Lang Lang brings Hangzhou to New Yorkers through music

On June 16, world-renowned pianist Lang Lang surprised commuters passing through Vanderbilt Hall at Grand Central Terminal in New York with a performance of Autumn Moon Over the Calm Lake (平湖秋月 pínghú qiūyuè). Expressing the beauty of Hangzhou’s West Lake, it was composed by Lu Wencheng 吕文成 in the late 1920s.

Lang Lang’s performance was part of an event called Hi 5 Hangzhou Fan Gala, organized by the Hangzhou Tourism Commission. The commission aims to promote Hangzhou’s scenery, history, food, and culture to a Western audience through exhibits of silk, tea, fan drawing, and more. Passersby were offered virtual reality headsets to experience some of the city’s popular tourist attractions.

Hangzhou, the capital city of Zhejiang Province, is one of China’s most popular tourist destinations, featuring temples, pagodas, and its famous West Lake. The city generated about $48 billion in revenue from tourism last year, up 18 percent from 2016.