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Since his dramatic and triumphant last-minute appearance at Chicago's Ravinia Festival in 1999 (filling in for an indisposed Andre Watts), the extraordinarily talented young pianist Lang Lang has burst upon the international music scene with unparalleled excitement and acclaim. He continues to go from strength to strength, making each successive landmark debut with ease and grace, always inspiring the critics to superlatives.
Last February, Telarc released his debut recording, a virtuoso recital disc live from Tanglewood (CD-80524), to great critical acclaim. "Lang Lang is a sensation," said BBC Music Magazine. "He can tackle anything in the repertoire with an apparently effortless aplomb that is almost unnervingly serene...this is a talent in a million." Lang Lang made his sold-out Carnegie Hall debut, with Yuri Temirkanov and the Baltimore Symphony, in April 2001, of which The New York Times raved: "He is stunning...the audience was on its feet shouting before the final notes had died away."
Since then, this remarkable nineteen-year-old artist has gone on to win accolades for (among many others) his debut at one of the most prestigious of all international venues: the BBC Proms (at the Royal Albert Hall), performing the Rachmaninoff Concerto No. 3 with Temirkanov and the St. Petersburg Philharmonic. Telarc was on hand to capture Lang Lang's stunning performance at the Proms in a live recording. "The dazzling technique one quickly took for granted," said The Guardian, continuing, "the constant wonder was the extraordinary energy of his playing, the ability to shape every paragraph with total certainty, the unswerving focus...a complete artist." The Times proclaimed "This could well be history in the making." For his encore piece at the Proms, Lang Lang performed the traditional Chinese folk song "Liu Yang River."
Paired with the live concerto performance is a beautiful selection of etudes by Alexander Scriabin, where Lang Lang once again displays his interpretive genius, ranging from poignant lyricism and delicate pianissimos to breathtaking technical brilliance.
In December 2001, Lang Lang performed with the Philadelphia Orchestra conducted by Wolfgang Sawallisch in their final subscription concerts at the Academy of Music. In January 2002, he made his subscription debut with the Milwaukee Symphony and in February, with the Chicago Symphony. In March, Lang Lang will tour Europe with the NDR Symphony Orchestra of Hamburg under the direction of Christoph Eschenbach, and he will make his debut with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, under Eschenbach, from May 9 – 14, performing Prokofiev's Concerto No. 3. This season also includes orchestral engagements with the Atlanta, Houston and Seattle symphonies, the London Philharmonic with Eschenbach and the NHK Symphony of Japan with Charles Dutoit, as well as recitals throughout the United States, Europe and Japan.
Lang Lang, who makes his home in Philadelphia, will be featured in the April 2002 issue of Teen People Magazine, as one of the "Top Twenty Teens Who Will Change the World." He was recently nominated for a 2001 Royal Philharmonic Society Award in the "Young Artist" category, and Comcast awarded him the 2001 Comcast Newsmaker of the Year award in the Youth category. In June he will perform with the Baltimore Symphony at their Summerfest, and in July, he returns to Chicago's Ravinia Festival for four days, performing with the orchestra (in Rachmaninoff's "Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini" and the Grieg Piano Concerto), in piano four-hand works with Christoph Eschenbach, and in recital. He will also perform with his father, Guo Ren Lang, who is an accomplished performer on the Chinese stringed instrument, the er-hu.