Pianist Lang Lang receives Birmingham City University honour at Symphony Hall

Internationally-renowned Chinese pianist Lang Lang has been awarded a prestigious Honorary Doctorate from Birmingham City University at Symphony Hall.

The award was presented before the artist’s sold-out recital at Symphony Hall Birmingham on Friday 4 April, his only UK concert date this year, and was introduced by Anita Bhalla OBE, Chair of Performances Birmingham Ltd – the independent charity which manages Town Hall & Symphony Hall Birmingham.

Anita Bhalla, Prof David Roberts, Prof Cliff Allan and Lang Lang

Winner of the International Artist of the Year award at the Classic Brit Awards 2013, Lang Lang has been heralded as the “hottest artist on the classical music planet” by the New York Times, playing sell-out performances in major cities across the globe.

In China, he is said to have inspired more than 40 million Chinese children to learn to play the piano, a phenomenon referred to as “the Lang Lang effect”.

Charitable efforts including Lang Lang performing for ill children and delivering classical music recitals in under-served and remote communities, have led to the launch of the Lang Lang International Music Foundation, with its goals of cultivating tomorrow’s top pianists and championing music education.

The Chinese pianist recently performed for President Barack Obama and former President Hu Jin-Tao at the White House State Dinner, as well as for Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee celebratory concert at Buckingham Palace.

Professor Cliff Allan, Vice-Chancellor at Birmingham City University, presented Lang Lang with his Honorary Doctorate award from the University at the start of Friday evening’s recital.

Lang Lang performs on stage at Symphony Hall on Friday 4 April 2014

Lang Lang’s performance was part of the Birmingham International Concert Season 2013/14.

Images: Steve Thorne for THSH/BCU