Lang Lang’s New York City staff

Lang Lang has established himself among the world’s top pianists. The musician has released more than a dozen studio albums, earned spots at the top of the Billboard classical charts and performed at such high-profile events as the Grammy Awards, the 2008 Beijing Olympics and a state dinner at the White House for Presidents Obama and Hu Jintao. His latest album, New York Rhapsody, released on September 16, takes as its inspiration New York City—the place he considers his second home. As such, he’s a natural fit as our first-ever NYC Cultural Tourism Ambassador.

“Each neighborhood has its own sound and rhythm,” says Lang Lang of the City. “All of it inspired my music.” The album includes standards like “Rhapsody in Blue” and more unexpected cuts like the Spider-Man theme, which features a collaboration with YouTube sensation Lindsey Stirling. Other guest stars come from a variety of backgrounds: R&B singer Andra Day, digital pioneer Herbie Hancock and the actor Jeffrey Wright, among others.

Lang Lang discussed his love for New York City with us in the following video. Read on for a few of his recommendations for things to do and see around the five boroughs, and listen to a Spotify playlist of the musician’s favorite NYC songs here.

Lang Lang’s Favorite Things About New York City