Lang Lang receives honorary doctorate from NYU

Updated: 2015-05-21 13:53

By Niu Yue in New York(

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Lang Lang receives honorary doctorate from NYU

Lang Lang (left) was escorted by Chandrika Tandon (right), trustee of NYU and chairwoman of Tandon Capital Associates in the procession, to receive his honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree at the NYU’s 2015 Commencement at Yankee Stadium on May 20. XIAO LIXIN / CHINA DAILY

NYU president John Sexton bestowed an honorary degree of Doctor of Fine arts on Lang Lang at 2015 NYU’s 183rd Commencement in Yankee Stadium on Wednesday, May 20.

"It's a great honor to be recognized by an academic authority like NYU," Lang Lang said to China Daily.

Praised Lang as the "hottest artist on the classical music planet", Sexton said that Lang inspired millions and has ignited global interest in classical music.

The International Music Foundation founded by Lang "prepares the next generation of classical music lovers and performers though partnerships with public schools, free music camps, and mentorship of young pianists, " said Sexton.

Sexton also gave high praise to Lang Lang's devotion to charity, who has held benefit concerts for earthquake relief in China and Haiti, and has been designated as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and a UN Messenger of Peace focusing on global education.

Talking about the connection with NYU, Lang said that it just came naturally because of a common goal shared with one of his acquaintances from NYU to promote classic music education

And after performing a recital for NYU Shanghai in last year, consensus has been achieved.

"Since NYU has a high level of professionalism in arts education, after receiving this degree, we'll be cooperating closely on music education programs, such as music camp," said Lang.

" Lang Lang, an exemplary global citizen molded in the great institutions of China and the US and a source of pride and resonance for NYU and NYU Shanghai, you are a dynamic and iconic bridge for music and peace between East and West," Sexton said in the end of his speech for honoring Lang.

During the commencement, it also ran a video of Lang's piano solo at the Washington Square Park especially created for this year's NYU commencement.

Before the degree from NYU, Lang has already received honorary doctorates from the Royal Academy of Music in UK and the Manhattan School of Music and honorary Oxford fellowship from the University of Oxford in UK.

Besides Lang, four honorary doctorates were bestowed, receivers are Sherrilyn Ifill, president and director-counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Peter D. Lax, Abel Prize-winning mathematician, Graca Simbine Machel, political leader and humanitarian, Jan Tomas Vilcek, physician and biomedical researcher.

About 8,000 students receiving undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees and over 20,000 guests attended the ceremony.

Hong Xiao in New York contributed to this story