In another age, in another kind of venue, there would have been lighters flicked and Frisbees flown Friday night when Lang Lang came to town. As it was, the boisterous ovation in Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall when he appeared on stage confirmed, before he played a note, that the 26-year-old pianist is a superstar. An even more enthusiastic reception followed his performance of Sergei Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 2 with Carlos Kalmar and the Oregon Symphony, and while some purists undoubtedly sniffed at his approach, the shouts and applause were enough to drown them out.
“I can't believe we made it,” one woman draped in a heavy necklace whispered to her companion. “I need Rachmaninoff.”
Philharmonic Society of Orange County recital performance by Lang Lang featured video projection of keyboard, using technology sponsored by Sony Electronics
“It was unbelievable,” he says of the event that made him a symbol of national pride. “It was certainly the most exciting moment of my life – like playing for the universe.”
In the program notes to Lang's solo recital at Roy Thomson Hall on Friday night, the trademark appeared everywhere, as if he had to worry that someone out there would be able to match his technique or copy his frequently over-the-top expressivity.
Superstar classical pianist Lang Lang always puts on a show -- some say too much of one. But his flying fingers definitely sell tickets. In July, nearly 14,000 people paid to see him at the Hollywood Bowl.
There's a problem for many fans, however: They want to watch Lang Lang's hands on the keyboard, and if they're not seated at the proper angle, they're out of luck.
An intimate little affair after Beijing but the Royal Albert Hall could not have been fuller. The Lang Lang Olympics were about to commence. A little Sunday - afternoon Mozart - piano Sonata in B-flat major - eased us into the first lap, articulated with such deftness that the idea of the piano as a percussive instrument seemed almost absurd. The slow movement took on a mystical quality, the dynamics so refined as to lend a whole new meaning to the term"Chinese whispers".