2015. In 2013 Lang Lang was designated by the Secretary General of the United Nations as a "Messenger of Peace" focusing on global education. He also currently serves on the Weill Music Institute Advisory Committee as part of Carnegie Hall's educational program and is the youngest member of Carnegie Hall's Artistic Advisory Board.

Lang Lang's tireless energy and boundless drive to attract new audiences to classical music have brought him numerous titles and awards: he was presented with the 2010 Crystal Award in Davos and was picked as one of the 250 "Young Global Leaders" by the World Economic Forum. He is also the recipient of many honorary doctorates, notably from the Royal College of Music (presented by His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales), the Manhattan School of Music and New York University. In December 2011 he was honored with the highest prize awarded by the Ministry of Culture of the People's Republic of China. More recently, he has received the highest German civilian honor, the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany, in recognition of his distinguished services to music, and in January 2013 he was presented with the Medal of the Order of Arts and Letters by the French Minister of Culture.

In 2016 Lang Lang was invited to the Vatican to perform for Pope Francis at the opening ceremony of the first Faith and Sports World Conference. He has also performed for numerous other international dignitaries and heads of state, including four US presidents and monarchs from many nations.

Lang Lang started playing the piano aged three, won the Shenyang Competition and gave his first public recital before the age of five, entered Beijing's Central Music Conservatory aged nine, and won First Prize at the International Tchaikovsky Competition for Young Musicians and played the complete Chopin Études at the Beijing Concert Hall at thirteen. He left China for Philadelphia's Curtis Institute, where he worked with the legendary pianist Gary Graffman. He was seventeen when his big break came, substituting for André Watts at the "Gala of the Century", playing Tchaikovsky's First Piano Concerto with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Christoph Eschenbach: he became an overnight sensation and the invitations started to pour in.

Lang Lang's autobiography, Journey of a Thousand Miles, was released to critical acclaim and has been published by Random House in eleven languages. As part of his commitment to the education of children, Lang Lang also released a special version aimed at younger readers, entitled Playing with Flying Keys.

Lang Lang is leading the way in bringing music education into the 21st century through his highly regarded new publishing program, the Lang Lang Piano Academy, produced in collaboration with Faber Music. Mastering the piano, five progressive books exploring piano technique, launched the program, to which the latest addition is The Lang Lang Piano Method, an imaginative new tutor for complete beginners that is used in the public schools' educational program "Keys of Inspiration". 

1 Bach: Prelude in C Major, BWV 846  
2 Beethoven: Bagatelle #25 in A Minor, WoO 59 'Fur Elise'  
3 Richter: The Departure  
4 Mendelssohn: 4. Presto 'Spinning Song'  
5 Debussy: 3. Clair de lune  
6 Debussy: 1. Doctor Gradus ad Parnassum  
7 Chopin: 15. Sostenuto in D-Flat Major, C. 180 'Raindrop'  
8 Mozart: 1. Allegro  
9 Clementi: 2. Andante  
10 Czerny: 1. Presto  
11 Tiersen: 4. La Valse d'Amelie  
12 Debussy: Reverie, L. 68  
13 Schubert: 3. Allegro moderato  
14 Grieg: 6. To Spring  
15 Schumann: 8. Wilder Reiter  
16 Poulenc: 2. Staccato  
17 Huang: The Merry Shepherd Boy  
18 Sakamoto: Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence  
19 Badarzewska-Baranowska: The Maiden's Prayer, Op. 4  
20 Mozart: Tema  
21 Mozart: Variation 1  
22 Variation 2  
23 Variation 3  
24 Variation 4  
25 Variation 5  
26 Variation 6  
27 Variation 7  
28 Variation 8  
29 Variation 9  
30 Variation 10  
31 Variation 11  
32 Variation 12  
33 Bach: Minuet #1 in G Major, BWV Suppl. 114  
Lang Lang plays 'Chopsticks' with Jon Batiste
Beethoven: Bagatelle No. 25 in A Minor, WoO 59
'Piano Book' (Teaser)
Do or Die: Lang Lang's Story HD

One of the world's biggest classical stars, Lang Lang, returns with his brand new solo album ‘Piano Book' – a collection of pieces which first inspired him to play the piano and led him on his path to international stardom. The recording, his first new studio album in three years, marks his return to Universal Music Group and Deutsche Grammophon – the label he first signed to in 2003.

Lang Lang says: "I want to take every music lover on a journey through my favourite piano pieces. I hope to inspire as well as motivate every piano student to remain focused during daily practice, and to play and understand these essential pieces for what they really are: true masterpieces!"

‘Piano Book' gathers together many of the miniatures that generations of amateur pianists have grown up with. Lang Lang holds them in the highest regard, believing them to be classics in their own right. He wants to encourage piano students across the world to fully appreciate them.