The first-ever classical artist to headline iTunes festival?

The first-ever classical artist to headline iTunes festival?


norman lebrecht

July 26, 2011

Yes, it was Lang Lang – and I was allowed in on condition I did not write a word about it.

So I won’t.

Except to say that those who asked me to refrain from writing had reason to do so.

I am, however, allowed to review the audience which was a crowd of thirty-somethings, eager to jump up and down for 2 amplified cellos and percussion, a little bewildered by Lang Lang. But polite. One lady was kind enough to offer me earplugs during the percussion gig.

You can see pictures of the Roundhouse show here and iTunes is offering it here as a free download.

I was reliably informed that Lang Lang was the festival’s classical virgin. I now hear that guitarist Milos Karadaglic beat him to it by a year. More contenders are flooding in. What’s the point, i-Tunes, of over-hyping the event?







  • Milos Karadaglic and Rolando Villazon performed at last year’s iTunes Festival.

  • Andy Doe says:

    A “classical night” has been a feature of iTunes Festivals since the very beginning. Links below go to the recordings of the festival performances. There may have been more – these are just the ones I can remember, and for which the recordings are still available in the UK:

    Ludovico Einaudi played at the festival in 2007.

    The Ahn Trio did it in 2008 with a guest appearance by Michael Nyman.

    They shared the bill with Hayley Westenra.

    Danielle De Niese sang at the iTunes festival in Berlin in 2009.

    In 2010, Milos Karadaglic performed at the festival in London.

    So did Rolando Villazon.