Slideshow: Wang Leehom ’99 Brings Symphony Hall to Its Feet
Chinese-American singer-songwriter Wang Leehom ‘99, who has earned the title of the King of Chinese Pop, performed selections of his music with Berklee students at Boston’s Symphony Hall on Sunday, November 13, 2016, as part of Berklee's Signature Series. During the concert, which drew standing ovations from the crowd, Wang was presented with an honorary Doctor of Music degree from Berklee by the college’s president, Roger H. Brown.
In addition to his international pop star status, Wang is also a music producer, actor, film director, and cultural ambassador who has twice served as an Olympic torchbearer. Among those who offered their congratulations and words of support to Wang during the honorary doctorate ceremony were the incomparable Grammy-winning vocalist Tony Bennett, who collaborated with Wang on his Duets album, and Academy-Award winning director Ang Lee, who worked with Wang on Lee's film Lust, Caution.
With their ticket purchase, concertgoers supported the Wang Leehom Scholarship, which has been established to expand educational opportunities for talented and deserving musicians from China to attend Berklee.
In what he described as a “pinch me” moment, Wang said, “I am so humbled and excited to be here. Being back here on campus, I feel so proud to have studied here.”
The concert included new arrangements from Berklee students, such as contemporary writing and production major Louisa Foong, who arranged and conducted on Wang’s "The Descendants of the Dragon."
Foong says the responsibility was "very challenging" but also "thrilling."
"He was my idol, and he is like Asia's Stevie Wonder or Justin Timberlake," Foong says. "That I not only got to be involved, but to share my musical insights and be work colleagues with him for a night is very surreal still."
Watch Wang perform "Falling Leaf Returns to Root" with Berklee students:
Watch Berklee students perform a Wang Leehom medley: