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Starry Sky

Concert version for piano, children's voice, women's choir and orchestra
for the opening ceremony of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games
piano and orchestra with children's voice and female choir
Edition: Performance material

Product Details


Starry Sky was Chinese film director, Zhang Yimou’s originality for the artistic performance of the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympic Games in 2008. Lang Lang, the best pianist in China, was invited to play piano with thousands upon thousands of gymnasts and dancers in the center of the newly built China's National Stadium, Bird’s Nest. Zhang Yimou’s request to the music was “ the delusion of the starry sky and the love of life”, meanwhile audiences throughout the world should “understand modern Chinese thoughts and Chinese optimism and aspirations to the future.

Over the years, hundreds of composers at home and abroad had been working hard to create the work, and many music samples for the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games had been sent to the director. Yet no one sample for the Starry Sky was approved and loved by the director until Xiaogang Ye joined to be a member of the volunteer music creation group. When time flew to be in February, 2008, only 6 months away from the opening ceremony, the rehearsal was expected imminently. The directing team of the opening ceremony finally decided to invite Xiaogang Ye to compose the Starry Sky and told him that he should finish it by all means. The composer finished the first 3 minutes’ music theme in an afternoon after two day’s thinking. Ye asked one of his students, Hang Zou to take part in producing electronic music, and made an exquisite sample with MIDI for the first 3 minutes music. After listening to the music, Zhang Yimou immediately Picked up the phone and said to the composer: “Xiaogang, you are the last participator, but you are the most reliable and closer..”

The two composers finished the work in the shortest time, adding the music length from original 5 minutes to 8 minutes asked by the director. In June 2008, Lang Lang played with China Philharmonic Orchestra under the Maestro Long Yu in China radio theatre, finishing the recording of the concerto for the opening ceremony within 6 hours. And then Hang Zou spent hours and hours to finish compounding the electronic music. The Starry Sky was performed in the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympic Games at 8:00 PM, on August 8th, 2008 as the beginning program of the “Modern China” Section of the artistic performance, which witnessed the success of the most spectacular Olympic opening ceremony performance in human history.

On January 3rd, 2009, Lang Lang played the premiere of the Starry Sky in its concert version with Beijing Symphony orchestra under the baton of Lihua Tan in China's National Olympic Gymnasium.

Orchestral Cast

Picc. · 2 · 2 · 2 · 2 - 4 · 3 · 3 · 1 - P. S. (Glsp. · Vibr. · hg. Glasstäbe · hg. Beck. · Beckenpaar · Schellenbaum · Cabaça) - Hfe. - Str. - Kinderstimme · Frauenchor

More Information

Starry Sky
Concert version for piano, children's voice, women's choir and orchestra
for the opening ceremony of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games
Performance material
Schott Music
Year of composition:
8 ′
World Premiere:
January 3, 2009 · Beijing (CN)
China National Olympic Gymnasium
Lang Lang, piano · Conductor: Lihua Tan · Beijing Symphony Orchestra · Philharmonic Singers
(first broadcast during the opening ceremony of the Bejing Olympic Games 2008 using a recording)
Commissioned work :
Commissioned by the China 2008 Olympic Committee

Technical Details

Product number:
LS 5305-01

Preview/Media Contents



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