101 Pianists

The 101 PIANISTS performances aim to inspire the next generation of music lovers and performers by engaging 100 young pianists in a unique social musical event with Lang Lang. Guided by Lang Lang’s encouraging teaching style, these young piano enthusiasts celebrate their love of playing, experiment with collaboration with other musicians, and enjoy the inherently social nature of the traditionally solo piano during a master class and public performance. The participants create a joyous sound magnified one hundred times over and provide an extraordinary show for their local youth community who comprise the majority of the audience.

INSPIRATION
In 2009 Lang Lang brought 100 pianists together for a unique performance that produced something greater than any single performer could create alone. The event was a celebration of the beauty and social nature of the piano. The Lang Lang International Music Foundation recreates this magic in wonderful venues around the world and these events have been described by the media and host institutions as “extravaganzas!”

This program has been conducted in San Francisco, Berlin, London, China and Toronto, and others are in development.  These events are welcomed by the communities where they are conducted and applauded by the students who participate.  The participants are inspired by the opportunity to perform with Lang Lang and the audience benefits from the live performance and the opportunity to observe the master class by a naturally engaging teacher.

THE PROGRAM
The 101 Pianists program lasts approximately three hours. After registration and instrument assignments, the piano students participate in a sound check and rehearsal with staff from the partner music institution. Next, the senior piano instructors and pace keepers lead a master class with the kids before the audience enters the performance space. In the second part of the event, the audience will not only be entertained, but also educated by the creative master class conducted by Lang Lang that breaks out the arrangement by participant level. They will then hear the final performance of the pieces by the 101 pianists (100 students plus Lang Lang) all performing together in harmony, and the event wraps up with a Q&A session with Lang Lang and the audience.

PERFORMANCE PIECES
Lang Lang performs and interprets Franz Schubert’s Marche Militaire No. 1 op.51 and Johannes Brahms’ Hungarian Dance No. 5 for piano four hands, together with the selected piano students. These popular pieces of piano literature offer a great opportunity in an unusual setting for 100 piano students to work with Lang Lang.

TEACHERS
These intense and fun events are led personally by Lang Lang with support from respected local music teachers selected by the Foundation and its partners. The teachers are critical in the preparation leading up to the workshop as they are the key point of contact for the students in advance of the event and during the event for music-related questions and guidance.

THE 100 PIANO STUDENTS
The participants in the program are selected at least three months prior to the event through a selection process organized by a partner music institution with input and shared best practices from the Lang Lang Foundation. Participants will be asked to apply by completing an application and providing details about their piano skills and their motivation for wanting to perform during this event. Two different arrangements of the pieces will be created, allowing piano students of all skill levels to participate in the event. All of the pianists are to be age between 6 and 18, and an attempt will be made to include pianists across the entire experience spectrum and from a variety of demographic and ethnic backgrounds. Participants will be encouraged to apply as couples, but individuals will also be invited to apply and will be accepted.

MUSICIAN PREPARATION
At least three months prior to the workshop, each selected participant will receive a packet to prepare for the event which will include a welcome message from Lang Lang and the sponsoring music institution, sheet music for the selected performance piece (in the arrangement suited for their skill level), a brief history of the musical selection and its composers, and additional information about the event.  The students are encouraged to practice with their partner or individually for the months leading up to the event and to engage their current music teachers in the preparation for the performance if that is an available option.

EQUIPMENT
2 Steinway grand pianos
9 pianos
40 digital pianos

At least one Steinway grand piano is required for Lang Lang to perform on as a Steinway artist. The second grand is recommended for a pair of experienced pianists who help set the tempo for the fleet of pianists. The other instruments can be a mix of uprights and/or digital pianos. If digital pianos are used, it is necessary to ensure there is enough electricity to power the keyboards. It was determined that amplification was not necessary in most locations, but enough space for seats and stands are necessary.

A large setting is necessary to ensure that all of the pianos / keyboards fit on a stage. An acoustically friendly space is highly recommended with seating all around.

THE AUDIENCE
The participant and audience experience can be greatly enhanced by posting a large screen behind the pianists to stream the workshop or display messages from audience members, or show Lang Lang’s private photo collection and excerpts from Tom & Jerry cartoon. Additional technology can also be set up to project (real-time onto a separate large screen) the keyboards of the grand pianos so that the performers and the audience can see the hands of Lang Lang and the two experienced pianists on the keys. Projection is usually an additional cost depending on the equipment rental fees and set up.

TECHNOLOGY
The participant and audience experience can be greatly enhanced by posting a large screen behind the pianists to stream the workshop or display messages from audience members, or show Lang Lang’s private photo collection and excerpts from Tom & Jerry cartoon. Additional technology can also be set up to project (real-time onto a separate large screen) the keyboards of the grand pianos so that the performers and the audience can see the hands of Lang Lang and the two experienced pianists on the keys. Projection is usually an additional cost depending on the equipment rental fees and set up.

WEBSITE
The 101 Pianist section of the foundation’s website, will feature information from each city’s event including posts from participants about their experience practicing and participating in the workshop, videos, photos and media news coverage from the event.

WHAT THIS PROGRAM ACHIEVES
100 piano students participating in the master class enjoy first-hand experience of playing with an inspiring professional pianist and a naturally engaging teacher when they interact with Lang Lang during the workshop. A child who participated in a past event said “being in the same room with Lang Lang under his musical leadership is thrilling and inspiring”. The students experience the audition process, engage in intense practice leading up to the event, and learn technical skills during the workshop, and participate in a live performance that builds confidence and skills for future performances. The piano students not only come from very different musical training, they also meet at the event for the first time. They face the great challenge of performing four-hands in public with a partner that they did not necessarily know before. Many of the piano students are influenced by this unique opportunity and this experience will impact their appreciation and love for piano and classical music for years to come and develop social skills that will benefit them greatly in the future.

The community benefits from hosting a unique event in their local area focused on community music-making, developing personal connections, promoting a shared experience, developing group cohesion and sincere mutual respect between musicians. The community is recognized for its support of the arts, and music specifically, and by embracing opportunities to culturally enrich the lives of its community members through events that provide opportunities to children in under-severed communities to hear engaging live music performances.

Audience members will experience a live workshop conducted by an experienced professional, view a unique social piano community event, and a performance by Lang Lang.

Teachers of the 100 piano students are encouraged to work with the young pianists to prepare for the event and they are also invited to attend the workshop and performance with the hopes that they too, will be inspired and learn something from the event that will support their own professional development. They also benefit by having students who participate in this event who return event more motivated by their unique experience and hopefully with even greater dedication and passion for their musical studies.

Music education departments of symphonies and orchestra exist to provide music education to today’s youth and others. By partnering with the Foundation and the other partners in conducting this unique event, these music education departments are directly supporting their own organizational mission. By making music education experiences available to young students and audiences and supporting a respected musician in his charitable efforts, the music education department is a connector of talent with students through a unique social youth event.

Sponsors embrace and support a unique music education program that demonstrates their commitment to youth, education, community development, and the arts (specifically music). By supporting this event, Sponsors brand these events and visibly show to the participants, the audience, the media, and the public that they see great value in bringing unique cultural events to their local communities. The Foundation works individually with each sponsor to create a sponsorship package that meets their corporate or personal objectives. Sponsors will name the “Lang Lang International Music Foundation 101 Pianists event sponsored by _____x_____”. Sponsors are recognized in the event invitations and program, on the Foundation’s website, and in other promotional materials, and they receive the rights to use the photos and videos from the event. Sponsors are encouraged to invite guests to the event and meet with Lang Lang before or after the event. The Foundation will work to secure media coverage in partnership with event sponsors. Other opportunities proposed by the Sponsor for recognition will also be considered.

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