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Lang Lang Appointed United Nations Messenger of Peace by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

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Oct 31, 2013 01:12 AM EDT | Classicalite Newsdesk

Chinese piano superstar Lang Lang has long been deeply involved with the United Nations as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, a role that he is known to take very seriously. Now, though, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has made him a Messenger of Peace, which is the highest honor of its kind given by the body.

There are only 12 others in the world.

Of those dozen, three are classical musicians: Daniel Barenboim, Midori Goto and Yo-Yo Ma. As for the other nine, they include the names Princess Haya bint Al Hussein, George Clooney, Paulo Coelho, Michael Douglas, Jane Goodall, Edward Norton, Charlize Theron, Elie Wiesel and Stevie Wonder.

Lang Lang now joins their eminent number as the first messenger from China.

The Messengers of Peace website describes their mission as, "(volunteering) their time, talent and passion to raise awareness of United Nations' efforts to improve the lives of billions of people everywhere."

Lang Lang already spends considerable time and resources on his International Foundation, created to bring music to the lives of children around the world. And for UNESCO, he has undertaken missions such as visiting a town with children infected with HIV who had never heard a piano before his visit.

The pianist has recently released a Prokofiev and Bartók disc alongside Sir Simon Rattle and the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra on Sony. Previous recordings include music by Liszt and Rachmaninoff and--lest we forget--that Chopin album.

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