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Lang Lang makes Montreux debut

[ 2009-07-07 11:43]     字号 [] [] []  
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Chinese piano virtuoso Lang Lang made his first appearance at the Montreux jazz festival on Sunday. Lang Lang teamed up with veteran Herbie Hancock in an audacious show blending classical and jazz music.

The two men, dressed in black, sat facing each other at twin grand pianos to perform a program ranging from Maurice Ravel to George Gershwin.

"I am very happy to debut here at this great jazz festival. Don't worry, there will be some jazzy stuff later on," Lang, 27, reassured the Swiss audience at the sell-out event.

"We're having a quiet party now," he said after the unlikely pair launched into Ralph Vaughan Williams' Concerto for Two Pianos and Orchestra. They were accompanied by the Orchestre National de Lyon, conducted by John Axelrod.

Lang, perhaps the best-known young pianist on the international stage, then played two stirring solos, Liebestraum by Franz Liszt and Tango.

He took up the piano at age 2 and gave his first public recital at the age of 5. Lang, who performed at the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics last August, lives in the United States.

Lang and Hancock are booked at London's Royal Albert Hall on Saturday, as part of a world tour culminating at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles next month. One could hear a pin drop in the celebrated Stravinski Auditorium, where only a day before Steely Dan and Dave Matthews led a hard-jamming Fourth of July party.

Festival founder Claude Nobs proposed that Lang and Hancock team up while attending the 2008 Grammy Awards in Los Angeles, where he watched an improvised performance by the two.

Hancock sat next to the spiky-haired Lang for Ravel's Mother Goose Suite, rearranged for four hands. He was making his 30th Montreux appearance at the 43-year-old festival.

Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue for Two Pianos and Orchestra mesmerized the crowd of all ages who paid up to 300 Swiss francs ($274) a ticket.

The pair ended with Franz Liszt's Hungarian Rhapsody No 2.

Producer and composer Quincy Jones was back in town for a few days and made a cameo appearance to introduce the pair. Jones co-produced the Swiss festival from 1991-93.

"I'm happy to play a tiny part in this momentous occasion," he said.


1. What were the two solos that Lang Lang performed?

2. Where are Lang and Herbie Hancock booked to play on Saturday?

3. Who is the founder of the Montreux festival?


1. Liebestraum by Franz Liszt and Tango.

2. London's Royal Albert Hall.

3. Claude Nobs.

(英语点津 Helen 编辑)

Lang Lang makes Montreux debut

About the broadcaster:

Lang Lang makes Montreux debut

Nancy Matos is a foreign expert at China Daily Website. Born and raised in Vancouver, Canada, Nancy is a graduate of the Broadcast Journalism and Media program at the British Columbia Institute of Technology. Her journalism career in broadcast and print has taken her around the world from New York to Portugal and now Beijing. Nancy is happy to make the move to China and join the China Daily team.