Alec Baldwin hosted and John Paulson chaired The Lang Lang International Music Foundation™ (LLIMF) 10th Anniversary Gala Concert Dinner funding the organization’s efforts to educate, inspire, and motivate the next generation of music lovers and performers.
Grammy Award winner Wyclef Jean, Grammy Award nominee Ledisi and Internationally acclaimed tenor Roberto Alagna performed. Lang Lang, the world-renowned pianist who created the foundation, led a special performance featuring the foundation’s young scholars.
“I really feel that this is a good beginning. I think the next ten years will be even easier to build up,” said Lang Lang.
Sandy Weill, Chairman of the Board of Directors at LLIMF, presented a special award to Joan and Irwin Jacobs, who were honored for their contributions to classical arts.
Guests included Catherine Azmoodeh, Charles Atkins and Lisa Simonsen, Tony Bechara, Olivier Berrgruen, Christopher Burch & Monika Chiang, Andre Barwinski-Brown, Kelly Cutrone, Colin Cowie, Christina Cressey, Dushan Di Concilio, Brian and Joanna Fisher, Judith M. Hoffman, Robert Hormats, David Hryck, Joan Khan, John and Jenny Paulson, Sana Sabbagh, Elizabeth Segerstrom, Daisy Soros, Allyson Tang, Benny Tabatabai, Suzanne Vega and Paul Mills, Sandy Weill and Joan Weill, Jason Wu, Dr. Ruth Westheimer, Shirley Young, and Ann Ziff.
In ten years, LLIMF has successfully developed music education programs benefiting children across the world including 101 Pianists™, Young Scholars™ and Play It Forward™ and Keys of Inspiration™ (KOI), one of the most influential programs of the foundation, which weaves rigorous, keyboard-centric musical instruction into the mandatory curriculum of selected Title 1 public schools-integrating group piano classes for grades 2 to 5, twice a week.
“We believe that if music just disappears from children’s fundamental studies, that would be the most tragic thing,” Lang Lang told the room. “We have to inspire kids to learn music.”
KOI started in 2013 with only two schools and 300 students. As of September 2018, it has 40 schools enrolled in the program from across the country, reaching over 16,000 students.
“Utilizing a strategic expansion plan, KOI will reach 30,000 students in 80 schools by 2020,” noted chief Executive Officer of LLIMF, Leszek Barwinski-Brown.
For more information, visit langlangfoundation.org.