Thursday, November 6, 2008

Lang Lang: Playing With Flying Keys

Lang Lang was born in China in 1982. He began playing the piano at the age of 3. His father, realizing his son was a true prodigy, began to dream of his son being "number one". Lang Lang shares his incredible journey from near-poverty to playing in Carnegie Hall and with many of the top symphonies in the world. It was not an easy journey, nor was it always happy. His father made him practice at least 12 hours a day! At the age of 8 he and his father move to Beijing to further his chances. Lang Lang is separated from his mother for most of the next ten years or so. He missed her terribly and she him, but the father saw their closeness as a hindrance to Lang's future. There are many more heart-breaking, as well as some joyful, moments in this biography adapted for a younger audience by Michael French from Lang Lang's original autobiography. Lang Lang's life shows us how intense competition is in China. He feels that due to each family only being allowed to have one child, that one child has an immense amount of pressure on them to represent their family, their village and their country.

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