June 14, 1982 - Shenyang (China)
© Felix Broede / DG
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).