Music

Musicians Jon Batiste, Wyclef Jean, Sam Smith Join Lang Lang In Free, Virtual Concert Today Celebrating Pianist’s Foundation

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The Lang Lang International Music Foundation this afternoon at 3 p.m. EST will host its first, free, virtual concert, “Reaching Dreams Through Music.” The concert will premiere on the pianist’s YouTube channel, be distributed through media partners worldwide and remain online for one month. 

In addition to Lang Lang, the virtual concert will feature his wife, pianist ​Gina Alice​; jazz musician and television personality Jon Batiste; ballet dancer Misty Copeland; Grammy Award-winning opera singer Renée Fleming; Academy Award-winning director Ron Howard; Grammy Award-winning rapper Wyclef Jean; Grammy Award-winning jazz musician Diana Krall; Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter Sam Smith; and the Young​ People’s Chorus of NYC​.

The concert also will raise funds for the foundation, which aims to educate, inspire and motivate the next generation of music lovers and performers. 

Most performers in today’s concert record for labels owned by Universal Music Group, including Lang Lang, who records for Deutsche Grammophon. It was recently announced that Howard will direct a new film based on Lang Lang’s 2008 memoir, Journey of a Thousand Miles: My Story, which was co-written with David Ritz.

In​ the concert, the artists will discuss how music shaped their childhood and lives. Many will perform songs that have influenced them, shaped their careers and hold deep personal meaning.

The concert also will highlight the impact of music on the lives of children around the world and advocate for equitable access to music education.  

Its grand finale will feature Lang Lang playing virtually alongside over thirty young pianists from around the world, accompanied by the​ ​Young People’s Chorus of NYC. 

Speaking from Shanghai earlier this week, Lang Lang said the creation of today’s concert was influenced by last April’s Global Citizen and WHO’s One World: Together At Home, a Live Aid-style event curated by Lady Gaga that celebrated healthcare workers around the globe and supported the U.N. Foundation’s COVID-19 Response Fund.

He said students participating in his foundation’s programs “get a huge benefit from learning music. It changed my life, made me much more interesting, influenced me to become a more powerful musician. Other kids should have a chance to learn music, get inspired.”

He also said he hoped today’s virtual concert would “open new doors for classical music” and introduce it to new audiences. 

Founded in 2008, the Lang Lang International Music Foundation offers programs that encourage music performance at all levels as a means of social and emotional development.

It works with almost 30,000 children annually in over 60 Title 1 schools in ten states across the United States.

Read more at www.forbes.com

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