World-renowned pianist Lang Lang performed Autumn Moon on a Calm Lake — a piece expressing the beauty of China's Yangtze River composed by Lyu Wencheng — at Grand Central Station in New York on Saturday, sending an invitation in music from Hangzhou to the audience.
"Hangzhou is a very beautiful city with breathtaking scenery and the special charms of a profound culture," said Lang, who is also known as the Grand Canal Hangzhou ambassador.
"So many talented people were born in Hangzhou over its long history and it makes me feel very special to play a piece that reflects my love for the city and share it with the audience here in New York," Lang said.
The performance was part of a tourism promotion event called "Hi 5 Hangzhou Fan Gala" organized by the Hangzhou Tourism Commission. Aimed at promoting Hangzhou's beautiful scenery and unique culture, history and food, the event also featured four interactive displays that gave participants some firsthand experience of Hangzhou.
The participants learned how to tie a traditional Chinese silk scarf, how to draw a Chinese fan and saw some of Hangzhou's famous tourist attractions using VR headsets. They also tasted West Lake Longjing tea, one of the most famous teas in China.
"The event is a lot of fun and very educational; it's fun to watch the scarf-tying demonstrations, they showed us so many methods to a tie scarf in so many different styles," said Catherine, who lives in Brooklyn. "I've always wanted to visit the city, and it's nice to get more information about its history and culture before I go there."
"The exhibition is very interesting, we waited for a long time to learn how to tie a scarf, but I really enjoyed it because I love Chinese silk," said Vahni, a New York resident who heard of the event from its social media page. "I saw the event they posted on Facebook and I've always been interested in visiting China, that's why I came today. And to visit Hangzhou is definitely on my list now."
The event also marks the fifth anniversary of the Hangzhou tourism commission's efforts on foreign social media. Hangzhou's Facebook page has about 600,000 followers, with more than half of them living in the US and Europe.
Hangzhou, the capital of East China's Zhejiang province, is popular with tourists for its West Lake, Leifeng Pagoda and Lingyin Temple. Last year the city received nearly 163 million tourists, an up 16 percent from 2016, generating $47.86 billion in revenue.