Lang Lang announced as Global Ambassador for the Leeds International Piano Competition


World famous Chinese concert pianist, Lang Lang, has been announced as Global Ambassador for the Leeds International Piano Competition and will visit the Competition on Sunday 9 September.

This highest honour, bestowed on him by Dame Fanny Waterman, Chairman and Artistic Director of the Competition, is in recognition of the tremendous contribution that Lang Lang has made to classical music and the piano throughout the world since he rose to fame in 1994. Heralded as the ‘hottest artist on the classical music planet’ by the New York Times, he has played sold out recitals and concerts in every major city in the world and is the first Chinese pianist to be engaged by the Vienna Philharmonic, Berlin Philharmonic and all the top American orchestras.

Dame Fanny Waterman is delighted that Lang Lang will be the Global Ambassador for this world famous Competition and is looking forward to him visiting 'The Leeds'. She added: “In his chosen repertoire he is absolutely exemplary. Lang Lang has a pair of hands every pianist would envy. He has watched the Leeds International Piano Competition since he was a boy and has been inspired by Leeds prize winners Radu Lupu and Murray Perahia. He has a star quality that no teacher can teach – he makes people listen.”

Following his acceptance of the Global Ambassador title, Lang Lang was introduced to Dame Fanny Waterman by Sir David Tang (a supporter and major sponsor of the Competition). Lang Lang commented: “I am a pianist performing throughout the world, and I don’t think there has been a concert hall around the globe that has not felt the impact of The Leeds International Piano Competition in the great names it has helped on their way. I am truly honoured to be associated with this tradition, and I can only say that Dame Fanny Waterman’s vision will live on as a positive force for many years to come. Thanks for the inspiration to all of us.”

Lang Lang performed at the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Concert at Buckingham Palace this year and also in the Beijing’s opening ceremony for the Games of the XXIX Olympiad, where he was seen as a symbol of the youth and the future of China and has inspired over 40 million Chinese children to learn to play the classical piano.

He recently launched the ‘Lang Lang International Music Foundation’ with the mission of inspiring the next generation of classical music lovers and performers by cultivating tomorrow’s top pianists, championing music education at the forefront of technology, and building a young audience through live music experiences.

Tickets for The Leeds International Piano Competition are £5.00 per session for the 1st and 2nd Stages; £6.00 for the Semi Finals and between £14.00 and £48.00 for the Finals. They are available from or on tel: +44 (0)113 224 3801. For more information about the Competition visit

The Competition is presented in partnership with Steinway & Sons, the University of Leeds, and Leeds City Council.

Further information:

Contact: University of Leeds Communications & Press Office: Tel +44 (0)113 343 4031, email

Notes to editors

Lang Lang
For further background information about Lang Lang visit

Sir David Tang
Sir David Tang is sponsoring bursaries of £100 to all the performers in the First Stage of the Competition and also Audience Prizes, a new initiative this year. A member of the audience who matches the jury votes can win £200 at each of the first three stages of the Competition.

Audience members can cast their vote for up to: 30 competitors to proceed to the Second Stage; 12 competitors to proceed to the semi-finals and 6 competitors to proceed to the finals and only one voting form may be submitted per person per stage. The closest match to the Jury results in each stage will win £200.