Today is World Piano Day and who better to celebrate with than global superstar pianist Lang Lang. He’s already inspired millions of children to play the piano through his performances, method books, recordings and educational programs – and now he’s releasing his new album Piano Book, a collection of pieces he has loved and played from a young age.
The repertoire reflects Lang Lang’s commitment to music education and his desire to encourage young people to learn the instrument. In that vein, the Lang Lang Foundation today announces their donation of $5MM to U.S. Public Schools over the next 5 years to continue Lang Lang’s commitment to music education. This means in five years, the Lang Lang Foundation will be supporting and working with over 140 public schools across the US, reaching over 56,000 students.
In more piano news, last week at Steinway Hall in NYC, Lang Lang and his friend bandleader/pianist Jon Batiste got together to do what they love – play piano.
It has been a whirlwind few weeks for Lang Lang: he’s joined Chinese virtual idol Luo Tianyi for a special hologram concert, he’s enjoyed international chart success with Beethoven’s Für Elise having reached No.4 on the official Chinese pop single charts, and he’s even set a new Guinness World Record for the biggest simultaneous four-handed piano performance.
Lang Lang’s record-breaking performance took place in his native China, where 777 pianos were packed into the Xiamen Center Sports Stadium and 1554 pianists gathered together to play Schubert’s Marche Militaire No.1. The project recruited 777 pairs of ‘piano messengers’ from schools in five major regions of China, including children from Taiwan. Lang Lang took the helm for the awe-inspiring display, showcasing his gifts as charismatic performer, communicator and educator, as well as his fun-loving personality.
Lang Lang scored another world first in Shanghai when he became the first classical artist to collaborate with the holographic singing sensation Luo Tianyi, China’s most popular virtual idol. The stadium performance wowed a capacity crowd with a mix of classical hits, popular songs and delightful interaction between its two stars. The event is testament to Lang Lang’s extraordinary ability to cross between genres and champion the piano worldwide, no matter how experimental.
Today is an important day for Lang Lang. Not only is it Piano Day, a worldwide celebration on the 88th day of the year for the 88 keys on the piano, but it also marks the release of Lang Lang’s eagerly-anticipated new album ‘Piano Book’ on Universal Music Group and Deutsche Grammophon – his first new album in three years. ‘Piano Book’ is an essential recording of piano works that aims brings classical music to a global audience and spread the message that classical music is universal. The hashtag #LangLangPianoBookMarch29 has been viewed over 30 million times in China already.
Lang Lang is determined to share the joy of making music and inspire people from all backgrounds to fall in love with the piano. To this end, he will be giving a Facebook Live tutorial to mark Piano Day. His last live stream – from a press conference in Beijing – was viewed 1.5 million times in 1 hour and his online performance at the Weibo Gala ceremony has now reached over 100 million views.
With ‘Piano Book’, Lang Lang reflects on how he started playing the piano, what fired his imagination and how he might pass on what he’s learned to a new generation. His work with his own Lang Lang International Music Foundation (www.langlangfoundation.org), which was set up over 10 years ago and has raised millions of dollars to support young musicians, has given him a unique insight into music education. He has inspired 40 million children to learn the piano and has developed hugely successful educational programmes including Keys of Inspiration, 101 Pianists, Young Scholars and Play It Forward. He has also opened his own music school, Lang Lang Music World, in Shenzhen. His partnership with independent British music publisher Faber Music has resulted in the Lang Lang Piano Academy series of piano books to inspire the next generation of pianists. Lang Lang’s belief that “Music makes life better. It heals, unites and inspires, and it makes us better people” underpins everything he does.
“With ‘Piano Book’ I’m going back to my first love, to the pieces that made me want to become a musician in the first place.” – LANG LANG