Lang Lang

Lang Lang: The piano phenomenon taking music to new heights

From his airy $3 million apartment within a glossy black skyscraper, 77 storeys above New York, Lang Lang momentarily wrestles with temptation. He stares at a picture on his phone of a girl: her eyes are hazy with seduction in mind and the body language betrays an unmistakable siren promise. Inked on her forehead is a message: 'Pick Me!'
 
This picture has been sent via Twitter, but unlike the hundred or so others he receives every day, it's grabbed his attention. Lang Lang cracks a grin and laughs uneasily.
 
'Some girls are more aggressive,' he says, his nimble thumbs scrolling the image back and forth. 'She's kind of cute, see.'
 
In three days' time, Lang Lang will play an open-air concert in New York's Central Park with the Shanghai Philharmonic. His record company has offered one lucky girl the chance to go backstage to meet him. He's been inundated with emails and Twitter messages.
 
This pop-hero treatment is, he says, not anomalous with being a classical musician.
 
'My point is that classical music is for everybody. By playing classical music I'm getting the same reaction as pop stars or movie stars. I don't believe that only movie stars, sports stars or pop stars can have that fan base. I believe that if classical musicians do well, you can have the same response, the same reaction.'