Lang Lang

June 14, 1982 - Shenyang (China)


More than living up to the Mandarin meaning of his name, “brilliant man”, Lang Lang has not only shot to international fame in a breathtakingly short time but also single-handedly put China on the western classical music map. Exuberant, direct and openly emotional in performance, he excels in the virtuoso repertoire of Liszt and Rachmaninov – the sort of keyboard fireworks once associated with pianists like Horowitz – but also concentrates on the more contained pianism of Mozart and Schumann and regularly peppers his recital programmes with Chinese pieces (his father, his first teacher, is a player of traditional Chinese music).

  • 1985: Begins playing piano.
  • 1987: Wins the Shenyang competition; first public recital.
  • 1991: Enters Beijing’s Central Music Conservatory.
  • 1995: Plays the complete 24 Chopin Études at the Beijing Concert Hall; First Prize at the Tchaikovsky International Young Musicians’ Competition in Japan.
  • 1997–2003: Studies with Gary Graffman at the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia.
  • 1999: International breakthrough, with his last-minute substitution for an indisposed André Watts at the Ravinia Festival’s “Gala of the Century”.
  • 2001: Concert before an 8,000-strong audience with the Philadelphia Orchestra under Wolfgang Sawallisch at Beijing’s Great Hall of the People.
  • 2001/2002: Début at the BBC Proms in London.
  • 2002: First recipient awarded the newly established Leonard Bernstein Prize, sponsored by the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival.
  • 2003: His début at Carnegie Hall, New York causes a sensation.
  • 2004: Appointed an International UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador.
  • 2004–05: Tours through Europe, Asia and America.
  • 2005–06: Summer open-air concerts with the Berliner Philharmoniker (2005) and the Wiener Philharmoniker (2006), broadcast worldwide on television.
  • 2007: Guest appearance on Mike Oldfield’s album Music of the Spheres (released 2008).
  • 2008: Gives concerts in New York in Cantral Park and at Carnegie Hall for the benefit of the Chinese and Haitian regions which suffered damage because of earthquakes. He played for the opening of the Beijing Olympic Games.
  • 2010: Lang Lang signs a exclusivity contract with Sony Music Entertainment. The record company releases his recital at the legendary Musikverein in Vienna.