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Lang Lang (pianist)

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Lang Lang (Chinese: 郎朗; pinyin: Láng Lǎng; born 14 June 1982) is a Chinese concert pianist who has performed with leading orchestras in Europe, the United States and his native China.

Lang Lang was born in Shenyang, Liaoning, China. His father Lang Guoren (郎国任), is a descendant of the Manchu Niuhulu (鈕祜祿) family, which brought forth a long line of Qing Empresses. The elder Lang is also a musician, who plays the traditional Chinese stringed instrument erhu. At the age of two, Lang watched the Tom and Jerry episode The Cat Concerto which features the Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2 by Franz Liszt. According to Lang, this first contact with Western music is what motivated him to learn piano He began piano lessons with Professor Zhu Ya-Fen at age three. At the age of five, he won first place at the Shenyang Piano Competition and performed his first public recital.

When Lang Lang was nine years old, he intended to audition for Beijing's Central Conservatory of Music, and, having difficulties with his lessons, was expelled from his piano tutor's studio for "lack of talent" Another music teacher at his state school noticed Lang Lang's sadness, and decided to comfort him by playing a record of Mozart's Piano Sonata No. 10 in C major, K. 330; she asked him to play along with the second movement. This reminded Lang Lang of his love of the instrument. "Playing the K. 330 brought me hope again," he recalled.

Lang Lang was later admitted into the conservatory where he studied under Professor Zhao Ping-Guo.In 1993, he won the Xing Hai Cup Piano Competition in Beijing and, in 1994, was awarded first prize for outstanding artistic performance at the fourth International Competition for Young Pianists in Ettlingen, Germany In 1995, at 13 years of age, he played the Op. 10 and Op. 25 études by Chopin at the Beijing Concert Hall and, in the same year, won first place at the International Tchaikovsky Competition for Young Musicians in Japan playing Chopin's Piano Concerto No. 2 with the Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra in a concert broadcast by NHK Television.[7] When 14, he was a featured soloist at the China National Symphony's inaugural concert, which was broadcast by China Central Television and attended by President Jiang Zemin. The following year, he began studies with Gary Graffman at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia
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