Lang Lang
Chinese pianist Lang Lang performs with the Stockholm Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. June 13, 2008. (AP)

Chinese pianist Lang Lang performs with the Stockholm Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. June 13, 2008. (AP)

Twenty-six year old Chinese pianist Lang Lang is an international superstar and the face of a new China. He played a prominent role in Beijing’s lavish opening ceremony on Friday.

But the road to fame hasn’t been easy. He’s been working at it since the age of 3. His parents’ dreams thwarted by the Cultural Revolution, Lang Lang became their future. At 9, he moved with his father to Beijing. At 15, they traveled to America.

He studied at top schools and is now, some argue, one of the best classical pianists in the world — and a phenomenon in China.

This hour, On Point: China’s Lang Lang.

* * *


Lang Lang, internationally acclaimed classical pianist, he played at the opening ceremonies of the Beijing Olympics, and is author of the new book, with David Ritz, “Journey of a Thousand Miles: My Story.”

David Remnick, editor of The New Yorker. He profiled Lang Lang in the magazine’s August 4 issue.

Links and multimedia:

Read an excerpt from Lang Lang’s “Journey of a Thousand Miles: My Story.” – The official website of Lang Lang

Watch a famous YouTube video of Lang Lang playing Chopin with orange:

A list of the music played during this hour:

  • Xian Xinghai: “Prelude: The Song of The Yellow River Boatmen”
  • Franz Liszt: Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2
  • Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 1 In C Major, Op. 15 – III. Rondo.
  • Rachmaninoff: Rhapsody on a Theme Of Paganini, Op. 43: Variation XVIII
  • Happy Times – [From the 2007 album Dragon Songs]
  • Horses – a live recording at Carnegie Hall, a duet with his father, Guo-Ren Lang on the Erhu, a traditional Chinese two-stringed fiddle.
  • He Luting: The Cowherd’s Flute (Mutong duandi)
  • Chopin: Sonata for Piano No. 3 in B Minor, B. 155, Op. 58: II. Scherzo (Molto Vivace)
  • Tchaikovsky: Piano Concerto No. 1 in B Flat Minor, Op. 23, I.
  • Mozart: Sonata for Piano No. 10 in C Major, K. 330
  • Xian Xinghai: The Yellow River: III. The Yellow River in wrath

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