Lang Lang puts music philanthropy on center stage
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.
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.