"I bring music back to life" says pianist Lang Lang

Fri Apr 17, 2009 6:54am EDT
 
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By Michael Roddy

LONDON (Reuters) - Chinese piano wizard Lang Lang says he brings music back to life. And if sponsorships help his reincarnations reach a younger, hipper audience, he's for them.

"It's a very special moment that I try first to connect to the music and be as the bridge between the music which already exists and the piano, and to bring this music again from underground to reality," the 26-year-old Lang told Reuters.

"Every time you play a piece it's like you bring a life, a new life, and when the last note finishes it's disappeared."

Having a pair of Adidas trainers named for him and Audi cars to chauffeur him around town is not selling out but, for Lang, a way to help keep Mozart and Chopin in the public eye.

"It's a very expensive form to be in...so when a brand like, for example, Adidas or Mont Blanc likes to work with classical musicians, not just great sports stars or big Hollywood actors or actresses, I think it's a great thing," he said.

The rags-to-riches figure that is Lang, perhaps the best known young pianist on the international stage today, drawing sellout crowds everywhere, was in London for a 12-day marathon event -- sponsored by Swiss financial group UBS.

Working with the London Symphony Orchestra and the Guildhall School, Lang will oversee 100 elementary school pianists at a workshop, give a masterclass for advanced pianists and play two piano concertos, one of them the fiendishly hard Bartok Second.

The other is the British premiere of a piano concerto by Lang's compatriot Tan Dun -- composer of the soundtrack for "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" -- that Lang said is not film music ("I wouldn't play film music") but is visual nonetheless.   Continued...

 
<p>Chinese pianist Lang Lang plays one of the pianos from the 'Lang Lang Piano Series' during a news conference in Hong Kong April 27, 2007. REUTERS/Paul Yeung</p>