Lang Lang releases new album in NYC, celebrating World Piano Day with traveling piano

A traveling piano placed in a transparent cargo van voyaged through New York City on Friday as a special way to mark the annual World Piano Day, making stops at various locations and attracting passersby.

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Photo: CGTN

The event also celebrated the global release of superstar Chinese pianist Lang Lang's new album "Piano Book," which was launched by Universal Music Group, an American global music corporation.

The 37-year-old pianist is one of the most celebrated pianists in China, who is famous for his passionate performance style. Lang brought performances to audiences worldwide at many of the most prestigious concert halls, including NYC's Carnegie Hall and London's Royal Albert Hall. 

As an award-winning musical performer, he was also featured at numerous big events, such as China's most viewed Spring Festival Galas and the 2008 Beijing Olympics opening ceremony.  

His new album "Piano Book" is a collection of classic pieces that he learned at a very young age and are some of his favorites, such as Ludwig van Beethoven's "For Alice" and Claude Debussy's "Moonlight."

Recorded at London's renowned Abbey Road Studio and his Beijing studio, the album is also a combination of western and eastern folk music, including the popular folk songs from different countries like Chinese "Mo Li Hua," Korean "Arirang," and English "Greensleeves."

Lang believed that folk music is essential for everyone to shape their cultural identity, saying that "After listening to these pieces, I developed a new insight into classical music, which made me realize how profound the influence of folk songs and dance on classical composers is."

"I traveled to various countries and experienced the amazing melodies in my journeys. Therefore, I want to show some of them on the new album," he added.

As the first new album in three years from the globally famed piano virtuoso, it aims to bring classical music to a global audience and spread the message that classical music is universal.

The traveling piano also echoed Lang Lang's ambition to share the joy of making music and inspire people from all backgrounds to fall in love with the piano, as he believes that "music makes life better."

Driving from midtown Manhattan's Lincoln Center and Bryant Park, to downtown's Union Square and Chinatown, the van became a traveling musical box, which drew amateur pianists and piano lovers to get inside to show their musical talent and passion.

In 2015, German pianist Nils Frahm declared the 88th day of a year as the World Piano Day, as modern standard pianos have 88 keys. It has been celebrated in dozens of cities around the world over the past years.