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Feature: Lang Lang wants to share music worldwide

by Jian Ping

CHICAGO, May 22 (Xinhua) -- Starting with a solo of Stravinsky's Fireworks Op. 4, world-famed Chinese pianist Lang Lang gave a passionate performance in the packed Chicago Symphony Center.

On Saturday night, Lang Lang performed in a special concert with the renowned Swiss conductor Charles Dutoit and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

The evening's program also included a solo of Prokofiev's Piano Concerto No. 3 and Stravinsky's The Firebird.

"It's very important to share music worldwide," Lang Lang told Xinhua. "Basically, I think a piano professional should be called a cultural ambassador or a bridge builder between cultures."

In an interview with Xinhua after the concert, Lang Lang did not talk much about his mesmerizing performance. Instead, he talked about his charitable causes, saying he felt good to see the children he has nurtured make progress.

He has set up the Lang Lang International Music Foundation with the goal of cultivating tomorrow's top pianists, and Lang Lang Music World, a multi-functional arts complex in the Chinese cities of Shenzhen and Chongqing, where children can receive piano education.

"I know how to inspire children to do music, to teach them how to play music in creative ways," he said.

Lang Lang said he has also cooperated with other institutions and corporations to provide funding so that music can be included in schools' regular curriculum.

Besides, the musician has developed "The Lang Lang Piano Method," a series of five books, to help children aged 5-10 learn music. The books have been released in the West, and the Chinese edition will be available in September.

Lang Lang also works with the United Nations to hold concerts and provide donations for schools with disabled children in China.

Coming from Shenyang, capital of northeast China's Liaoning Province, Lang Lang said he is very proud of his roots and has partnered with the Liaoning Provincial Television to create a program called "Lang Lang Sky." "We invited 200 sanitary workers to a recent concert," Lang Lang said, adding that he would like to do more in the future for those who work very hard.

"I want everyone to enjoy what music gives us," he said. "This hope, this love, this wonderful moment. I want everyone to feel that."

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