Gary Dunning, President and Executive Director
Sunday, October 25, 2015, 3pm — Symphony Hall
(Boston) Celebrity Series of Boston will present pianist Lang Lang on Sunday, October 25, 2015 at 3pm at Symphony Hall, 301 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston. Sponsored by Eleanor and Frank Pao. Media Partner 99.5 WCRB.
Tickets for Lang Lang start at $70, and are available online at www.celebrityseries.org, by calling CelebrityCharge at (617) 482-6661 Monday-Friday 10:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m., or at the Symphony Hall Box Office, 301 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston.
This performance marks Lang Lang’s sixth appearance with the Celebrity Series of Boston; his most recent was in 2011.
Lang Lang began playing piano at the age of 3, and by the age of 5, he had won the Shenyang Competition and had given his first public recital. Entering Beijing’s Central Music Conservatory at age 9, he won first prize at the Tchaikovsky International Young Musicians Competition and played the complete 24 Chopin Études at the Beijing Concert Hall at age 13. He currently plays both intimate recitals and on the grandest of stages – such as the 2014 World Cup concert in Rio, with Placido Domingo, to celebrate the final game; the 56th GRAMMY Award, where he performed with Metallica; the Opening Ceremony of the 2008 Beijing Olympics, where more than four billion people around the world viewed his performance; the Last Night of the Proms at London’s Royal Albert Hall, and the Liszt 200th birthday concert with the Philadelphia Orchestra and Charles Dutoit which was broadcast live in more than 300 movie theaters around the United States and 200 cinemas across Europe (the first classical music cinemacast to be headlined by a solo artist).
He has musical partnerships with the world’s greatest artists, from conductors such as Daniel Barenboim, Gustavo Dudamel and Sir Simon Rattle, to artists from outside of classical music – among them dubstep dancer Marquese “nonstop” Scott, Julio Inglesias and jazz titan Herbie Hancock. Thanks to his Sony ambassadorship, he brought Prokofiev’s 7th Piano Sonata to the soundtrack of the multi-million- selling computer game Gran Turismo 5and 6.
His biography, Journey of a Thousand Miles, has been published by Random House in eleven languages, and as part of his commitment to the education of children, he released a version specifically for younger readers, entitled Playing with Flying Keys. He has played sold out concerts in every major city in the world and is the first Chinese pianist to be engaged by the Vienna Philharmonic, Berlin Philharmonic and the New York Philharmonic.
Time Magazine has recently included Lang Lang in the “Time 100”, the magazine’s annual list of the 100 Most Influential People in the World, naming him as a symbol of the youth of China, and its future. Lang Lang is the cultural ambassador of the cities of Shenzhen and Shenyang. In July 2012 he relayed the London Olympic torch in London just before the opening of the XXX Olympiad.
Lang Lang has played no small part as a role model to encourage more than 40 million Chinese children to learn to play the piano – a phenomenon coined by The Today Show as “the Lang Lang effect.” Steinway Pianos, for the first time in their century-and-a-half-long history, named a piano model after a single artist when they introduced “The Lang Lang Piano” to China. That piano, specially designed for early music education, is now on its fifth iteration.
His volunteer activities include mentoring rising young talented pianists, convening 100 piano students at a time in concert, performing for sick children in hospitals, delivering classical music recitals in underserved and remote communities, and donating his musical talents to raise awareness of other charitable causes. Lang Lang brings music into the lives of children around the world, both through his work for the United Nations and through his own Lang Lang International Music Foundation. In May 2009, Lang Lang and three chosen young scholars from the foundation – aged between 6 and 10 years old – performed together on The Oprah Winfrey Show on “Oprah’s Search for the World’s Most Smartest and Most Talented Kids.”
In 2011, Lang Lang Music World was launched as a multi-functioning arts complex located in Shenzhen and Chongqing, China, where children can go to receive piano education, participate in master classes and competitions, attend concerts and purchase educational products. Lang Lang himself continues to give master classes regularly at institutions such as the Curtis Institute of Music, Juilliard, Manhattan School of Music, and Hanover Conservatory, as well as all the top conservatories in China where he holds honorary professorships. Elite universities such as Oxford, Harvard, and Columbia have invited him as a speaker.
Lang Lang was the first official Ambassador of the YouTube Symphony Orchestra. More traditionally, tens of thousands of people have enjoyed Lang Lang’s performances in open-air concerts in parks and venues around the globe, including Central Park, Hollywood, Ravinia Festival, Theaterplatz in Dresden, and Derby Park in Hamburg. Lang Lang participated in the opening concert at Munich’s Olympic Stadium with Mariss Jansons, marking the commencement of the World Cup Games. In celebratory concerts for the closing of 2008 Euro Cup finals, Lang Lang played with the Vienna Philharmonic under the baton of Zubin Mehta in front of Schönbrunn Palace. And he marked the New Year’s Eve gala opening of the National Centre for the Performing Arts in Beijing with Seiji Ozawa.
Lang Lang has made numerous TV appearances, including The Today Show, the Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Good Morning America, CBS Early Show, 60 Minutes, Wetten Dass and El Número Uno among many others. He has been featured on every major TV network and in news and lifestyle magazines worldwide, including such diverse publications as The New Yorker, Esquire, Vogue, The Times, Financial Times, GQ, Cosmopolitan, Die Welt, Reader’s Digest and People.
In December 2007, Lang Lang was guest soloist at the Nobel Prize concert in Stockholm, an event attended by Nobel Laureates and members of the Royal Family. He performed as soloist in Oslo for the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize award ceremony and concert for President Barack Obama. Lang Lang has performed for numerous international dignitaries including the former Secretary-General of the United Nations Kofi Annan, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, George H. W. Bush, George W. Bush, William J. Clinton, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, former President Hu Jin-Tao of China, President Horst Koehler of Germany, H.R.H. Prince Charles, former French President Nicolas Sarkozy, President Francois Hollande, Queen Beatrix and King Majesty King Willem-Alexander and Poland President Lech Kaczynski. He performed recently for President Barack Obama and former President Hu Jin-Tao at the White House State Dinner, as well as at the Diamond Jubilee celebratory concert for Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace.
In 2013, he was designated by the Secretary General of the United Nations as a Messenger of Peace focusing on global education. Lang Lang has contributed and worked to raise funds and awareness for earthquake relief efforts in China and Haiti. These efforts included auctioning the red Steinway piano played during his 2008 New York Central Park concert, donating the net proceeds to the American Red Cross China Earthquake fund, and organizing a benefit concert at Carnegie Hall, donating the net proceeds to UNICEF’s Earthquake Relief Fund in Haiti. 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.
Honors include being added as one of the 250 Young Global Leaders picked by the World Economic Forum and receiving the 2010 Crystal Award in Davos. In May 2011, Lang Lang received an Honorary Doctorate of Music from His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales at the Royal College of Music, and received his second Honorary Doctorate in Musical Arts at the Manhattan School of Music in May 2012. Most recently he received Honorary Doctor Degree of Fine Arts from New York University. In December 2011, he was honored 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.
Featured soloist on the Golden Globe® winning score for the film The Painted Veil, composed by Alexandre Desplat, he can also be heard on the soundtracks of The Banquet, composed by Tan Dun, and of My Week With Marilyn. All of his albums have entered the top classical charts as well as many pop charts around the globe. His album of the First and Fourth Beethoven Piano concertos with L’Orchestre de Paris and Maestro Christoph Eschenbach debuted at number one on the Classical Billboard Chart. Lang Lang also appeared on Billboard’s New Artist chart at the highest-ever position for a classical artist. In 2007, he was nominated for a Grammy® Award, becoming the first Chinese artist to be nominated for Best Instrumental Soloist. He has recently recorded the movie soundtrack for the Japanese blockbuster film Nodame Cantabile, Chopin’s 24 Etudes for “Project Chopin” (the largest project in honor of Chopin’s bicentenary), and “Nuit De Mai” with Placido Domingo.
In February 2010, Lang Lang joined Sony Music Entertainment as an exclusive recording artist; his first album with Sony featured a live recording of his 2010 recital at Vienna’s legendary Musikverein (including a segment filmed in 3D). His next CD, “Liszt, My Piano Hero” and DVD “Liszt, Now!” celebrated the 200th Anniversary of the great composer, while 2012 saw the release of “The Chopin Album”. His latest released album is a recording with Nikolaus Harnoncourt and the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra of all masterpieces of Wolfgang A. Mozart.
Tchaikovsky: The Seasons
J.S. Bach: Italian Concerto in F Major, BWV 971
Chopin: Four Scherzos
About Celebrity Series of Boston:
Celebrity Series of Boston was founded in 1938 by pianist and impresario Aaron Richmond. Over the course of its 77-year history, Celebrity Series has presented an array of the world’s greatest performing artists, including Sergei Rachmaninoff, Arturo Toscanini, Ignace Paderewski, Artur Rubenstein, Vladimir Horowitz, Glenn Gould, Fritz Kreisler, Jascha Heifetz, Isaac Stern, Andrés Segovia, Kirsten Flagstad, Marian Anderson, Luciano Pavarotti, Béla Bartók, Igor Stravinsky, Martha Graham, Ballet Russe De Monte Carlo, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Mstislav Rostropovich, and the New York City Opera Company.
The Celebrity Series has been bringing the very best performers–from orchestras and chamber ensembles, vocal and piano music, to dance companies, jazz, and more–to Boston’s major concert halls for 77 years. The Celebrity Series of Boston believes in the power of excellence and innovation in the performing arts to enrich life experiences, transform lives and build better communities. Through its education initiatives, the Celebrity Series seeks to build a community of Greater Boston where the performing arts are a valued, lifelong, shared experience–on stages, in schools, at home– everywhere. For more information on Celebrity Series of Boston, call (617) 482-2595 or visit us online at www.celebrityseries.org.
The Celebrity Series of Boston, Inc. receives generous support from Amy & Joshua Boger; Donna & Mike Egan; Gabor Garai & Susan Pravda; The Garbis & Arminè Barsoumian Charitable Foundation; Stephanie L. Brown; David & Harriet Griesinger; Paul L. King; Jann Leeming & Arthur Little; The Royal Little Family Foundation; Susanne Marcus Collins Foundation; Stewart Myers; Eleanor & Frank Pao; The John S. and Cynthia Reed Foundation; Stiffler Family Foundation; Sanjay & Sangeeta Verma; Nancy Richmond Winsten; Charlesbank Capital Partners LLC; EMC Corporation; Foley & Lardner; Massachusetts Cultural Council; National Endowment for the Arts; The Peabody Foundation; PTC; Tufts Health Plan; The D.L. Saunders Real Estate & Hotel Investment Group, AMO; Vertex Pharmaceuticals.