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Special> Video> Latest
UPDATED: October 30, 2013
Chinese Pianist Designated UN Messenger of Peace

With exquisite melody floating in the air, renowned Chinese pianist Lang Lang, seated at a piano with his graceful fingers stroking out chords, used his own way to mark a special occasion -- a ceremony held at the UN Headquarters on October 28 where he was designated by as a UN Messenger of Peace.

Accepting a pin and certificate from UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Lang Lang, 31, said he was "really awed" by his new role and the responsibilities that come with it: helping children reach their goals in life through education.

"Children and music are my passion," he said. "Our youths are the leaders of tomorrow. We must give them the necessary tools to reach their goals in life, and make their dreams come true."

Lang, who has been a Goodwill Ambassador of the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) for the past 10 years, was selected by the UN chief as a United Nations Messenger of Peace with a focus on a key UN priority: getting 57 million children around the world who are currently not receiving an education into classrooms.

"It's a great honor" to be the first Messenger of Peace from China, Lang said.

"China has become a very important global player," he said. "I think especially the next generation of Chinese -- we would like to be much more open to work with different parts of the world, and I think the UN gives me the perfect platform to start looking into that."

Lang joins 11 other UN Messengers of Peace who advocate on behalf of the organization, including Brazilian author Paulo Coelho, primatologist Jane Goodall, cellist Yo-Yo Ma, as well as U. S. actors Michael Douglas, Edward Norton and Charlize Theron.

The Messenger of Peace is the highest honor bestowed by a UN chief on accomplished individuals in the fields of art, film, literature, music and sports who help raise global awareness of the organization's ideals and activities.

At the ceremony, Ban said, "Lang Lang is one of the most exciting and accomplished musicians of our time. He has performed for world leaders and worked with some of the greatest orchestras and maestros."

"Through his playful spirit and profound talent, Lang Lang connects people, not only through his music, but also through his passion to build a better world through education. I know Lang Lang's message will strike a chord from symphony halls to school halls," Ban said.

According to Ban, Lang will work with the organization on Global Education First Initiative, which aims to rally the international support for education, thus implementing the Millennium Development Goals and Education for All Goals.

Lang, who began to play piano at the age of three, has staged performances on many important occasions, including the opening ceremony of the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize ceremony for U.S. President Barack Obama and the Diamond Jubilee Concert for Queen Elizabeth of the United Kingdom at Buckingham Palace in 2012.

In his work with the UNICEF, Lang has helped raise awareness to ensure every child's right to quality health care and education. In addition, he has frequently used his music to raise funds for UNICEF and for humanitarian aid in emergencies, such as a special performance for a sold-out audience at Carnegie Hall in New York to benefit the UNICEF emergency response to the earthquake in Haiti.

Lang, who has his own foundation to promote music education, pledged to do his best to raise awareness of Global Education First Initiative, foster global citizenship as well as promote respect among different cultures.

The world-renowned pianist treated the crowded news conference to Chopin's Waltz Number 1, one of the beloved composer's most distinctive melodies.

"I think it's a very peaceful piece ... you just listen to it, it brings you to joy and wonderful feelings as well," he said.

Amid a cheering ovation. Lang offered an encore by playing a Chinese piece called "Seaweed Dance".

(CNTV.cn, Xinhua News Agency October 28, 2013)


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