At last week’s White House State Dinner for Chinese President Hu Jintao, pianist Lang Lang performed a song called “My Motherland” and everybody was really weirded out by it because it was perceived as an anti-USA song. The song is the theme of “Battle on Shangganling Mountain,” an anti-U.S. movie made in 1956 about the Korean War.
Many assumed (and were outraged) that Lang was openly mocking the U.S. at a state dinner. But the pianist released this statement today clarifying his performance:
“It was my great honor to be invited to perform at the White House. I played two pieces – one was from Europe and one was a beautiful traditional melody that I grew up with called ‘My Motherland.’ I am an artist first and foremost. I selected this song because it has been a favorite of mine since I was a child. It was selected for no other reason but for the beauty of its melody. As an artist, I use music to bring people together. I truly consider both America and China to be my homes and I wouldn’t be who I am today without both countries.”
Other pubs that have written on the pianist today on their blogs include New York Daily News, Fox Nation, WSJ, and LAT.