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Classical music

Star Chinese pianist Lang Lang to receive honorary degree from HKU

Award comes amid the performer’s slow recovery from tendinitis in left arm

PUBLISHED : Friday, 10 November, 2017, 8:30pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 11 November, 2017, 10:11am

Top Chinese pianist Lang Lang will receive an honorary degree from the University of Hong Kong next month at its 198th Congregation.

The honour came amid the 35-year-old musician’s struggles with a slow recovery from left arm tendinitis that caused him to cancel a Hong Kong performance in Tsim Sha Tsui on Friday night.

On Friday, a university spokeswoman said the school would award a doctorate of social sciences, honoris causa, to the internationally renowned pianist at the faculty of arts session on December 2.

The president and vice-chancellor, Peter Mathieson, is to preside over the congregation session.

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“Honorary degrees are awarded to individuals in recognition of their distinguished service and commitment to the university, the community, and to academia,” the spokeswoman said.

“They are also conferred to those who have made valuable intellectual, social and cultural contributions to society and the world.”

Lang started playing the piano at the age of three, and by his early teens was winning top national and international competitions.

The flamboyant pianist has since played for world leaders and has performed at events such as the opening ceremonies of the 2006 World Cup, the 2008 Beijing Olympics, the 2010 Guangzhou Asian Games and the 2014 Incheon Asian Games, as well as the 2014 UN Day Concert and the Nobel Peace Prize award ceremonies in 2007 and 2009.

But the future career of one of the world’s most sought-after performers could be in question as Lang struggles with a recovery that is “slower than expected”.

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The condition involves inflammation of a tendon in the affected limb and can lead to pain, stiffness and sometimes swelling.

Lang was originally expected to play with the visiting Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra at the Hong Kong Cultural Centre on November 10.

The concert was to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the city’s return to Chinese sovereignty with Lang, a Hong Kong resident since 2006 through the Quality Migrant Scheme, as the soloist. South Korean pianist Seong-jin Cho will perform in his stead.