Chinese concert pianist Lang Lang returned to the stage, at a lush garden cocktail party at Christopher Burch’s Southampton estate, Tuesday night, in anticipation of the Lang Lang International Music Foundation’s 10th anniversary October 10th Manhattan gala.
The Foundation provides education for young talented musicians in both China, where Lang Lang grew up, and America, where he received his teen age education and the international arena at large.
Phenom pianists Alice Resigner and Maxim Lando, who often open for Lang Lang, also performed. “This private performance was a little preview of what will be a triumphant return Friday, at the opening of Tanglewood,” Jonathan Marder told us. “So this was very, very special.”
It was special in a different way for Hamptons host Chris Burch. “Lang Lang and I spent the whole day gardening, so I’d like to congratulate Lang Lang on these beautiful flowers,” Burch told his guests. “He told me that he also started playing piano a year ago, so I’m very excited to hear this.”
“Music made me a better person and I want to give it back,” Lang Lang told Hamptons.com. “Our aim is to help the next generation of artists to give them the chance to shine on the world stage. We also have programs to try to bring piano back to public schools. Kids need opportunities as professional musicians to have the chance to go to the next level. They need scholarships and great teachers. We provide the full package.”
“We have already motivated more than 250,000 children around the world,” Leszek Lukas Barwinski-Brown, Lang Lang International Music Foundation’s CEO, told the attractive group assembled on Burch’s sweeping lawn. For underserved communities, they founded a Keys of Inspiration program, collaborating with Title 1 schools to give materials and training to the teachers. “We started only a few years ago and this September, we will collaborate with 40 schools and teach over 6,000 children. My goal is to reach more than 30,000 children in over 80 schools across the country in the next two years.”
Taking his bows, Lang Lang paid homage to a tiny woman in the first row. It was Dr. Ruth Westheimer. “Ah, yes,” she told us. “I have known him a long time.”
For more information about the Lang Lang International Music Foundation, visit langlangfoundation.org.