Lang Lang puts something in his mouth before the interview. He is connected via video from Shanghai, sitting in front of white curtains with thick art director glasses and a T-shirt.
Lang Lang, 38, is one of the great pianists of our time. He was born in Shenyang, China, and his name translates as "brilliant mind".
Lang's father forced his son to play the piano when he was two and a half years old. He made him practice every day. Lang played in front of an audience for the first time when he was five. When he was nine years old and a teacher was dissatisfied with him because Lang did not seem good enough, the father suggested that the son jump off the balcony. Lang continued practicing, became a student at the Central Conservatory in Beijing and at the age of 15 at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, USA.
When Lang was 17 years old, the pianist of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra was canceled. Lang jumped in. He played Tchaikovsky's 1st piano concerto. He later said he imagined Michael Jordan doing slam dunk when he was playing the first notes. Lang Lang became a star overnight with this performance.