Huffpost Arts

Pianist Lang Lang Chosen As UN Messenger Of Peace

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Lang Lang plays Chopin's "Piano Concerto in E minor" with the New York Philharmonic at Lincoln Center on Thursday, Sept. 22, 2005. In a one-two punch opening its 164th season, America's oldest orchestra featured two of the world's leading pianists _ a crowd-pleasing harmonic convergence of scheduling. This week's back-to-back appearances by the 33-year-old Russian master Evgeny Kissin and Lang, the 22-year-Chinese whiz kid, provided an unusual opportunity to contrast playing styles.(AP Photo/J | AP

UNITED NATIONS -- UNITED NATIONS (AP) — China's superstar pianist Lang Lang has been selected to be a United Nations Messenger of Peace — a role he says is more important than his music because it can help improve the lives of children around the world through education.

Being a Messenger of Peace is the highest honor bestowed by the U.N. chief on accomplished individuals in any field.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced his selection of Lang at a news conference Monday, calling the 31-year-old pianist "one of the most exciting and accomplished musicians of our time."

Lang has been a goodwill ambassador for the U.N. children's agency, UNICEF, for the last 10 years and Ban said he will focus on getting the 57 million school-age children who aren't getting an education into classrooms.