President Josep Maria Bartomeu and pianist Lang Lang at Camp Nou

President Josep Maria Bartomeu and pianist Lang Lang at Camp Nou. / PHOTO: VÍCTOR SALGADO - FCB

Chinese pianist Lang Lang is considered one of the greatest prodigies in the world of classical music and is currently in Barcelona to attend the closing of a camp for young performers organised by his Foundation. While in the city, he came to Camp Nou to share one of his other great passions in life, football.

The young Chinese artist was welcomed to the stadium on Saturday by club president Josep Maria Bartomeu, with whom he chatted at length about his reasons for being in the city and different aspects of Barça and football in general, as well how music and football are both such valuable vehicles for promoting values among young people.

Music on the Camp Nou pitch

Lang went down to pitch level, where he was able to enjoy the sensation of sitting at a piano not in a typical auditorium or concert hall, but in the vast emptiness of one of the most magnificent stadiums in the world. He played a few classical tunes before ending with his own interpretation of the Barça anthem.

He is in Barcelona on occasion of the second Junior Music Camp being run by the Lang Lang International Music Foundation, and sponsored by Allianz, which visits a different city each year.

The Catalan capital was the chosen venue for this year’s edition, which is being attended by 14 youngsters from different countries, who are spending six days sharing their love of music and exchanging experiences while also getting to know a new city. The first edition, in 2013, was held in Munich. The closure of the campus involves a master class by Lang himself on Saturday in the Auditorium for 500 guests.

The most brilliant pianist of this age

Lang Lang (Shenyang, China, 1982) is not just one of the most brilliant pianists of this age, but has also revolutionised classical music by making use of new technologies and social networks to promote the genre around the world, and especially among young people. More than 30 million young people in China are studying piano, largely inspired by what Lang has achieved. He has performed with some the most important orchestras in the world and also at several sports events, such as the closing ceremony at the Brazil 2014 World Cup and the opening ceremony of the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing.

He is also famed for his charity work, which are channelled through the Lang Lang International Music Foundation, and which seeks to train future talents, promote the use of technology in music education and encourage young people to take an interest in experiencing live music. During his conversation with President Bartomeu, one of the subjects that came up was the possibility of future collaborations with the FC Barcelona Foundation.

"A World figure"

During the visit, President Bartomeu expounded on the siginificance of the visit: “Lang Lang is a world figure and for him to come to FC Barcelona, knowing how much he likes football, will be a great help for uniting Barça with the many boys and girls that he is in touch with through music. Young people can be reached through sport, and they can also be reached, by doing things like this, through music.”

The Chinese pianist gave his analysis as well: “It was incredible to be able to play in such an amazing place as this legendary team’s stadium. I like Barça because they play so artistically. They play football like an art form. It is fantastic to watch how they play as a team with artists like Xavi, Messi and Iniesta on the pitch. Their style of play is the closest thing there is to music.”

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