Lang Lang puts mu­sic phi­lan­thropy on cen­ter stage

China Daily (USA) - - FRONT PAGE - By CHINA DAILY in New York Judy Zhu in New York contributed to this story.

Lang Lang is quite the per­former when it comes to rais­ing money for mu­sic ed­u­ca­tion.

The renowned pi­anist raised more than $2 mil­lion from the Lang Lang and Friends Gala con­cert din­ner in New York on Monday evening.

It is the third year that the Lang Lang In­ter­na­tional Mu­sic Foun­da­tion held an an­nual fundrais­ing gale in New York. The last two events have raised more than $1 mil­lion each.

The 34-year-old Lang, whom The New York Times called “the hottest artist on the clas­si­cal mu­sic planet” is look­ing to leave a legacy for the next gen­er­a­tion.

The foun­da­tion, which Lang founded in 2003, teaches clas­si­cal mu­sic ed­u­ca­tion in five dif­fer­ent states to 2,500 chil­dren from grades 2-6 in pub­lic schools in the US.

“We have helped al­most 3,000 stu­dents through a va­ri­ety of pro­grams, which is re­ally some­thing,” Lang said, “but my dream is to teach 20,000 stu­dents in four years.”

Lang also hon­ored Joan H. Weill and San­ford I. Weill with the foun­da­tion’s life­time phi­lan­thropy award.

“Ed­u­ca­tion is at the heart of ev­ery­thing that they do, and I know they work tire­lessly and pride them­selves on see­ing that mu­sic, the arts and cul­ture help bridge cul­tural di­vides that ex­ist through­out our world,” Lang said of the Weills.

“I want you all to know that this young man (Lang) had al­ready un­der­stood giv­ing back to the so­ci­ety at the age of 17,” said Joan Weill.

“He (Lang) re­ally un­der­stood giv­ing back to the com­mu­nity be­fore he had any­thing,” said San­ford Weill.

“Our unique pro­grams are de­signed to en­cour­age mu­sic per­for­mances at all lev­els for chil­dren of all back­grounds,” said Leszek Lukas Bar­win­ski, the CEO of the foun­da­tion.

DAIILY JUDY ZHU / FOR CHINA

Chi­nese pi­anist Lang Lang hon­ors phi­lan­thropists Joan H. Weill and San­ford I. Weill with the Lang Lang In­ter­na­tional Mu­sic Foun­da­tion’s life­time phi­lan­thropy award at a gala con­cert din­ner in New York on Monday. Leszek Lukas Bar­win­ski (sec­ond from right), CEO of the Lang Lang In­ter­na­tional Mu­sic Foun­da­tion, and John­son Zhongxin Li, a young pi­ano scholar, also at­tended the event.

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