Hailed by millions of fans worldwide as the most flamboyant, original, fashionable and daring virtuoso on the planet, pianist Lang Lang is a true superstar with the profile of a rock star and over 40 million followers in China alone.
On June 7 he will unite with Queensland Symphony Orchestra for the first time in an evening that will make music history.
Lang Lang will perform Prokofiev’s dazzling Piano Concerto No.3 along with some of his all-time favourite solo piano works. The Queensland Symphony Orchestra will also present Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition under the baton of Conductor Carlos Miguel Prieto. Following his Brisbane performance, Lang Lang will then travel to Sydney.
About Lang Lang
He inspires millions with his open-hearted, emotive playing, whether it be in intimate recitals or on the grandest of stages – such as the 2014 World Cup concert in Rio, with Placido Domingo, to celebrate the final game; the 56th and 57th GRAMMY Award two years in a row, where he performed with Metallica and Pharrell Williams; 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, or the Liszt 200th birthday concert with the Philadelphia Orchestra and Charles Dutoit which was broadcast live in more than 300 movie theatres around the United States and 200 cinemas across Europe (the first classical music cinema cast to be headlined by a solo artist).
He forms enduring 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, king of the crooners Julio Inglesias and jazz titan Herbie Hancock. He even builds relationships with corporations who will help him get classical music to ever-more people - and he builds cultural bridges between East and West, frequently introducing Chinese music to Western audiences, and vice versa.
It takes a special kind of dedication to come from a small Chinese town Shenyang, to travel to the big city as a small child and win the attention of the country’s finest music professors. And then to leave behind the home country altogether to join the world-famous Curtis Institute of Music Philadelphia, USA. Lang Lang achieved all of these early on – he started playing piano aged three, won the Shenyang Competition and gave his first public recital by the time he was five, entered Beijing’s Central Music Conservatory aged nine, won first prize at the Tchaikovsky International Young Musicians’ Competition and playing the complete Chopin Etudes at the Beijing Concert Hall at 13.
He left for America, Curtis and the great piano teacher Gary Graffman and when his moment came, he was ready.
That moment happened when, aged 17, he was called upon to make a dramatic last-minute substitution for the famous Andre Watts to perform in the “Gala Of The Century”, playing a Tchaikovsky concerto with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. It made him what journalists like to call an “overnight star” and the world’s finest concert halls quickly beckoned.
Today, his resume reads like a bestseller (and indeed his auto biography, Journey of a Thousand Miles, has been published by Random House in eleven languages, and was released to critical acclaim – 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 been heralded as the “hottest artist on the classical music planet” by the New York Times, 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 orchestras.
Time Magazine has 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. And if the Chinese passion for piano isn’t solely due to him, he has played no small part as a role model to encourage more than 40 million Chinese children to learn to play the instrument – 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.
He is one of the world’s most prolific and highest-profile recording artists. 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. In 2007, he was nominated for a Grammy® Award, becoming the first Chinese artist to be nominated for Best Instrumental Soloist.