Lang Lang’s door is banged by angry hotel guests

Lang Lang’s door is banged by angry hotel guests


norman lebrecht

February 22, 2016

The pianist has told a German TV audience that he often gets protests late at night in hotels from people who are kept awake by his practising. He calmed one down in Berlin, he says, by offering to play something romantic.

lang lang tiger


  • Eden says:

    He’s such a sympathetic guy I’m sure he gets along with most people!

  • Dennis says:

    He should practice with a silent keyboard or something. To practice loudly late at night in a hotel room, waking other guests, is just plain rude and selfish behavior.

    • Holly Golightly says:

      Hotels are not the place to practice the piano or any other instrument. There would be practice rooms available for Lang Lang or any other musicians as there are in Australia for visiting soloists. I remember a story about the Labeque sisters being routinely abused by neighbour Dirk Bogarde in their Paris apartment for precisely the same thing.

  • Frederick West says:

    I’m sure he’d be a bit miffed at yawning and mobile phone alarms popping off from his sleep-deprived neighbours during a concert. You can make your own minds up why they might be yawning.

  • Max Grimm says:

    “….., he says, by offering to play something romantic.”

    Actually Norman, he says that the “hotel” (reception?) called him and said that “It’s ok to play but play something romantic” after which the complaints ceased.

    • V.Lind says:

      Even so, if it is late at night in a hotel room, I would be complaining to a lot more than Lang Lang. It’s preposterous. Either put aside a soundproofed suite for visiting piano people (artists, students, fanatics) or have a practice room, or tell them to practise during the day at their own venue. Hotels are NOT music colleges, where you go down the halls and hear a different instrument coming from every practice room.

      • Max Grimm says:

        The inaccurate wording of the introduction was the point of my post, not the acceptability (or lack thereof) of Lang Lang’s nightly serenading.
        Having said that, I agree with you. I love music but I can do without practice routines when trying to sleep or wanting some quiet. One would think that a modicum of common courtesy would influence ones practice times and routines whilst staying at a hotel.

  • Eddie Mars says:

    “If you place a grand piano in a hotel room, then it is prerequisite that by the time of 3am, someone will want to play it”

    [Anton Chekout, nearly]

  • Robert says:

    “…He calmed one down in Berlin, he says, by offering to play something romantic…”

    This sounds like something a PR agent would concoct for someone who needed an amusing anecdote to say on TV.

  • Eric Edberg says:

    The American comedian Phyllis Diller was a pretty good pianist, and used to do benefit shows for orchestras in which she’d play the first movement of the Beethoven C Major Concerto. (I was played one of these, conducted by Leon Fleisher, and Phyllis told the audience, “You’ve GOT to get his album of this!).

    One of her lines was, “I am staying at the [local swanky hotel]. Last night was awful! At 3:00 AM the people next door were yelling and banging on the wall. . . . But I managed to tune it out and keep practicing anyway.”

  • Simon says:

    Off topic (bug report):

    Norman, when I access Slipped Disc on my mobile device (Opera browser on Android 6.0.1), sometimes (rough estimate: 1 in 10 visitis) a rather suspicious website automatically opens in a new tab. It is a well faked “Google” website telling me that I’ve got a virus on my phone and offering me help to remove it. I don’t know what would happen if I followed the next link on that page, as I always immediately close this tab, but it pretty much looks like malware.

    This only happens when I am on Slipped Disc.

    Thought you should know, maybe you want to inform your hosting service provider about this. In case of further questions, feel free to get back to me.

  • Anon says:

    So it’s not only me. I always wondered, why, when I come home drunk and high on drugs in the middle of the night, and sing LOUD in the hotel hallway, people stick their heads out of the door and shout at me. Have these people no compassion?
    Why do people hate music? What an uncultured cruel world this has become.

  • Tom Duarte says:

    Can anyone tell me who Lang Lang’s agent in America is?