Birthday: Lang Lang with Classical Almanac editor R Alan Campbell

Born into a musical family in Shenyang, China, JUNE 14, 1982. Lang Lang began his piano studies at the age of three, giving his first public recital when he was only five. He entered the Central Music Conservatory of China at age nine. In 1997, accompanied by his father, fifteen-year-old Lang Lang came to the U.S. to study with Gary Graffman at the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia. As his talent blossomed and his repertoire expanded, he began to enter competitions. Among the many titles added to his resume were: first prize in the Fifth Xing Hai Cup Piano Competition in Beijing, first prize and "outstanding artistic performance" in the Fourth International Young Pianists Competition in Germany, and first prize at the Second Tchaikovsky International Young Musicians' Competition held in 1995 in Japan. In April 2001, the eighteen-year-old Lang Lang made his critically acclaimed Carnegie Hall debut. He has also given concerts with the New York Philharmonic; the Chicago Symphony; the NDR Symphony Orchestra of Hamburg; the St. Petersburg Philharmonic; and the Philadelphia Orchestra. In Beijing, he performed before an audience of 8,000 at the Great Hall of the People. Lang Lang’s reputation spread so quickly that a biography in Chinese appeared in bookstores in China prior to his 17th birthday. He has been featured live on "Good Morning America" and"The Tonight Show with Jay Leno," and was the subject of articles in The Wall Street Journal and in Teen People's issue highlighting "Top Twenty Teens Who Will Change the World." He also had the distinction of being the first Chinese pianist to be engaged by the Berlin Philharmonic.

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