Acclaimed Chinese concert pianist Lang Lang said he wanted to bring Chinese music to the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil as a personal gift to celebrate the sporting event.
Lang made the remarks on Friday before his Concert in Rio 2014 performance at HSBC Arena in Rio de Janeiro. The concert was organised by the Brazilian government and Spanish tenor Placido Domingo.
Lang performed several works, including Tico Tico, one of the official songs of the 2014 FIFA World Cup, in front of thousands of people.
"I performed with Domingo at the 2006 FIFA World Cup kickoff celebration concert in Germany, but I did not have the chance to play a Chinese song then," said Lang, "so I managed to include the Spring Festival Overture into the list to add some Chinese elements into it."
The concert also featured many elements of Latin American culture from the musical arrangements to platform design. Several Brazilian musicians including Paula Fernandes also performed with Lang and sang the famous song Garota de Ipanema (Girl From Ipanema)
"We chose several pieces of music to reflect the energetic emotions of the game and also combined with slow ones," Lang said.
The concert marked the third time that Lang has visited Rio de Janeiro. "The whole concert is about the World Cup, and I am really looking forward to see the final game," he said.
Lang, 32, a native of Liao-ning province, has played with leading orchestras in Europe, the United States and China. He gave his first public performance at age 5 and won first prize for outstanding artistic performance at the fourth international competition for Young Pianists in Ettlingen, Germany, in 1994.