Lang Lang

Lang Lang Celebrates Year Of The Dragon With New York Concerts Broadcast Live Online

Lang Lang, the renowned Chinese pianist, is celebrating the Year of the Dragon with two concerts in New York, both broadcast live on the Web site of WQXR, the New York classical music station.
In the first, to be broadcast at 6 p.m. EST January 23, Mr. Lang will perform traditional songs and Chinese New Year favorites with Quintessenso, a chorus of children age 5 to 12 from Mongolia, in northeastern China, in its first appearance outside of China.
The second concert will take place at 7:30 p.m. EST on January 24; it will also be shown later in the week on Phoenix Television, a commercial station in China.
The second concert, with the New York Philharmonic at Avery Fisher Hall, will be conducted by Long Yu, artistic director and chief conductor of the China Philharmonic. In addition to Lang Lang and Quintessenso, Tang Junqiao, a professor at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music of the dizi, the Chinese traditional flute, will perform. This concert will be the New York Philharmonic’s first-ever gala concert in honor of the Chinese New Year.
The January 24 program will feature traditional Chinese music, including a “Spring Festival Overture,” suite of Mongolian folk songs and works for bamboo flute and orchestra.
Lang Lang will play Liszt’s Piano Concert No. 1, which he performed on a CD released last year, “Liszt: My Piano Hero,” commemorating the 200th anniversary of Liszt’s birth.
Mr. Lang said he will perform the Liszt January 24 because “it’s one of the best pieces for a major gala event. The energy is really high, it’s almost like a great bottle of champagne.”
The Chinese New Year celebrates the beginning of spring, Mr. Lang added, “when everything is reborn and restarts. I like the idea when the midnight bell rings and the wind from spring comes.”
Also performing at the concert January 24 will be Liang Wang, the New York Philharmonic’s principal oboist, a native of Qing Dao, China, who studied music in the United States. He will play “Extase” for oboe and orchestra by Chen Qigang.
Mr. Wang said “Extase,” composed 30 years ago, was “very difficult” to perform and “requires tremendous endurance,” with folk tunes he said would appeal to both Eastern and Western audiences.
The concert will be a special occasion for Mr. Wang personally: His parents, who still live in China, will attend; it will be the first time they will celebrate the New Year together in 15 years, and it will also be his father’s 60th birthday.
The broadcasts of both concerts are part of a special “China in New York” festival being held by WQXR through January 27.
The festival, also a first, will include a podcast on the growth of classical music in China and the challenges contemporary composers and musicians face; a slideshow and report on new concert hall construction in China; a Mandarin-language program hosted by composer Huang Ruo on contemporary music-making in New York; two 24-hour marathons of traditional and contemporary music by Chinese-born composers; and audio portraits of Chinese performers and composers, including Lang Lang, Chen Yi, Huang Ruo, Zhou Long and others.