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Lang Lang, Live at NPR

Chinese-American Pianist Has Been Playing Since Age Three

Lang Lang, Live at NPR

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Chinese-American pianist Lang Lang stopped by NPR's Studio 4A for a recital and a discussion with Performance Today host Fred Child. Lang Lang has received accolades from a variety of music critics and played with orchestras in the United States, Europe and Southeast Asia.

In this session, the pianist played Hadyn, Scriabin, Balakirev, Schumann and a traditional Chinese folk tune. The latter piece was played with accompanied by his father Guo-Ren on a two-stringed, bowed instrument called an erhu. Lang Lang also talked about the path that has brought him the United States, as well as the importance of playing in front of a live audience.

As a child, Lang Lang started playing the piano by mimicking his father. He played in his first concert at age 5. By age 9, he and his family moved to Beijing so he could continue his studies. Eventually, Lang Lang came to the United States to study at the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia.