Lang Lang Warms Up Grand Piano For Auction

Lang Lang
What's black and white and red all over?

The red Steinway grand piano used by Lang Lang at Tuesday night's New York Philharmonic concert in Central Park.

It can be yours, but be prepared to open your wallet.

The 9-foot piano is on the auction block to raise money for the American Red Cross China Earthquake Relief Fund, Lang Lang announced to the crowd of about 63,000 that heard him play Tchaikovsky's First Piano Concerto.

Photos: Command Performance
Bidding starts at the $165,000 retail price.

The Steinway Model D Concert Grand was completed this year and is one of only two in the world. Lang Lang's performance Tuesday night was its first in a major classical concert.

"It has a fantastic sound," Lang Lang told The Associated Press on Wednesday. "I enjoyed playing it last night. It's a really powerful piano. That's what I like - a piano with lots of power."

Lang Lang said he has helped raise $3.5 million for relief from the devastating May 12 quake, which killed nearly 70,000 people, including many children whose schools collapsed.

The 26-year-old Chinese pianist is from Shenyang, outside the Sichuan area, which was hit hardest by the quake.

"Still it's the same thing," he said. "I don't care about myself. When something like that happens in any part of the world we should do something. ... So many students died because they were in the school studying. ... This really made me so sad because the school kids, you only see the schoolbags (in photos of the aftermath). You don't see the kids anymore."

The auction opens Thursday on the pianist's Web site,, and runs through midnight July 31.

By Martin Steinberg