UCSB Arts & Lectures (A&L) will present world-renowned pianist Lang Lang, 7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 27 at the Granada Theatre. The event marks Lang Lang’s first Santa Barbara appearance in eight years.

Fueled by a passion for one of the most challenging compositions in the repertoire, Lang Lang’s interpretation of Bach’s “Goldberg Variations” represents a milestone in his stellar career. Lang Lang’s expressive performance of the monumental work is two decades in the making.

Reflecting on the process of developing his interpretation, Lang Lang said, “It takes you to another level of thinking.”

Lang Lang is a leading figure in classical music. As a pianist, educator and philanthropist he has become one of the world’s most influential and committed ambassadors for the arts in the 21st century.

Equally happy playing for billions of viewers at the 2008 Olympic Opening Ceremony in Beijing or for a few hundred children in the public schools, he is a master of communicating through music.

Heralded by The New York Times as “the hottest artist on the classical music planet,” Lang Lang plays sold-out concerts worldwide.

Lang Lang is known for thinking outside the box and frequently steps into different musical worlds. His performances at the Grammy Awards with Metallica, Pharrell Williams or jazz legend Herbie Hancock were seen by millions.

In 2008, he founded the Lang Lang International Music Foundation, aimed at cultivating tomorrow’s top pianists, championing music education at the forefront of technology, and building a young audience through live music experiences.

In 2013, Lang Lang was designated by the Secretary General of the United Nations as a messenger of peace focusing on global education.

Lang Lang started playing the piano at age 3, and gave his first public recital before he was 5. He entered Beijing’s Central Music Conservatory at 9, and won first prize at the International Tchaikovsky Competition for Young Musicians at 13.

He was 17 when his big break came, substituting for André Watts at the Gala of the Century, playing Tchaikovsky’s “First Piano Concerto” with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Christoph Eschenbach: he became an overnight sensation.

Lang Lang’s drive to attract new audiences to classical music has brought him worldwide recognition. He received the 2010 Crystal Award in Davos, and was selected as one of the 250 Young Global Leaders by the World Economic Forum.

He is the recipient of honorary doctorates from the Royal College of Music, Manhattan School of Music, and New York University.

In December 2011, he was honored with the highest prize awarded by the Ministry of Culture of the People’s Republic of China, and received the highest civilian honors in Germany (Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany) and France (Medal of the Order of Arts and Letters).

Lang Lang is presented by UCSB Arts & Lectures. Tickets are $51-$156, general public; $31 for UCSB students (current student ID required); includes facility fee.

For tickets or more information, call UCSB Arts & Lectures, 805-893-3535 or purchase online at www.ArtsAndLectures.UCSB.edu.

Tickets also available through the Granada Theatre, 805-899-222, www.granadasb.org