May 6th, 2009 — New York, NY — Superstar Chinese pianist Lang Lang (www.langlang.com) has been chosen as one of three official worldwide Ambassadors for the 2010 Shanghai World Expo, alongside NBA player Yao Ming and the actor Jackie Chan. Lang Lang, the most popular contemporary classical musician in the world, will be involved in various Expo activities including the opening ceremony, music videos promoting the event, plus various marketing and promotional activities. The theme of this year’s Expo, which takes place from May 1st through October 31st, is “Better City, Better Life.” By dedicating a 3.28-square-mile area at the core of the city to exhibitions,
events, and forums on this theme, Shanghai hopes to build a powerful and lasting pilot example of sustainable and harmonious urban living. Officials anticipate that more than 70 million people will visit the 2010 Shanghai World Expo.
Show an audience a musical celebrity and they crave party pieces. To his credit, Lang Lang - adored by millons and so famous he has a panda named after him - was having none of this for his two concerts with the London Symphony Orchestra, part of his weeklong Barbican residency which ends today with a solo recital.
LONDON (Reuters) - Chinese piano wizard Lang Lang says he brings music back to life. And if sponsorships help his reincarnations reach a younger, hipper audience, he's for them. "It's a very special moment that I try first to connect to the music and be as the bridge between the music which already exists and the piano, and to bring this music again from underground to reality," the 26-year-old Lang told Reuters. "Every time you play a piece it's like you bring a life, a new life, and when the last note finishes it's disappeared."
Chinese pianist Lang Lang is taking the classical world by storm. Jonathan Lennie tracks him down to talk about his inspirations and plans to help other young musicians.
The worldwide celebrity that the pianist Lang Lang enjoys makes my initial reception at the Chinese restaurant in Paris he has chosen a little disconcerting. The waitress appears not to understand when I say the table is booked in the name of Lang Lang. As I am led to a small table at the front of the restaurant, I fret that I have mangled the tones – so crucial when speaking Cantonese and Mandarin – in pronouncing his name.
Three gleaming Steinway grand pianos are lined up on the stage of the Musikhalle in Hamburg. One hour from now Lang Lang, the "superstar Chinese pianist" as he is routinely known, will wow the audience with an audacious solo recital. But first he must choose a piano to play. He bangs out a Bartok crescendo on the first piano, a new model from Steinway's Hamburg factory; tries some Debussy on the second - the "house" piano, which he has recorded on twice. His languid fingers trickle out a Chopin Polonaise on the third, another concert Steinway, brought from Leipzig.
There is no question who is today's number one in classical music, measured in terms of world fame.
A decade ago it would have been Luciano Pavarotti, before him Maria Callas. The storm-tossed diva was preceded by Arturo Toscanini, who had 40 percent name-check recognition among adult Americans, and before him there was Enrico Caruso, the first best-seller on record. These four dominated the first century in human history when music was industrialised and reputation manufactured.
Currently this biggest box-office draw for a classical musician, 26-year-old Lang Lang dazzled the audience with his vituosity, whilst performing with the Vienna Philharmonic on day one and as a soloist the next.