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Black Tie International:
Lang Lang International Music Foundation®
Young Scholars Graduation Concert

Photo by: Lanna Apisukh
Photo by: Lanna Apisukh
Lang Lang International Music Foundation® gathered friends at Carnegie Hall Thursday evening for their to celebrate the second Young Scholars Graduation Concert, held in the Weill Recital Hall. Sandy Weill (Sanford I. Weill) is a member of the Board of Directors. The graduation performance marked the culmination of their two year stints of study under the tutelage of the Lang Lang Foundation, during which time they performed on stages and in festivals all over the world. 

Five of the nine graduating Young Scholars displayed their talents and passions by performing mesmerizing selections from Chopin, Liszt and Beethoven for a captivated audience. 

Introducing them was Lukas Barwinski-Brown, the exuberant CEO of the Foundation, who said, “I really feel very emotional today. I feel like a Proud papa!” A fitting description by Lukas, who by his own account has known some of these proteges since they were 10 years old. 

 The young prodigies included Aliya Alsafa, Jeffrey Chin, Jasper Heymann, Avik Sarkar, and Shueheng Zhang, who all boast impressive resumes at their young ages: 

Aliya Alsafa, aged 15, has won first place at the Chopin Youth Piano Competition, Sejon Music Competition, and the Walgreens National Concerto Early Music Division. She was also the youngest contestant at the MostArts 2017 competition, where she received the Audience Favorite Prize. 

 Jeffrey Chin, 18, has won a handful of competitions, including the Steinway Piano Concerto Competition at age 11, as well as the MTNA Junior Piano Competition,
 at age 14. 

 Jasper Heymann, 17, has been lauded for his “astounding lyricism and deep emotional bond with the music” by the New York Concert Review, and garnered top prizes in the AADGT, The KOR, American Fine Arts, and Golden Key competitions.  

Avik Sarkar, 19, has been a first-prize winner at the Mildred Freiberg and Ruth Davidson New England Piano Teachers’ Association, a four-time winner of the Steinway Society of Massachusetts, and five-time winner of the Massachusetts Music Teachers’ Association piano competition. 

Shuheng Zhang, 17, has been praised for his “invigorating, incisive, and note-perfect account” by the Chicago Music Report for his performance of Mozart Piano Concerto No. 23 with the Midwest Young Artists Orchestra, and has received top honors at the Thousand Islands International Competition, David Dubois Piano Competition, Lee University International Piano Competition, MTNA, and MMTA competitions. 

All five of the blossoming, young musicians performed with astounding precision and artistry, truly enchanting the audience.

After the performances were complete the scholars were presented with diplomas by Lukas, who told each of them, “In the name of the Lang Lang International Music Foundation we officially recognize you for your outstanding performance and participation in the Young Scholar program for 2018-2020.” 

The graduation concert was followed by a lively cocktail reception, where guests were able to mingle with the rising stars, and express their reverence and respect. 

Friends and benefactors of Lang Lang in attendance included Edgar Batista, Joanne Fisher, Paul Hands and Teri Agins, Cole Rumbough and Emily Mohr, Alice Lutz, Inga Rubenstein, Reni Rothschild, Adrian Danchig-Waring, Melite de Foucaud, Sharon King Hoge, Aimee and William Maroney, and Kaity Tong. 

Founded in 2008, The Lang Lang International Music Foundation® strives to make music a part of every child's life, offering music education to children across the world.  The Lang Lang International Music Foundation® reaches children at all levels regardless of their background or talent level. The Keys of Inspiration® program redefines what music education looks like in public schools by providing up to 30 Roland keyboards and a complete music curriculum to underfunded schools. The Foundation’s Young Scholars program nurtures the development of gifted young piano talent. Young Scholars are offered masterclasses, mentorship, and entry into international festivals and competitions. Young Scholars also received practical training on becoming world class concert pianists. For more see:

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