Pianist Lang Lang to star in Chopin animation

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The Independent Online

Celebrated Chinese pianist Lang Lang is to star in "Projekt Chopin" (Project Chopin), a feature-length animated film focusing on the music of Frederic Chopin, producers said Friday.

"Lang Lang will play one of the four principle roles in the film," Agnieszka Adamkiewicz, a coordinator for the international co-production told AFP.

"He will also supervise music for the film and himself play the works of Chopin appearing in it," she added.

Lang Lang, 27, wowed a world-wide audience at the opening ceremonies of the 2008 summer Olympics in Beijing and played at December award ceremonies in Oslo, Norway where US President Barack Obama received the Nobel Peace Prize.

"Projekt Chopin", made using 3D technology, will combine real and puppet characters in a story in which composer Chopin travels the universe on a flying piano.

According to co-producer Dennis Friedman, the film has a total budget of 5.2 million euros (7.4 million dollars).

BreakThru Films and Storm Studios are also involved in the Polish-French-Norwegian co-production being filmed in Poland and France.

BreakThru Films was notably awarded an Oscar for Best Short Animated Film in 2008 for Peter and the Wolf, a musical tale by celebrated Russian composer Sergei Prokofiev.

"Projekt Chopin" is expected to be released this fall.

According to his official website, Lang Lang has begun working on the soundtrack in Warsaw where on Thursday he also inaugurated the 2010 Year of Chopin celebrations marking 200 years since the composer's birth. More information about scheduled events is available on www.chopin2010.pl.

Born to a Polish mother and French father, Frederic Chopin left what was then Russian-ruled Poland in November 1830, just before a major Polish rebellion against Russian powers. He first moved to Vienna and then settled in Paris where he died in 1849 at the age of 39.