NPR: Performance Today -- Lang Lang -- Live in Studio 4A

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Live in Studio 4A
Our showcase for artists invited to perform on the program and talk about their music
The PT 50
Our list of 50 essential classical CDs
Piano Puzzlers
Bruce Adolphe's "name that composer" piano quiz
Live in Studio 4A: Lang Lang
Pianist Lang Lang 2002 was a very good year for young Chinese-American pianist Lang Lang. He toured Europe and the U.S.; played on live television in Japan; made his debut with the New York Philharmonic; played a week-long residency at the Ravinia Festival in Chicago; and made a CD recording of Rachmaninoff's Third.
In March of that same year, Lang Lang presented the following recital in NPR's Studio 4A.

Listen to the entire hour Lang Lang bio
Related links

Selected Program Audio Excerpts

The Musician

On audiences -- Lang Lang explains why he needs an audience to play his best

The Music

Guo-Ren Lang on the erhu
HAYDN: Piano Sonata in E, Hob. XVI, Op. 31

SCRIABIN: Etude in D# minor Op. 8 No. 12, Etude in F# Op. 42 No. 4, Etude in F# Op. 42 No. 3, and the Etude in G Op. 65 No. 3

BRAHMS: Intermezzo in A Op. 118 No. 2

BALAKIREV: Fantasy Orientale "Islamey"

R. SCHUMANN/Arr. Liszt: "Widmung" ("Dedication")

Traditional Chinese folksong: "Competition of the Two Horses" with Lang Lang's father, Guo-Ren Lang (left) on the erhu (AR-hoo), an ancient Chinese two-stringed bowed instrument

Related Links
  • Lang Lang's official Web site

  • IMG Artists -- Lang Lang's artist management

  • More on the erhu

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    Lang Lang biography
    Celebrated in all the music capitals of the world, Lang Lang - at age 20 - has demonstrated an extraordinary ability to connect with audiences on a deeply personal level and has established himself one of the most exciting and moving pianists of our time.

    Pianist Lang Lang
    Since his astonishing and masterful last-minute substitution for an indisposed André Watts at the Ravinia Festival's Gala of the Century in August 1999, Lang Lang has performed with many of the world's leading orchestras. He made his sold-out Carnegie Hall debut in April 2001 to great critical acclaim with the Baltimore Symphony and Yuri Temirkanov. In December of that year, he participated in the final subscription concerts of the Philadelphia Orchestra at the Academy of Music, under Wolfgang Sawallisch's baton. In July 2002, Lang Lang was featured in a week-long residency at the Ravinia Festival, where he played five sold-out concerts including a solo recital, two concerto performances with the Chicago Symphony, a recital of Schubert duos with Christoph Eschenbach, and a program of Chinese traditional music with his father, Guo-ren Lang. Other recent engagements have included the London Philharmonic with Mr. Eschenbach, under whose baton he also toured Europe with the NDR Symphony Orchestra of Hamburg; the NHK Symphony of Japan with Charles Dutoit, in concerts broadcast on NHK Television throughout Japan; and a subscription debut with the New York Philharmonic. Recitals in the 2001-02 season included Wigmore Hall in London, the Louvre in Paris and the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.

    No stranger to audiences in Asia, Lang Lang traveled to Beijing in June 2001 with the Philadelphia Orchestra and Mr. Sawallisch in a tour celebrating the orchestra's 100th anniversary, during which he performed to an audience of 8,000 at the Great Hall of the People and CCTV, China's premier television station, featured him in a 40-minute documentary. In 1995, at only 13 years of age, Lang Lang played the complete Chopin 24 Etudes at Beijing Concert Hall. That same year, he won first prize at the Second Tchaikovsky International Young Musicians' Competition held in Japan where he performed Chopin Concerto No. 2 at the award ceremony with the Moscow Philharmonic for broadcast on NHK International Television. In September 1996, Lang Lang performed as the soloist at the inaugural concert of the China National Symphony, which President Jiang Ze-Min attended as guest of honor.

    Early in the 2002-03 season, Lang Lang joins the New York Philharmonic and Lorin Maazel for performances in New York, followed by a tour of Asia, and he plays concerts with the Cleveland Orchestra at Severance Hall and on tour in the Midwest with Franz Welser-Möst, under whom he will also perform at the Vienna Festival later in the season. Other engagements include appearances with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Zubin Mehta, the San Francisco Symphony and Michael Tilson Thomas, the Pittsburgh Symphony and Mariss Jansons, the Philadelphia Orchestra and Mr. Sawallisch at their annual Anniversary Gala, the Kirov Orchestra with Valery Gergiev and the UBS Verbier Festival Youth Orchestra with James Levine. He will also perform with the symphony orchestras of St. Louis, Baltimore, Cincinnati, Detroit, Toronto, Vancouver, and North Carolina, as well as the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra. He will be heard in recitals across the United States, from Anchorage to Washington, D.C., and in major international cities, including London, Vienna, Munich, Milan, Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong. Other international appearances include Stockholm, St. Petersburg, Valencia, Zurich, Rotterdam, Gothenberg, Bamberg, Lisbon, as well as Singapore, Manila, Kuala Lumpur, Hanoi and Seoul. Festival appearances include the Aspen, Marlboro, Ravinia, Verbier, and the Schleswig Holstein and Ruhr festivals of Germany.

    Lang Lang's talent is matched by his ebullient personality, making him an ideal ambassador for classical music and a role model for young people. CNN recently aired profiles on Lang Lang, featuring him on three programs: NewsNight with Aaron Brown, American Morning with Paula Zahn, and Inside Asia. Lang Lang was also featured in The Wall Street Journal and in Teen People's issue highlighting the "Top Twenty Teens Who Will Change the World."

    Born in Shen Yang, China, Lang Lang began his piano studies at the age of three with Professor Zhu Ya-Fen from the Shen Yang Conservatory of Music. At age nine he entered the Central Music Conservatory in Beijing, where he studied with Professor Zhao Ping-Guo. Excelling in all aspects of his classes, he recently graduated from the prestigious Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia where he studied with Gary Graffman, the director of the Institute.

    IMG Artists, September 2002