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Music Events (more headlines) 01-19-2011

Lang Lang Invited To Perform At The White House State Dinner Welcoming Chinese President Hu Jintao

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International superstar Chinese pianist Lang Lang has been invited to perform at The White House when President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama host a state dinner at The White House on Wednesday, January 19th. Reciprocating The President's State Visit to the People's Republic of China in 2009, the event welcomes China's President Hu Jintao to the White House for the third State Visit of the Administration.

For the occasion, Lang Lang will perform the traditional Chinese "My Home Country / Big River" as a piano solo. Also on the program, Lang Lang, will perform a selection from Ravel's 'Ma Mere L'Oye' with legendary American jazz pianist and frequent collaborator, Herbie Hancock.

The January 19th State Dinner marks the third occasion that the prodigious pianist has been invited to perform for President and First Lady Obama. Lang Lang was invited to Oslo to perform at both the presentation ceremony and celebration concert when President Obama was awarded The Nobel Peace Prize in December 2009. In 2010, Lang Lang was invited to The White House to honor Gershwin Prize for Popular Song recipient Paul McCartney. For the occasion, Lang Lang performed an original McCartney composition at the piano before standing between Jerry Seinfeld, President Obama and the honoree for a sing-along finale of "Hey Jude."

Lang Lang has performed for President Hu Jintao on numerous occasions. At the invitation of German President Horst Köhler, Lang Lang first performed for the Chinese President in honor of an official state visit. More recently, President Hu declared the opening of the World Expo 2010 in Shanghai, for which Lang Lang served as an official ambassador and star-soloist.

"What an honor to be invited to perform at this historical event," says Lang Lang. "This occasion is particularly meaningful as it honors my country's Paramount Leader, Hu Jintao. I admire both leaders tremendously."

No stranger to performing for world leaders, Lang Lang has performed for dignitaries including the former Secretary-General of the United Nations Kofi Annan, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, George H. W. Bush, George W. Bush, William J. Clinton, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, H.R.H. Prince Charles, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and Poland President Lech Kaczynski. Prior to his performance honoring President Barack Obama in Stockholm, Lang Lang was a guest soloist at the 2007 Nobel Prize concert attended by Nobel Laureates and members of the Royal Family. In 2010 Lang attended The World Economic Forum in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland, to which he was invited because he is "an artist who, through his International Music Foundation, has contributed to improving the lives of children globally."


"His incredible talent is undeniable," said CNN in a recent profile of Lang Lang. "To his millions of fans worldwide the 27-year-old Chinese musician is a God-like star, whose skill and energetic performance style put him in a league of his own." The New York Times heralds Lang Lang as the "hottest artist on the classical music planet" while The Wall Street Journal recently reported "Lang Lang has become a rock star for the classical set."

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