Chinese pianist Lang Lang becomes UN messenger of peace

Ban Ki-moon and Lang Lang Ban Ki-moon was at the ceremony marking Lang Lang's appointment

Related Stories

Award-winning Chinese concert pianist Lang Lang has been made a messenger of peace by the United Nations.

Lang Lang, who has been a goodwill ambassador for UNICEF for 10 years, will have a special focus providing education for young people.

The 31-year-old said he was "really awed" by his new role and the responsibility that comes with it.

A messenger of peace is the highest honour bestowed by the UN on accomplished individuals in any field.

Lang Lang joins 11 other prominent figures including Stevie Wonder, George Clooney, Brazilian author Paulo Coelho and conductor Daniel Barenboim who also advocate on behalf of the UN.

He is the first messenger of peace from China.

"Last night, I couldn't sleep thinking about it," he said.

'Children and music my passion'

"Playing concerts [is] one thing, but to give back to the society, I think is even more important as a human being," he said.

UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon said Lang Lang's focus will be getting the 57 million children around the world who are currently not receiving an education into classrooms - a key UN priority.

Mr Ban said Lang Lang first became interested in piano "as a three-year-old watching Tom and Jerry cartoons".

He is now "one of the most exciting and accomplished musicians of our time," performing with leading orchestras around the world, he added.

Once named as one of the 100 most influential people in the world, Lang Lang also works with talented students to help them to be musicians, through a foundation he established five years ago.

"Children and music are my passion,'' he said, adding that he hopes to expand the foundation's work in the US and the rest of the world, including China.

Lang Lang played Chopin's Waltz No 1 at the ceremony to mark his new job and was then asked whether he would be ready to go to Syria or another danger zone.

"When the time comes, I would love to do it," he said.

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

More Entertainment & Arts stories



  • An undated file photo posted on 27 August 2014 by the Raqqa Media Center of the Islamic State group, showing IS fighters waving the group's flag from a damaged government fighter jet in Raqqa, Syria.Adapt or die?

    IS militants seem to be changing tactics after air strikes

  • signClean and tidy

    Things that could only happen in a Hong Kong protest

  • Child eating ice creamTooth top tips

    Experts on ways to encourage children to look after their teeth

  • Almaz cleaning floorAlmaz's prison

    Beaten and raped - the story of an African servant in Saudi Arabia

  • Train drawn by Jonathan Backhouse, 1825Original 'geeks'

    What hobby did this drawing start in 1825?

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.