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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    UA welcomes return of piano virtuoso

    Photo courtesy of UApresents

    World-renowned pianist Lang Lang is set to take over Centennial Hall this evening in a performance that will debut the new Steinway & Sons piano brought to Centennial Hall over the summer.

    Referred to by many as a superstar, Lang Lang has garnered worldwide recognition for his expertise on the piano and for inspiring more than 40 million Chinese children to learn concert piano through his Lang Lang International Music Foundation, said Jo Alenson, marketing director of UApresents.

    “He’s had a huge impact on classical music and getting people excited about it again, especially young people,” Alenson said. “The foundation is all about helping to educate young people about what classical music is all about.”

    Lang Lang began playing piano at age 3 and has performed in Tucson on several occasions, allowing the community early exposure to a great talent, said Chuck Tennes, executive director of UApresents.

    “It’s always gratifying to be able to observe the growth of an artist,” Tennes said. “The fact that he came to our attention at such a young age makes you interested in how his artistry developed, what type of repertoire he chooses to play. You’re watching a celebrity, but in this case an artist celebrity as someone you’re going to watch develop and grow over the years.”

    This year’s concert promises an energetic and charismatic performance big enough to fill the more than 2,500 seats in Centennial Hall. After last year’s performance was canceled due to complications caused by Hurricane Sandy, the anticipation to hear Lang Lang play has been growing in the community, Alenson said, adding that Lang Lang’s enthusiasm for performing sets him apart, as he actively engages his audience.

    “We expect that Lang Lang will fall in love with that instrument the way all the rest of us have,” Tennes said of the new Steinway & Sons piano that will make its performance debut tonight. “This will be the piano’s first public performance. … It’s ready for primetime.”

    Lang Lang’s performance will consist of a sampling of his virtuosic repertoire, including selections from Mozart and 19th century Polish composer Frédéric Chopin, that will showcase his expertise and mastery, Tennes said.

    “Tucson is really fortunate for the wealth of cultural opportunities that we have, especially for this size of community,” Alenson said. “Lang Lang is one of those superstars, and you can’t miss an opportunity to see an artist who’s that good.”

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