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Biography

Piano

LANG LANG is a leading figure in classical music today—as a pianist, educator, and philanthropist he has become one of the world’s most influential and committed ambassadors for the arts in the twenty-first 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, he is a master of communicating through music.

Lang Lang has formed ongoing collaborations with conductors including Simon Rattle, Gustavo Dudamel, Daniel Barenboim, and Christoph Eschenbach, and performs with the world’s top orchestras. His performances at the Grammy Awards with Metallica, Pharrell Williams, and Herbie Hancock were watched by millions of viewers. 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 musical experiences.

Lang Lang started playing the piano aged three, and gave his first public recital before the age of five. He entered Beijing’s Central Music Conservatory aged nine, and won First Prize at the Tchaikovsky Competition at thirteen. He subsequently went to Philadelphia to study with Gary Graffman at the Curtis Institute of Music. He was seventeen when his big break came, substituting for André Watts at the Gala of the Century, playing Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s First Piano Concerto with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. He made his San Francisco Symphony debut in October 2000 as a Shenson Young Artist and in 2008 he became the first artist featured in the Symphony’s Project San Francisco initiative.

Lang Lang has been designated by the Secretary General of the United Nations a Messenger of Peace, and he has been honored with the highest prize awarded by the Ministry of Culture of the People’s Republic of China, as well as the Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany and France’s Medal of the Order of Arts and Letters.