How to give it: Lang Lang
How to give it:
Published on Nov. 7, Financial Times, Mind Share
Chinese pianist Lang Lang, 27, was this year named one of Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World. On Thursday, he took part in the Krug Mind Share, in association with the Financial Times, for which great contemporary minds were “auctioned” for charity at Christie’s. He will spend an hour sharing his thoughts at a private audience with the winning bidder. For details, see www.howtospendit.com/brands/krug
What is the first charity you can remember supporting?
Unicef. I have been working with them for a number of years and am a global goodwill ambassador. The work they do is incredible and I am proud to support them.
Which cause do you feel most passionately about?
Something very close to my heart is giving children the opportunity to reach their potential. There are so many incredibly talented children who do not have the access or funds to be albe to learn music, so I set up the Lang Lang foundation for them. Not only do we help them financially but I also personally mentor them. I hate to think that people do not have the opportunity to experience and enjoy music.
You support a range of charities. How do you select them?
I try to engage with charities with whom I can have a role that I am able to fulfill completely. I like to give time and energy to making a difference, and that is not always possible.
What do you get out of your giving?
A knowledge that I am helping those who need support. It’s a little clichéd but I give because I want to make a difference and I want to support those who need support.
Do financially successful people have a duty to charity?
Everybody has a duty to support those who are unable to support themselves. Everyone has the opportunity to make a difference, no matter how small.
Which charity have you chosen for the Mind Share, and why?
I have chosen the Lang Lang Foundation. Music is such an amazing experience that’s shaped billions of people’s lives, so I would like everyone to have access to it.
If you could have an hour’s conversation with anyone in history, who would it be?
Mozart. He has been one of my biggest inspirations throughout my life, and is without a doubt one of the most talented artists in history. He produced some of the most powerful and dramatic pieces of works, and the connection that people feel to his music is simply magical. I would love to know what inspired him and more about his personal journey. It would be amazing to simply talk to him about his life.
Interview by Angus Watson