Heralded as the "hottest artist on the classical music planet" by the New York Times, the star, 29 year-old Lang Lang has played sold out recitals and concerts in every major city in the world and is the first Chinese pianist to be engaged by the Vienna Philharmonic, Berlin Philharmonic and all the top American orchestras.
Testimony to his success, Lang Lang recently appeared in the 2009 Time 100 – Time magazine's annual list of the 100 Most Influential People in the World. In 2008, over four billion people viewed Lang Lang's performance in Beijing's opening ceremony for the Games of the XXIX Olympiad, where he was seen as a symbol of the youth and the future of China. This status has inspired over 40 million Chinese children to learn to play classical piano – a phenomenon coined by The Today Show as "the Lang Lang effect." Recognizing Lang Lang's powerful cultural influence, in 2008 The Recording Academy named him their Cultural Ambassador to China. Most recently, Lang Lang has been chosen as an official worldwide ambassador to the 2010 Shanghai Expo, and played at the opening ceremony.
For nearly a decade Lang Lang has been giving back to children around the world through volunteer activities as diverse as mentoring rising young talented pianists, convening 100 piano students in concert, performing for sick children in hospitals, delivering classical music recitals in underserved and remote communities, and donating his musical talents to raise awareness of other charitable causes. Lang Lang's charitable efforts led to the recent launch of the Lang Lang International Music Foundation with the mission of inspiring the next generation of classical music lovers and performers by cultivating tomorrow's top pianists, championing music education at the forefront of technology, and building a young audience through live music experiences. Through the strategic work of his new foundation which is committed to children and music education, Lang Lang works with exceptional partners to inspire young people to believe that music can make life better.
In 2011, the Lang Lang Music World was launched, which is a multi-functioning arts complex located in Shenzhen and Chongqing, China, where children can go to receive piano education, participate in master classes and competitions, attend concerts and purchase Lang Lang-brand educational products. With the mission of sharing Lang Lang's global view, experiences and knowledge in piano education, the Lang Lang Music World nurtures and provides exclusive opportunities for young talent through its unique platform.
His biography, Journey of a Thousand Miles, published by Random House in eleven languages, was released to critical acclaim. As part of his commitment to the education of children, he released a version of his autobiography specifically for younger readers, entitled Playing with Flying Keys.
Lang Lang has become the face of numerous global campaigns. Steinway has recognized Lang Lang's popularity with children by creating five versions of the "Lang Lang™ Steinway" designed for early music education. This is the first time in its 150-year history that Steinway has ever used an artist's name to produce pianos. Lang Lang is also a global brand ambassador for Sony Electronics, with whom he anticipates achieving innovative and creative possibilities for the future. He is proud to continue his relationship with Audi Automobiles as their Global Brand Ambassador.
Lang Lang began playing piano at the age of 3, his break into stardom came at age 17, when he was called upon for a dramatic last-minute substitution at the "Gala of the Century," playing a Tchaikovsky concerto with the Chicago Symphony. Following this gigantic debut, he performed successful concerts around the world. The Times in London remarked: "Lang Lang took a sold-out Albert Hall by storm… This could well be history in the making."
Lang Lang has performed for numerous international dignitaries including the former Secretary-General of the United Nations Kofi Annan, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, President Barack Obama, George H. W. Bush, George W. Bush, William J. Clinton, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, President Hu Jin-Tao of China, President Horst Koehler of Germany, H.R.H. Prince Charles, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and Poland President Lech Kaczynski. Most recently, he performed for President Barack Obama and President Hu Jin-tao at the White House State Dinner.
In 2004, Lang Lang was appointed International Goodwill Ambassador to the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF). Lang Lang has contributed and worked to raise funds and awareness for earthquake relief efforts in China and Haiti. As Chairman of the Montblanc de la Culture Arts Patronage Award Project, Lang Lang celebrates another aspect of arts commitment. He also currently serves on the Weill Music Institute Advisory Committee as part of Carnegie Hall's educational program and is the youngest member of Carnegie Hall's Artistic Advisory Board. He has been added as one of the 250 Young Global Leaders picked by the World Economic Forum and received the 2010 Crystal Award in Davos. In May 2011, Lang Lang received an Honorary Doctorate of Music from His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales at the Royal College of Music.
Lang Lang is the featured soloist on the Golden Globe® winning score "The Painted Veil" composed by Alexandre Desplat and can be heard on the soundtrack of "The Banquet" composed by Tan Dun. Most recently, he is the featured soloist on the movie "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. He was honored by The Recording Academy with the 2007 Presidential Merit Award; past recipients have included Zubin Mehta and Luciano Pavarotti. Lang Lang recently recorded the movie soundtrack of the Japanese blockbuster film "Nodame Cantabile," Chopin 24 Etudes for "Project Chopin" (the largest project in honor of Chopin's bicentenary) ,"Nuit De Mai" with Placido Domingo and performed the opening sequence for Gran Turismo, the most successful videogame of our time. In February 2010, Lang Lang joined Sony Music Entertainment as an exclusive recording artist; his first album with Sony features a live recording of his 2010 recital at Vienna's legendary Musikverein. He recently released his new CD "Liszt, My Piano Hero" and DVD "Liszt, Now!" to celebrate the 200th Anniversary of the great composer.