Lang Lang has been called a “magician” and even “the hottest artist on the classical music planet.” In September, he'll become the most famous pianist since Sergei Rachmaninoff to perform on the Taft Theatre stage.
On Wednesday, September 21st, Lang Lang will perform Prokofiev’s dazzling and dynamic Third Concerto. The evening’s finale is Saint-Saëns’ Organ Symphony—a true masterpiece that represents Saint-Saëns at his best, with lush harmonies, soaring melodies and magnificent orchestral colors throughout.
If one word applies to Lang Lang, to the musician, to the man, to his worldview, to those who come into contact with him, it is “inspiration”. It resounds like a musical motif through his life and career. 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. Lang Lang is the cultural ambassador of the cities of Shenzhen and Shenyang. 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.