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Together Again: Lang Lang Brings the Healing Power of Music to Hotchkiss

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Together Again: Lang Lang Brings the Healing Power of Music to Hotchkiss

October 04
17:05 2021
September 27, 2021, Lakeville Connecticut USA

Yesterday, a day after headlining the Global Citizen Live event in New York’s Central Park, superstar pianist Lang Lang brought his dazzling gifts to The Hotchkiss School in Connecticut, for an inspiring musical exchange with students.  Lang Lang, who performs with leading orchestras in China, Europe and the United States, is also a passionate advocate of music education, and a fervent believer in the power of music to unite people from around the world.

Last year, while quarantining in China, Hotchkiss student Oliver Chen had a brainstorm. The 18 year-old piano prodigy, who has studied with Lang Lang since childhood and played many times with him at charity concerts, proposed inviting Lang Lang to Hotchkiss to celebrate the new academic year and the resumption of live musical performances. Lang Lang enthusiastically accepted Oliver’s invitation.

Elfers Hall, Hotchkiss’ spectacular music center, was filled with anticipation as this extraordinary reunion unfolded. First, Hotchkiss students Kenny Zhang

and Ricky Shi took a master class with Lang Lang.  “What a privilege to have this opportunity to learn from Lang Lang.” said Zhang. “Music is a bridge to an enlightened life, and Lang Lang leads the way for students everywhere!”

Oliver then introduced his mentor. “My world was opened to music through studying with Lang Lang” he said, quipping that “my feet couldn’t even reach the pedals when we started playing piano together.”  Inspiration and joy followed as Lang Lang uplifted the 800-person Hotchkiss community with performances of Bach’s Goldberg Variations and Liszt’s Liebestraum. In the ensemble, Lang Lang and Oliver graciously performed Brahms’ Hungarian Dance No5; The music was passionate, the audience excited when they saw the students and the master shared the stage together, they stood up and cheered and applauded for a long time after the performence. Finally, Lang Lang and Fabio, hotchkiss’s music director, performed the Radetzky March, bringing the atmosphere to a climax again, more than 800 people beat and accompanied the song in unison. This exchange, with music as a bridge, will undoubtedly become one of the most successful events in the history of Hotchkiss school and will leave unforgettable memories for the 800 Hotchkiss people present.

Addressing the audience, Lang Lang said:  “How wonderful it is to be at Hotchkiss today! Music brings love and hope to all people of the world, and it is my great pleasure to encourage young people to enjoy music wherever I tour. For students, music is a bridge to a life of happiness and joy. I’m immensely gratified today to see Hotchkiss’ passionate commitment to music. Please join me, in the months and years ahead, in enjoying and appreciating music, and also employing it to build a better world, based on understanding, empathy and unity.”

Lang Lang’s gifts and mission extend far beyond music: he is also a powerful ambassador for peace and good will among nations. Through the Lang Lang International Music Foundation, he works all over the world to heal, unite and make us better people. In his remarks, Oliver encouraged his fellow students to emulate Lang Lang’s spirit of giving back to help the world. “As together we face global challenges, this is truly a lesson for us all.”

Representing Hotchkiss, Fabio Witkowski, Head of Visual and Performing Arts, Director of Music Technology, and Instructor in Piano, said: “Teenagers today have remarkably eclectic musical taste, so they are open to new ideas. For students who have not yet delved into classical music, this was an unparalleled opportunity to feel the music come to life!  Having Lang Lang as a guest on our campus was a tremendous honor for the School and our music program, and it is an experience we will never forget.”

About The Hotchkiss School

The Hotchkiss School (hotchkiss.org) is an independent boarding school located in Lakeville, CT, USA. Founded in 1891, the School provides an education of academic distinction to 620 students in grades 9 through 12. Students come from 31 countries and 37 U.S. states. Hotchkiss’s mission is to inspire a diverse range of students who are committed to the betterment of self and society, cultivating in them imagination and intellect, openness, personal integrity, empathy, and responsible citizenship. Hotchkiss was recently named the #2 independent school in the U.S. by niche.com.

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