Lang Lang & Friends Gala Concert Dinner
Music Education Gets a Big Leg Up from New York’s Society & Philanthropists at Lang Lang & Friends Gala Concert Dinner honoring Joan H. Weill & Sanford I. Weill
3rd Annual Gala Raises Over $2,000,000 for Music Education in the U.S.
NEW YORK, NY (Oct 18, 2016) Last night, New York’s society and philanthropists gathered at Cipriani’s in New York City’s Financial District in support of music education. The Lang Lang International Music Foundation™ (LLIMF) headed by international classical pianist and superstar, Lang Lang and CEO, Leszek Lukas Barwinski-Brown, held its third annual Lang Lang & Friends Gala Concert Dinner to raise funds for its powerful programs that bring classical music education to public schools within some of the most underserved communities across the country. “Right now we service over 2,500 students in the U.S., not bad” said LLIMF Founder and President, Lang Lang. “My goal is to reach 20,000 students!” he exclaimed. The evening raised over $2 million in donations for the various programs operated by the Foundation including Keys of Inspiration™, 101 Pianists™ and Young Scholars. A total that more than doubled the fundraising efforts from the two previous galas.
Joan H. and Sanford I. Weill, known for their generous donations and work with New York City staples such as Carnegie Hall, Alvin Ailey, Weill Cornell Medicine, and National Academy Foundation, were honored with the LLIMF Lifetime Philanthropy Award. They gave a heartfelt speech on their long-time relationship with the global pianist prodigy, Lang Lang, who they have known since he was 17 years-old and urged guests to support this very important cause, emphasizing the importance of music education and the integrity of LLIMF and its leaders. “Lang Lang is the largest donor to this foundation,” said Sandy Weill, “very few people take money out of their own pocket to fund their own organization. Lang Lang is a unique individual. This is not something you see often.”
Students from Harlem’s P.S 46 Children’s Choir as well and Boston Arts Academy Jazz Quintet and Young Scholar pianists delighted guests with impressive performances throughout the night. Closing the evening were amazing performances by Grammy Award winning vocalist Michael Feinstein and an unforgettable last song by Lang Lang, along with and multi-platinum-selling, five-time Grammy-nominated recording artist, songwriter, Lisa Fischer with a voice-over by Tony and Emmy Award winning actor, Jeffrey Wright. The evening was chaired by philanthropists Judith-Ann Corrente & Chairwoman of the New York Metropolitan Opera, Ann Ziff. Other guests included Founder and CEO of Repechage – Skin Care Company Lydia and David Sarfati, music mogul, Lyor Cohen and wife, deputy chairman of Christie’s Asia, Xin Li, Blackberry CEO, John S. Chen, Co-founder and former Chairman of Qualcomm, Irwin M. Jacobs, Chief Marketing and Communications Officer for MasterCard, Raja Rajamannar, textile tycoon, Silas Chou, and media personality, writer and LLIMF Honorary Ambassador Dr. Chiu-Ti Jansen, among many others.