Published: Monday February 18, 2013 MYT 8:57:00 AM
Piano superstar Lang Lang says concerts the ultimate high
PARIS: There is no high like playing before a live audience for Chinese-born classical superstar Lang Lang, who says it helps him "transform" into a better person and pianist.
The 30-year-old, who got a standing ovation after a performance late Saturday at the famed Paris auditorium Salle Pleyel, also said there was no shortcut to glory in the field of classical music.
"There are a million ways to learn music that can be more flexible but the process of practice you can't shorten it... You can't say I can practice one hour and that's it," he told AFP.
"I started to learn classical music when I was two," he said. "When I was eight, I used to practice six hours a day. You must do it."
Lang Lang, who is on tour for 300 days every year on average, finished recording Bartok's Concerto number 2 under the baton of Simon Rattle, with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, the day before the Paris concert.
He said there's no kick like a concert.
"It's the best. I love performance, this is my love, to perform on stage.
"I just believe I can transform on stage, I become more interested as a person, as a musician - the communication, sharing the thoughts... When you get a warm applause, it's the best encouragement you can get."
Lang Lang's parents - a professional musician and a telephone technician - made huge sacrifices for his career, spending nearly half of their annual income to buy him a piano before he was two.
His musician father quit his job when Lang Lang was nine to accompany him to Beijing when he gained a place at the Central Music Conservatory. - AFP