Saturday, May 21, 2011

Lang Lang

He is, perhaps, the most popular classical musician in the world. He has inspired 40 million Chinese children to take piano lessons. On his website you can buy Lang Lang hats, Lang Lang gloves, Lang Lang shirts, Lang Lang sneakers, Lang Lang USB drives and, I think, Lang Lang's piano (although the link is in Chinese except for the words file not found—maybe somebody already bought it). Is he too popular to be good? Shirley Apthorp quotes him in The Australian:

"In the culture of my childhood, being best was everything. It was the goal that drove us, the motivation that gave life meaning. And if, by chance or fate or the blessings of the generous universe, you were a child in whom talent was evident, Number One became your mantra. It became mine. I never begged my parents to take off the pressure. I accepted it; I even enjoyed it. It was a game, this contest among aspiring pianists, and although I may have been shy, I was bold, even at age five, when faced with a field of rivals."

Meet Lang Lang close up in Piano man.

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