“The hottest artist on the classical music planet” —The New York Times
Lang Lang is a superstar – as pianist, educator, advocate, philanthropist and more. The New York Times has called him “the hottest artist on the classical music planet” and he is dedicated to giving back to children throughout the world, most recently through his Lang Lang International Music Foundation.
Meet the man beyond the keyboard in a revealing conversation about his career, his foundation and his belief in the future of classical music, illustrated by one or two brief musical selections. Joining him as moderator will be Sir Howard Stringer, Chairman of the Board of Sony Corporation.
Pianist Lang Lang has played sold-out recitals and concerts in every major city in the world. He was the first Chinese pianist to be engaged by the Vienna and Berlin philharmonics, and he has played with all the top American orchestras. In 2008, over four billion people viewed Lang Lang’s performance at the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games in Beijing; it inspired millions of Chinese children to learn to play classical piano. As a testimony to his success, Lang Lang appeared in Time magazine’s list of the 100 Most Influential People in the World for 2009.
For nearly a decade, Lang Lang has been giving back to children around the world through diverse volunteer activities. His efforts led to the recent launch of the Lang Lang International Music Foundation with the mission of inspiring the next generation of classical music lovers and performers. In 2011, the Lang Lang Music World was opened: a multi-functioning arts complex located in Shenzhen and Chongqing, China. In 2004, Lang Lang was appointed International Goodwill Ambassador to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).
All of Lang Lang’s albums have entered the top classical charts as well as many pop charts around the globe. In 2007, he was nominated for a Grammy Award, becoming the first Chinese artist to be nominated for Best Instrumental Soloist. Now an exclusive Sony recording artist, his latest release is the CD Liszt, My Piano Hero and DVD Liszt, Now! to celebrate the bicentennial of the composer’s birth.
Lang Lang has performed for numerous international dignitaries. Most recently, he performed at the White House State Dinner for President Barack Obama and President Hu Jin-tao, and he performed on the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee concert for Elizabeth II. Last December, he received the highest prize awarded by the Ministry of Culture of the People’s Republic of China, and this past August, he received the highest German civilian honor, the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany.
Lang Lang’s autobiography, Journey of a Thousand Miles, has been published by Random House in eleven languages. He also released a version for younger readers, entitled Playing with Flying Keys. His website is langlang.com
Joining Lang Lang as moderator is Sir Howard Stringer, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Sony Corporation. Sir Howard joined Sony in May 1997 as President and Chief Operating Officer of Sony Corporation of America. He became Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Sony Corporation in June 2005, and became Chairman of the Board this past June.
Prior to joining Sony, Sir Howard enjoyed a distinguished 30-year career at CBS Inc, serving as its President from 1988-95. Under his leadership, the CBS Television Network became the first network to rise from last to first place in one season, and in 1993, Sir Howard convinced David Letterman to bring his late night show to CBS. From 1976-88, Sir Howard served in the CBS News division, rising from executive producer of the “CBS Reports” documentary unit, which won 31 Emmys and four Peabody Awards under his leadership, to executive producer of CBS Evening News with Dan Rather, to President of CBS News, where he developed several news programs, including 48 Hours.
Sir Howard is the recipient of numerous media and philanthropic awards. While at CBS, he earned nine individual Emmys as a writer, director and producer, and last year he received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 62nd Annual Technology & Engineering Emmy Awards. He has been inducted into the Broadcasting and Cable Hall of Fame, and he has been honored by the Paley Center for Media, Lincoln Center, Big Brothers Big Sisters, the New York Hall of Science and the UJA-Federation of New York, among others.
Among his many civic leadership roles, Sir Howard is Chairman of the American Film Institute Board of Trustees and serves on the boards of the Paley Center for Media, The New York/Presbyterian Hospital, The American Theatre Wing, Carnegie Hall and many others. A native of Cardiff, Wales, Sir Howard earned degrees in modern history from Oxford University and became a US citizen in 1985. He received the title of Knight Bachelor in the New Year Honours list of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in 1999, and he has been bestowed several honorary degrees, most recently an Honorary Doctorate from Oxford University this past June.