Pianist Lang Lang plays for rural left-behind children

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Chinese piano virtuoso Lang Lang has given a concert to raise funds for rural left-behind children in Gansu Province.

The internationally-acclaimed pianist played works by Debussy's Ballade and Chopin at the two-hour concert Sunday in the Hui autonomous prefecture of Linxia.

Hundreds of local primary school students, many "left-behind" themselves, and entrepreneurs from across the country were in the audience.

The term "left-behind" describes rural children whose parents are away from home, usually working in the cities, left in the care usually of grandparents.

The enterpreneurs donated 6 million yuan (870,000 U.S. dollars) to public welfare projects for the children, including free music lessons.

At the end of the concert, Lang Lang was presented with a painting by children from a Linxia primary school.

The pianist has a history of donating instruments and textbooks to rural areas and helping to train music teachers.

"I want to support free music education, including piano classes, for these children in Linxia," he said.

"We all know these children have a far more difficult life than their peers in more conventional families, but they are not daunted by these difficulties," said Lang Lang,

He plans to continue his work and to do what he can to improve the lives of such children around the country.

China has 9.02 million left-behind children, mostly in the underdeveloped central and western regions, according to a government census conducted last year.

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