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luxe living Lang Lang

Lang Lang luxe living

By Janice Jann

成功之鑰

KEYS TO SUCCESS 儘管童年十分動蕩,全球知名的古典音樂家朗朗十七歲就揚名國際。除了精湛的 演出,朗朗對傳承音樂的熱情也讓人欣賞。

Despite a tumultuous childhood, world-renowned classical pianist Lang Lang propelled to rock of 17. Unlike some musical superstars, however, it’s Lang Lang’s passionate endeavors to pass music that strikes all the right chords.

stardom at the tender age onto the next generation

改變人生的關鍵時刻-對世界知名的音樂家朗朗來說,改變人生的關鍵時刻就是他十 七歲時的ㄧ通深夜電話。這通電話臨時邀請他在「世紀晚宴」中與芝加哥交響樂團一同演 奏柴可夫斯基的協奏曲。朗朗回憶說「那真的很讓人難以置信,我父親還以為那是在開玩 笑。但我卻相信那是真的。」很快的,隔天上午父子兩人就飛往芝加哥。 與芝加哥交響樂團的表演讓朗朗一夜成名,這位鋼琴神童開始在各地極受歡迎的音樂 會中演出。登上時代雜誌最具影響力的100人的名單,朗朗得到愛迪達、索尼、奧迪等國 際品牌贊助,從鋼琴到書寫工具都以他為名,朗朗現象隨之而起,不僅鼓舞了中國四千萬 學習古典鋼琴的學生,更以宛如搖滾巨星之姿風靡全球古典音樂界。 雖然成名非常快速,但對朗朗來說,在這一刻來臨之前,他已經準備數年之久。生於 中國瀋陽的朗朗三歲就開始彈奏鋼琴,當時他看完卡通「湯姆與傑利」之後,就曾嘗試彈 奏其中李斯特的匈牙利狂想曲。發現朗朗具有鋼琴天賦,他的雙親用盡大部份的積蓄幫朗 朗買了台鋼琴。朗朗演奏中國傳統樂器二胡的父親朗國任對他有很大的影響。朗朗說「父 親非常嚴格但也非常愛我,我非常相信他。」 朗國任對朗朗的訓練要求非常嚴格。五歲時,雙親幫朗朗買了台鋼琴,他的父親繼 而陪他搬到北京,在窘困的經濟狀況下,他們還請家教希望協助朗朗進入北京中央音樂學

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luxe living Lang Lang

Lang Lang luxe living

院。他的母親則留在瀋陽,成為一家三口的經濟支柱。「在北京,我 們租的是最便宜的地方,房間的牆壁薄如紙。然後鄰居不滿我五點早 上起來練琴,他們會朝我們家丟東西,我很怕,擔心自己會被鄰居 打。」「我一天有65%的時間都在練琴,上午一小時,下課後下午以 及黃昏也在練習,練完琴我就開始做功課。」父子兩人都在這樣的壓 力之下生活。 儘管這並不是我們訪問的主題,但朗朗曾在他的自傳「朗朗,千 里之行:我的故事」中透露,有一天下午,朗朗戲稱為「生氣先生」 的鋼琴家教決定不再教他鋼琴之後,朗朗的父親完全失控。他大聲叫 到「一切都太晚了!都完了!」他甚至把一罐抗生素丟給朗朗,要朗 朗自殺。朗朗後來以同樣失控的情緒讓父親平息下來。朗朗說「後來 我也失控了。我開始捶牆,想說如果弄傷雙手就作不成音樂家。我討 厭一切,我恨父親、恨鋼琴,也恨我自己。忽然父親與我都停下了… 我忘了是我還是我父親奪門而出,然後,我不想再練習鋼琴。那之後 整整有三個月我都沒練琴。」 最終,朗朗的父親還是為朗朗找了新的家教,朗朗又重新開始練 琴。十歲時,朗朗獲得全額獎學金進入北京中央音樂學院就讀。父子 兩人就繼續在北京不慎理想的生活環境中生活,直到朗朗十五歲到美 國就讀為止。 到費城念書的朗朗面臨一個艱困的現實:「搬到美國之後,我發 現『第一』只是個夢想。我們只能要求自己全力以赴,然後希望有很 好的結果。」朗朗的父親也開始轉變:「到美國以後,我父親發現美 國的環境比較自由開放,當時他還是堅信中國嚴格的教育方式。但在 我們接觸許多來自世界各地的音樂家之後,他的想法也漸漸改變了。 現在五十八歲的他個性變了很多,他不再逼我。其實在我過了二十二 歲以後父親就讓我自由發展了。」 父親對朗朗的放鬆也許意外開啟朗朗另一面。自此,朗朗不僅 已精湛的琴藝風靡樂壇,同時也以他彈奏時狂放自由的魅力深獲人 心。芝加哥論壇報的樂評以「多年鋼琴演奏會中最讓人振奮的鋼琴新 秀」形容他,指揮家林望傑則說「朗朗的獨特來自他精湛的技巧… 他有種獨特的天分以及撼動人心的力量」,英國泰唔士報記者Emma Pomfret則形容他「古典樂界再沒有其他人能展現像朗朗這樣的魅 力」。 現在二十八歲地朗朗已不再像過去那樣嚴苛地練習。即使他仍要 求自己每天練琴兩小時,但演奏會前,他會休息一下,來點巧克力以 及草莓。他享受他的名聲和天分帶來的認同,但他也坦承,這份榮耀 的另一面也是相當大的責任。 雖然朗朗笑著說,如果有可能,他要考慮轉行當脫口秀主持人。 但從他的舉動看來,下一代才是他最重視的目標。他說「將古典音樂 融入下一代的生活一直是我的目標,也是我目前努力的方向。」「我 在2008年時成立我的基金會,然後將相關的教育計畫推廣到全球。 我知道有越來越多的小孩開始接觸音樂,但這還不夠,離我的目標依 然還有一段距離,當然我也會繼續努力。」 鼓舞世界的同時,朗朗也受到其他音樂家的影響。他曾說「魯賓 斯汀、霍洛維茨,阿格里企,普萊亞,巴倫坡因,布倫戴爾,普雷特 涅夫…我在許多方面深獲他們的啟發。」「有些音樂家以音樂以及他 們創造的樂章讓我深受鼓舞,有的則是透過他的某個行為,像是巴倫 波音在以色列藉由音樂集結人心的舉動,就讓我非常感動。」 即使朗朗希望能將自己的所學和對音樂的瞭解貢獻給世界。如果 未來有了下一代,朗朗對自己的小孩倒希望採行非常寬容的態度。 「我會讓他們自己決定要不要彈鋼琴,不會強迫他們作任何事 情。」「但一旦他們決定之後,我就會嚴格但鼓勵地要求他們努力。 」 對於下一代,他又有什麼建議? 「一分努力,一分收穫。堅持夢想,不輕言放棄就會成功。」這,也 正是朗朗成功的寫照。

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luxe living Lang Lang

I

t was a single moment that changed everything.   For world-renowned classical pianist, Lang Lang, that moment was a phone call he received late one night when he was 17 years old. The call that asked him be a last-minute substitute at the "Gala of the Century," playing a Tchaikovsky concerto with the Chicago Symphony. "[It was] very dramatic. At the beginning, my dad thought it was a joke," Lang remembers, "But I was quite sure it was real." Both father and son flew to Chicago the next morning. Lang Lang's performance with the Chicago Symphony turned him into an overnight sensation and the piano prodigy began to play at sold-out concerts around the world. He has since been on the TIME 100 Most Influential list, is sponsored by international brands including Adidas, Sony, and Audi, has pianos and pens made after him, stirred up the "Lang Lang effect"-- inspiring China's 40 million classical piano students and is famous universally as a rock star in classical music.  Even though it was that single moment that transformed Lang Lang into the piano superstar that he is known as today, it took years for the piano virtuso to prepare himself for greatness. Born in Shenyang, China, Lang Lang started playing piano when he was 3 years old.  Lang Lang first felt the urge to tap on the keyboards after he caught an episode of the cartoon Tom & Jerry when they played the Liszt's Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2. Inspired by their son's musical gift, his parents used up most of their savings to purchase their only son a piano. Lang Lang's father, Lang Guoren, a musician himself who played the twostring Chinese traditional instrument, "erhu," was an imposing figure in the young man's early upbringing.  "He is strict but he loves me very much," Lang Lang says. "I feel confident with him."    Lang Guoren's training regiment was certainly strict. When young Lang Lang won his first piano at age 5, Lang Lang's father moved with his son to Beijing and hired a private tutor to increase his chances of study-

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ing at the Central Conservatory of Music in spite of the family's dire financial circumstances. Lang Lang’s mother stayed behind in Shenyang, providing the only paycheck for the family of three. "We rented the cheapest place in a bad neighborhood," says Lang Lang. "The walls were thin – almost like paper – and the neighbors were pissed off because I practiced at 5am. They would throw punches at our door and I was scared that I would get beaten up. In the morning I practiced for one hour, and after school I practiced the whole afternoon and early evening and then I would do homework. I was practicing 65% of the time." All the stress took its toll on both father and son. Though the subject was not broached in our interview, Lang Lang recalls the difficult early years in his autobiography, Journey of a Thousand Miles.  As paraphrased in The UK Guardian, Lang Lang had described one afternoon when the young pianist's tutor, who Lang Lang nicknamed "Professor Angry," decided to stop teaching him. Lang Lang's father lost it, screaming, "It's too late for everything! Everything is ruined!" Lang Guoren even threw a bottle of antibiotic pills at his son, urging him to kill himself.  Lang Lang was finally able to bring his father back to his senses in an equally dramatic manner. "I got totally crazy too," says Lang Lang. "I was beating the wall, trying to prevent myself from being a pianist by destroying my hands. I hated everything: my father, the piano, myself. I went nuts too. And then somehow, we just stopped. My father went out or I ran out – I can't remember, but somehow we stopped. After that I didn't want to play piano any more. For three months, I didn't touch the piano."  Lang Lang eventually did resume playing the piano and he had his father find him another teacher.  When Lang Lang was 10, he was admitted into the conservatory with a full scholarship. Father and son endured the slums of Beijing until Lang Lang was finally able to come to America to study at the age of 15. In Philadelphia, where Lang Lang continued his education, the young

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luxe living Lang Lang

Lang Lang luxe living

musician faced a harsh realization. "After moving to the US, I realized that [being] No.1 was a wish. You just need to be the best [you can be], and then you [will] probably have a pretty good result." And Lang Lang's father also began to change. "When we came to America, my father could see that the American system was much more relaxed. At that time he said he still believed in the Chinese way. But as we met different musicians from different countries, his opinion changed. He is 58 now and his personality has totally changed, he doesn't push me any more. When I turned 22, he let go." Letting go is a mentality that served Lang Lang well. Lang Lang has since captivated the world with not only his mastery in piano-playing but also in the wildly untamed charisma he brings onstage. A Chicago Tribune music critic called him "the biggest, most exciting young keyboard talent I have encountered in many a year of attending piano recitals." The conductor Jahja Ling remarked, "Lang Lang is special because of his total mastery of the piano... He has the flair and great communicative power." The Times journalist Emma Pomfret wrote, "I can think of no other classical artist who has achieved Lang Lang's broad appeal without dumbing down." Now 28, Lang Lang's practice regimen is no longer as rough.  Though he still tries to practice two hours everyday, before a recital, Lang Lang prefers to "take a nap and eat chocolate and strawberries." He enjoys the fame and recognition his talents have brought him but also recognizes that while it's an honor, it also brings him great responsibilities. The pianist has said with a smile that he would consider an alternative career as a talk show host but as his efforts would indicate, Lang Lang clearly has a heart for children. "Bringing classical music to the life of the next generation has always been my goal and is also what I'm working on," Lang Lang says, "I launched  my foundation in 2008 to [create] educational programs all over the world. I can tell that more and more children are getting closer to music, but [it's] not enough. I have a long way to go and I will continue my efforts as much as possible." Lang Lang is also inspired by other musicians. The pianist once said, "Rubinstein and Horowitz, Argerich, Perahia, Barenboim, Brendel, Pletnev... their life stories inspire me."  These musicians’ inspirations come from different places. "Some musicians inspire me through their music and the sound they create," Lang Lang says, "[Others] through their goodwill, like what Barenboim does in Israel: bring great people together through music." As much as Lang Lang is hoping to spread the power and knowledge of music to the world, for his own future children, the pianist is understandably relenting in his parenting skills. "I will leave for themselves to decide if to play or not, I will not force them to do anything," Lang Lang says, "But once they decide so, I will be strict but encouraging." As to what sorts of advice he would provide his kids? "No pain, no gain. Never give up, hold onto your dreams and you'll make it." After all, the man is a living example to this testament. 

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儘管童年十分動蕩,全球知名的古典音樂家朗朗十七歲就揚名國際。除了精湛的 演出,朗朗對傳承音樂的熱情也讓人欣賞。 朗國任對朗朗的訓練要求非常嚴格。五歲時,雙親幫朗朗買了台鋼琴,他的父親繼 而陪他搬到北京,在窘困的經濟狀況下,他們還請家教希望協助朗朗進入北京中央音樂學 By Ja...

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