In the name of the father

By Chen Jie (China Daily)
Updated: 2008-06-16 10:33

"When professor Zhu suggested us to move to Beijing, I hesitated for a while because it meant we had to give up many things in Shenyang and the life of the family would totally change," he said.

"But for the future of Lang Lang, we would like to do everything."

They rented an apartment in Beijing and started a lonely and hard life in the city without the support of friends or relatives.

Because he was not a Beijing citizen, Lang Lang had to pay extra money to the primary and middle schools attached to Central Conservatory of Music.

In the afternoon, he studied piano with a teacher of the Central Conservatory of Music.

"The first year in Beijing was pretty hard. I was father, mother, maid, chef, play partner and the assistant teacher everyday," Lang says.

The only thing that made the tough father angry was when Lang Lang slackened off.

"At that time I was afraid of my father and longed for my mother. But I never hated my father," Lang recalls.

"My father was very stern and strict with me but the point is, I was never forced to play the piano.

"I really enjoy playing the keyboard and it was my own choice. I had the ambition to be a piano master when I was 5 and my parents helped me achieve the goal."

In 1994, Lang won fifth place in a national competition, however the Ministry of Culture would only pay for the top four players to participate the Anderlinger Youth Piano Competition in Germany.

Believing that an international competition would help broaden Lang Lang's horizons, Lang senior borrowed 50,000 yuan from relatives and friends. Lang Lang repaid his father's faith by winning first prize. It was his first world champion.

"I was very strict with Lang Lang, but he understands me and works very hard," says Lang senior.

"What I want to say is as the parents, you can do anything for your son regardless of any repayment."

(China Daily 06/16/2008 page8)

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