Chinese pianist Lang Lang has announced he will donate hundreds of keyboards to British schools to help bring music to children in disadvantaged communities.
The musician, 39, who is one of the most famous solo pianists in the world, said he has been “shocked” by how limited access to music lessons can be in the UK.
Lang Lang has announced that his International Music Foundation will set up special piano tuition centres, known as “piano labs” in London state schools, The Times reported.
The project is modelled on his programme Keys of Inspiration, which has enjoyed success in China and the US.
Lang Lang has been ‘shocked’ by how limited access to music lessons can be in the UK (Isabel Infantes/PA)PA Archive/PA Images – Isabel Infantes
The Foundation says the programmes have given nearly 200,000 children access to keyboards.
As well as the instruments, schools will receive teacher training and extra grants as well as a special curriculum designed by Lang Lang and the Conservatory of Music in Toronto, according to The Times.
“I was so surprised by how music classes are never a guarantee,” he told the publication.
“The schools and teachers are incredible, and are so dedicated to providing their students with everything they can.
“But it shocked me how access to music education can be so limited.”
The first school to benefit from the donations are Winns Primary School in Waltham Forest, north London, which will receive 30 keyboards.