Home » Festival Events » Juilliard Orchestra

Wednesday, October 28, 2009 at 8 PM
Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage at Carnegie Hall

Juilliard Orchestra

Michael Tilson Thomas
Lang Lang
Anne Sofie von Otter
Gregory Kunde
Roll over for full listing

Michael Tilson Thomas

Michael Tilson Thomas

Lang Lang

Lang Lang

Anne Sofie von Otter

Anne Sofie von Otter

Gregory Kunde

Gregory Kunde

Michael Tilson Thomas, Conductor
Lang Lang, Piano (Read Biography)

Lang Lang, Piano


Twenty-seven-year-old Lang Lang continues to play sold-out recitals and concerts in every major city around the world. He is also the first Chinese pianist to be engaged by the Berliner Philharmoniker, Vienna Philharmonic, and many top American orchestras.

Lang Lang began playing the piano at age three and by age five, he had won the Shenyang Competition and given his first public recital. Entering Beijing’s Central Music Conservatory at age nine, he won first prize at the Tchaikovsky International Young Musicians Competition, and played the complete 24 Chopin etudes in Beijing Concert Hall at age 13. Lang Lang’s break into stardom came at age 17, when he was called on for a dramatic last-minute substitution at the Gala of the Century concert, playing Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 1 with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. 

As a further testimony to his continuing success, Lang Lang performed in the Opening Ceremonies of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. Earlier that year, he was featured at the 50th Annual Grammy Awards, pairing up with jazz great Herbie Hancock. In 2009, Lang Lang appeared in Time magazine's annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world. Most recently, he was chosen as an official worldwide ambassador to the 2010 Shanghai Expo.

Lang Lang is seen as a symbol of the youth and future of China, inspiring over 40 million Chinese children to learn to play classical piano. He has made it his mission to share classical music around the world with an emphasis on training children. In October 2008, he launched the Lang Lang International Music Foundation, with the support of the Grammys and UNICEF.

In 2008, Lang Lang’s biography, Journey of a Thousand Miles (published by Random House in eight languages), was released to critical acclaim. Visit langlang.com for more information on Lang Lang.

Anne Sofie von Otter, Mezzo-Soprano
Gregory Kunde, Tenor
The performance starts on the edge of the Pacific with music by an eclectic American who employs Chinese, Korean, and Mexican instruments. Then hear a new piece by a miraculous Chinese composer whose music trembles at the edge of silence and ecstasy. And lastly Mahler breathes the air of eternity in his late masterpiece.
“The Family of the Court” from Pacifika Rondo
Autumn Moon on a Calm Lake
The Moon Chased by the Colorful Clouds
The Cowherd's Flute
Dance of Spring
Er Huang for Piano and Orchestra (World Premiere, commissioned by Carnegie Hall through the generosity of Henry R. Kravis in honor of his wife, Marie-Josée)
Das Lied von der Erde

Program is approximately 2 hours, including one intermission
Ancient Paths, Modern Voices: Celebrating Chinese Culture and this evening's performance are made possible by a leadership gift from Henry R. Kravis in honor of his wife, Marie-Josée.
This performance is sponsored by Deloitte LLP.This performance is sponsored by Deloitte LLP.
Additional support has been provided by The Barbro Osher Pro Suecia Foundation.
View a Slideshow

Chen Qigang
View an annotated photo album, courtesy of Chen Qigang. »

Related Events
Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall
Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage at Carnegie Hall
Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage at Carnegie Hall


Focus On: Chen Qigang

As an elder member of the Class of 1978, Chen Qigang was also the first of his class to leave China after the Cultural Revolution. Well before his colleagues at Beijing’s Central Conservatory—Tan Dun, Chen Yi, and Zhou Long—relocated to the US, Chen became the first Chinese composer to be awarded a state grant to study in France. Initially the allure of the opportunity was strictly musical. “The detail and nuance in French music was very similar to my own,” admits Chen, the son of an established Shanghai literati family whose father had been the head of the Beijing Academy of Fine Arts. “I had already discovered Debussy and Ravel on my own. But then I met Messiaen.”

Olivier Messiaen, with whom Chen studied from 1984 to 1988, had a significant influence on the younger composer. “In China, you learn to be sociable, subservient to everyone. If necessary, you must be entirely at the disposal of society,” says Chen, who put that traditional philosophy in practice in 2008 as the music director for the Olympic Opening Ceremony in Beijing. “Messiaen was the first person to tell me you have to be true to yourself. This is fundamental for an artist, but few of us are brave enough to face the truth. It took me many years to discover who I really am.”

In His Own Words

On the Cultural Revolution:

“My father and mother were sent to a labor camp where people from many institutions were interned. I couldn’t visit them for several months. At my music school, there was a lot of violence as well. Many old people were arrested, accused of being large landowners, and beaten to death by students. Some students participated because they came from ‘counter-revolutionary’ families and wanted to prove that they were revolutionary. By 1970 my entire school was sent to barracks south of Beijing for ‘re-education.’ One of my friends, a piano student, completely lost her mind. A teacher also went crazy. One student tried to commit suicide. There was a lot of pressure. I learned a lot from these times. Those who survived can cope with life much better than they could before.”

On writing “Chinese” music:

“In China they always talk about our ‘national style.’ They claim our culture has a longer and more interesting history and is much stronger than Western culture. Yet we have no ‘style.’ That is the paradox …”

“In the West, I have the feeling that they put [us] into a group because we’re exotic. From an artistic point of view, we’re not part of the same group. Aesthetically, we are sometimes complete opposites.”

© 2001–2009 Carnegie Hall Corporation

Chinese Translation (Traditional Characters)
Chinese Translation (Simplified Characters)