What’s Yundi playing at now?

What’s Yundi playing at now?


norman lebrecht

February 11, 2016

The former Chopin winner has been strutting his stuff on Chinese New Year – dressed in a Napoleonic gown and disappearing into disco heaven. Must be seen to be believed.

(FF to 1:21:48 if the video does not start there of its own accord).

yundi new year

Anyone recognise the cellist?


  • Brian says:

    Norman, I think the cellist is Ouyang Nana. According to this, she was known as a child actress in her native Taiwan: http://m.chinadaily.com.cn/en/2015-11/27/content_22522590.htm

    Quite a show…

  • i just pass by says:

    She was in Curtis for a while

  • Sanda Schuldmann says:

    It is sad to see what happens to people that grew up under incredible oppression by a country’s regime and then they are experiencing freedom. They go nuts. I am still having a hard time recognizing Romania. Not the same place I grew up in! instead of going to the symphony they choose karaoke!

    • Nick says:

      This has absolutely nothing to do with freedom after living under “incredible repression by a country’s regime!” That’s nonsense! In China the lunar New Year Spring Festival is rather like Christmas, your birthday, Thanksgiving and other Festivals all rolled into one. It is a massive celebration and a time when all the dozens of TV channels air massively long entertainment specials watched by many hundreds of millions. Like Lang Lang, in China Yundi Li is, like it or not, a superstar. To appear in a somewhat outlandish costume in an over the top setting is quite natural in these types of programme. tt may not be a performance that appeals to non-Chinese outside the country. But then how many westerners bother to travel to China during the lunarNew Year? Hardly any.

      As for Alvaro’s later comment, your first comment/prediction is utterly wrong and I’ll happily lay a friendly bet with you on it. In 10 years, China will be even more important to the world of classical music than it is now. What we are experiencing is far from a short-term “fetish”.

  • Petros LInardos says:

    Sorry but I can’t connect with Yundi’s appearance. If I wanted to listen to Chopin’s last prelude played by a Chinese pianist, I’d rather go for this:


  • stanley cohen says:

    Liberace eat your heart out!

  • Alvaro says:

    #1 China has a fetish with western classical music, which will last max another 10 years. Then the opera houses will be playing the same pops crap that they play here (and actually, many already do)

    #2 At least they got more show time than Dudamel. The result is equally vomiting…

    #3 What needs to happen for all of you to accept that your artform is dead?

    • M2N2K says:

      To answer your question: it would take much more for me personally, and probably for many others, than continuing to see how you keep repeating that mantra of yours (until you start believing it yourself?). In fact, your apparent obsession with it demonstrates the opposite of what you seem to be desperately trying to say. Consequently, your inability to see how erroneous you are in this #3 here severely undermines your credibility when you comment on other related issues.

  • Yaness says:

    The toilet seat in the upper left corner is quite appropriate 😛

  • Alexander Brown says:

    Love this! Actually, there’s not much difference between their rendition of the Beethoven sonata (the second piece they play) and Liszt’s paraphrases (his word…) of Bellini’s Norma or Verdi’s Rigoletto! In 19th century terms, Liszt was today’s equivalent of a rock star. He would even smoke a cigar during a recital, and one very passionate fan even took one of his cigar-stubs and kept it in a locket, close to her heart, till the day she died!

  • Dave T says:

    Monkey see, monkey do.

  • Stanislaw Lyzwinski says:

    Different culture, different approach to things we consider western.

  • Mei says:

    YUNDI – Chopin Prelude no.15 ‘Raindrop’, op.28

    Yundi – Chopin Prelude no.16, Op. 28

    Yundi – Chopin – Ballade no.2 in F, op.38

    Yundi usually plays Prelude like this