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  • Superstar Pianist Lang Lang Returns to Walt Disney Concert Hall As Part of the La Phil’s 2009/10 Season Colburn Celebrity Series
  • Nov. 8, 2009
  • SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 8, 2009, AT 7:30 PM

    The Series is Endowed by a Generous Grant from the Colburn Foundation

    Internationally renowned pianist Lang Lang returns to Walt Disney Concert Hall for a solo recital Sunday, November 8, at 7:30 p.m. The program, part of the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s 2009/10 Colburn Celebrity series, includes music ranging from early and iconic works of Beethoven to two very different perspectives on the 20th century, from Spain and Russia.

    The recital opens with two works by Beethoven – the first, his Sonata in C major, Op. 2, No. 3, the most brilliantly virtuosic of the three sonatas of the composer’s Op. 2 works. The expansive piece is almost a solo concerto in style and scope. Following is Beethoven’s Piano Sonata No. 23 in F minor, Op. 57 (“Appassionata”).

    The next piece comes from Isaac Albéniz. A child prodigy like Lang Lang, Albéniz made his public debut in Barcelona at the age of 4. His Ibéria composition is a group of 12 “impressions” in four books, with all but one of the 12 dance-based pieces bearing a regional title.

    The program closes with Prokofiev’s Piano Sonata No. 7 in B-flat, Op. 83, one of his three “War” sonatas. The work received a Stalin Prize, though many musicians view it as a blatant indictment of the dictator and his reign.

    Lang Lang began playing piano at the age of 3, and by the age of 5 he had won the Shenyang competition and had given his first public recital. Entering Beijing's Central Music Conservatory at age 9, he won first prize at the Tchaikovsky International Young Musicians Competition and played the complete 24 Chopin Études at the Beijing Concert Hall at age 13. His break into stardom came at age 17 when he was called upon for a dramatic last-minute substitution at the “Gala of the Century,” playing the Tchaikovsky Concerto with the Chicago Symphony. Lang Lang's performing clothes are provided by Versace.

    The 2009/10 Colburn Celebrity recitals present virtuoso performances by world-renowned artists. Featured are two four-concert series, which includes three recitals anchoring the On Location: Emanuel Ax residency, which explores the dual bicentennials of Chopin and Schumann. Future recitals feature Richard Goode, piano (January 19, 2010); Emanuel Ax, piano, and Yo-Yo Ma, cello (January 27, 2010); Joshua Bell, violin (February 26, 2010); Emanuel Ax, piano, Dawn Upshaw, soprano, and Michael Ward-Bergeman, hyper-accordion (March 23, 2010); Emanuel Ax, piano (April 20, 2010); and Christine Brewer, soprano, and Craig Rutenberg, piano (June 1, 2010).

    Heralded as the “hottest artist on the classical music planet” by The New York Times, 27-year-old LANG LANG has played sold out recitals and concerts in every major city in the world and is the first Chinese pianist to be engaged by the Berlin Philharmonic, the Vienna Philharmonic and the top American orchestras. Testimony to his success, Lang Lang recently appeared in the 2009 Time 100 - Time magazine’s annual list of the 100 Most Influential People in the World. In 2008, over 5 billion people viewed Lang Lang’s performance in Beijing’s opening ceremony for the Games of the XXIX Olympiad where he was seen as a symbol of the youth and future of China. This status has inspired over 40 million Chinese children to learn to play classical piano - a phenomenon coined by “The Today Show” as “the Lang Lang effect.” Recognizing Lang Lang's powerful cultural influence, in 2008, the Recording Academy named him their Cultural Ambassador to China. Most recently, Lang Lang has been chosen as an official worldwide ambassador to the 2010 Shanghai Expo. Continuing his presence on the world stage, Lang Lang was featured at the 2008 Grammy's, pairing up with jazz great, Herbie Hancock, for an astounding performance that was broadcast live to 45 million viewers worldwide. The two pianists continued their collaboration with an inaugural world tour in summer 2009, which included a stop at the Hollywood Bowl. Lang Lang has made it his mission to share classical music around the world, with an emphasis on training children and young musicians through education and outreach programs. To that effect, in October 2008, he launched the Lang Lang International Music Foundation in New York with the support of the Grammy's and UNICEF. The Lang Lang International Music Foundation was created to enrich the lives of children through a deeper understanding and enjoyment of classical music and to inspire and financially support the next generation of musicians. In May 2009, Lang Lang and his three chosen scholars from the foundation - aged between 8 and 10 years old - performed together on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” on "Oprah's Search for the World's Most Smartest and Most Talented Kids." Lang Lang also continues to give master classes regularly throughout the world at the invitation of the most prestigious music institutions, including the Juilliard School, the Curtis Institute of Music, Manhattan School of Music and Hanover Conservatory, as well as all the top conservatories of China where he holds honorary professorships. He has held music residencies in Chicago, Toronto, San Francisco, London, Rome and Stockholm, which include master classes for exceptional students. In addition to his numerous commitments, Lang Lang holds the title of the first Ambassador of the YouTube Symphony Orchestra. His role in this groundbreaking project created by YouTube and Google reflects his devotion to building new audiences and bringing classical music to young people worldwide. In 2009, Lang Lang continues his busy touring schedule around the world. Lang Lang is currently a featured highlight of the Carnegie Hall festival "Ancient Paths, Modern Voices: Celebrating Chinese Culture" where he premiered Chen Qigang's new piano concerto, "Er Huang," and will close the festival with a performance of Rachmaninoff's second piano concerto with the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra. He also presented "Lang Lang and Friends," which featured rising talent from the United States and China performing works by Western and Chinese composers. In addition, the Vienna Musikverein will present the Lang Lang Fest, including a joint concert between Lang Lang and Cecilia Bartoli. As the youngest instrumentalist to ever receive an invitation, Lang Lang will also be in residence with the Berlin Philharmonic - where, among other shows, he will perform on the New Year's Eve concert with 100 school children from Berlin. Furthermore, Lang Lang will also be featured in a special tour of Japan with the Vienna Philharmonic. In 2008, his biography, Journey of a Thousand Miles, published by Random House in eight languages, was released to critical acclaim. As part of his commitment to the education of children, he released a version of his autobiography specifically for younger readers, entitled Playing with Flying Keys.

    The Los Angeles Philharmonic Association, under the vibrant leadership of Gustavo Dudamel, presents the finest in orchestral and chamber music, recitals, new music, jazz, world music and holiday concerts at two of the most remarkable locations anywhere to experience music – Walt Disney Concert Hall and the Hollywood Bowl. In addition to a 30-week winter subscription season at Walt Disney Concert Hall, the LA Phil presents a 12-week summer festival at the legendary Hollywood Bowl, summer home of the Los Angeles Philharmonic and home of the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra. In fulfilling its commitment to the community, the Association’s involvement with Los Angeles extends to educational concerts, children's programming and community concerts, ever seeking to provide inspiration and delight to the broadest possible audience.


    SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 8, 2009, AT 7:30 PM

    Walt Disney Concert Hall

    111 S. Grand Avenue, Los Angeles


    LANG LANG, piano

    BEETHOVEN Piano Sonata No. 3 in C, Op. 2, No. 3

    BEETHOVEN Piano Sonata No. 23 in F minor, Op. 57, ("Appassionata")

    ALBÉNIZ Ibéria, Book 1

    PROKOFIEV Piano Sonata No. 7 in B-flat, Op. 83

    The series is endowed by a generous grant from the Colburn Foundation.

    Tickets ($17 - $95) are on sale now at the Walt Disney Concert Hall box office, online at, or via credit card by phone at 323.850.2000. When available, choral bench seats ($17) will be released for sale to selected Philharmonic, Colburn Celebrity Series, and Baroque Variations performances beginning at noon on the Tuesday of the second week prior to the concert. A limited number of $10 rush tickets for seniors and full time students may be available at the Walt Disney Concert Hall box office two hours prior to the performance. Valid identification is required; one ticket per person; cash only. Groups of 12 or more may be eligible for special discounts for selected concerts and seating areas. For information, please call 323.850.2000.

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  • Contact:

    Sophie Jefferies,, 213.972.3422; Lisa White,, 213.972.3408; Photos: 213.972.3034