Lang Lang – A Classical Music Superstar

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Jun 22, 2016 01:51
Few Chinese people don’t know Lang Lang, a gifted Chinese pianist. In China, however, when most people talk about him, they tend to think that he is just a guy who excels at playing the instrument. Even a handful of other young pianists have attracted a larger amount of fans, simply because they’re better-looking than Lang Lang.

In cultured circles in the West, however, he’s apparently held in high regard as a distinguished artist. I only learned this when I once randomly googled him and was shocked to realize how highly acclaimed he is in Western countries.

Though his penchant for using over-the-top facial expressions and body movements while performing appalls his critics, his aptitude is well-recognized; he was invited to perform on many important occasions, such as the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Concert at Buckingham Palace, the Bastille Day Concert at the Eiffel Tower in Paris, the Fourth of July Concert at the U.S. Capitol, etc., to say nothing of the fact that he has been selling out all of his recitals in major venues like Carnegie Hall, Wiener Musikverein, the Albert Hall, etc., for several years.

He isn’t one of those masters who rest on their laurels. With a serene self-regard, he knows who he truly is as an artist and he makes the most of it, collaborating with world-renowned philharmonic orchestras and maestros many a time every year. With my layman’s ear, I can feel connected to his unique and amazing interpretation of classical music. Real fireworks!

An anecdote:
The circulation of a video clip in which he plays “Stars and Stripes Forever” at the U.S. Capitol cast doubt on his nationality among some people, especially after a netizen posted a picture of an official approval document (meant for foreign nationals only) for his domestic concerts. Given his traumatized childhood, mentoring from his gurus at Curtis Institute and various commercial considerations, a possible change of his nationality – another case of brain drain- won’t be news to us.