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Lang Lang Steps Down from UK TV Show "The Piano"

He will be replaced by the five-time GRAMMY Award winner Jon Batiste


Pianist Lang Lang has announced his departure from the The Piano, a British TV show that invites capable amateur pianists to perform at some of the UK's busiest train stations. He will be replaced by the American singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist Jon Batiste, who joins singer-songwriter Mika on the panel.

The Piano first aired in February 2023, and two seasons have been produced. A third season has been commissioned, as well as a Christmas special — and a documentary on Lucy Illingworth, the blind teenage pianist who was the winner of the first season.

Born in Shenyang, China, in 1982, Lang Lang received his first piano lessons from the age of three; two years later, he won the Shenyang Piano Competition and gave his public debut. He studied at Beijing’s Central Conservatory of Music with Zhao Ping-Guo, and at the Curtis Institute of Music with Gary Graffman.

He has since sold millions of albums worldwide, topped classical charts, performed numerous sold-out shows, and garnered more than 20 million social media followers.

Named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by TIME Magazine, Lang Lang has performed for then-President Barack Obama, Pope Francis, and the late Queen Elizabeth II.

"Being a mentor on The Piano and spending time with the talented pianists has been a true joy," Lang Lang said. "The level of talent I have witnessed has been phenomenal and it has been a privilege to see the love for playing the piano across the UK."

"Due to international concert commitments, I will be stepping down for series three but am delighted to be passing the baton to my dear friend Jon Batiste, who I know will be fantastic in the role."

"I am going to miss Mika and Claudia terribly but am very much looking forward to being reunited with them later this year filming the Christmas Special."

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