On September 18, 100 talented Ottawa students, paired on 50 Roland pianos, had the opportunity of a lifetime, when they joined world renowned piano virtuoso Lang Lang and Alexander Shelley on Southam Hall stage for 101 Pianists, a thrilling one-of-a-kind public masterclass and performance at the National Arts Centre.
“When I'm performing I feel really excited and just happy,” says 15-year-old Yuyang Xie, a student who participated in the event. Xie was particularly impressed by the unforgettable sound and energy he experienced on stage while performing Schubert’s Marche militaire, Op. 51, No 1 and Brahms’ Hungarian Dance No. 5 in F-sharp with so many others at once.
“It's just unbelievable the volume and richness of the sound when you are playing with 200 hands – actually 202 hands with Lang Lang,” he added.
The Lang Lang Foundation developed 101 Pianists as an opportunity for young piano students to learn from and perform with Lang Lang for audiences around the world. To date, these hugely successful events have unfolded in Paris, Berlin, London, Hong Kong and Rome, along with many other international cities inspiring over 100,000 audience members and 1200 piano students.
“Music is powerful. I want every child to have access to music experiences that ignite something wonderful inside of them, just as music delivered something incredible for me,” said Lang Lang.
Lang Lang, a Chinese-born piano superstar, became an international sensation when he was still a young man. He has performed on the world stage at the Beijing Olympic Games, and in 2009, he was listed in Time Magazine's 100 Most Influential People in the World. His unparalleled talent has been credited with inspiring millions of children to take up the piano in what has been dubbed “the Lang-Lang effect.”