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Lang Lang strikes a Cultural Chord


The hottest classical pianist on the planet is Lang Lang, and he aims to promote love of art and music among people of all ages as the chairman of the Montblanc Culture Foundation.

Pianist Lang Lang has been named chairman of the Montblanc Culture Foundation and aims to kindle and sustain love of culture and the arts among young people.

"As it is my dream to get even more people, including young people, to be interested in classical music, I am particularly pleased about the opportunities presented by this cooperation with Montblanc," says Lang.

"Meanwhile, I realize that at 25, I have a long way to go and a lot to learn," he told a Beijing news conference announcing his appointment to head the 15-year-old foundation last week.

"As a young and inexperienced chairman, I will do my very best to accomplish the mission as an expression of my gratitude for the trust and faith Montblanc has in me," he says.

Established in 1992, the global Montblanc Culture Foundation gives the annual Montblanc de la Culture Arts Patronage Award, considered the only award of its kind with a global reputation. It honors those who have made extraordinary contributions of time, energy and financial support to art and culture in their countries and regions.

More than 100 people have been honored. They come from 11 countries and regions including China, Japan, the United States, Italy, Germany and France. Each winner receives 15,000 euros (US$21,737) to donate to favored cultural cause of his or her choice - and a solid gold Montblanc limited edition "Patron of Art" fountain pen especially designed for them.

Lord Douro, the first son of the Duke of Wellington, was the first chairman of the foundation. In 2006, Wolff Heinrichsdorff, then managing director of Montblanc, took over the post.

Now the position has passed to Lang Lang, who the The New York Times calls the "hottest artist on the classical music planet." Lang has played sold-out recital and concerts in every major world city and is the first Chinese pianist to be engaged by the Berlin Philharmonic, the Vienna Philharmonic and all the top American orchestras.

In 2004, he was appointed as the International Goodwill Ambassador to the United Nations Children's Fund. Steinway, the fine piano manufacturer, has specially created the "Lang Lang Steinway" designed in five different types for the early musical education of children. It is the first time Steinway has used an artist's name to produce pianos in its 150-year history.

The pianist founded the Lang Lang International Music Foundation to expand young audiences and inspire the next generation of musicians through its outreach programs.

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