Birthday boy Lang Lang is replaced by a drummer

Birthday boy Lang Lang is replaced by a drummer


norman lebrecht

June 14, 2017

The Chinese pianist, still suffering from an arm injury, has cancelled upcoming concerts in London and Munich.

The LSO has flown in Leeds winner Denis Kozhukhin in a like-for-like substitution in Bartók’s second Piano Concerto.

Bavarian Radio, more daring by half, has called in the showman percussionist Martin Grubinger for an evening of bang-bang.


Lang Lang is 35 today.


  • La Verita says:

    Queen Elizabeth winner, not Leeds.

  • daveferre says:

    Denis Kozhukhin is a GREAT choice and I suspect superior musicianship.

  • MacroV says:

    Martin Grubinger is awesome. He played with the Czech Philharmonic last year and was a huge hit with what is usually a fairly conservative audience. And he can play quietly, too, as he showed in a brilliant encore on the marimba.

  • Anon says:

    Very appropriate since Lang Lang plays the piano like a drummer.

  • Jonathan Z says:

    Yuja Wang has just played Bartok 2 in Los Angeles. Surely a progression from Lang to Wang would have been more logical….

    • HSY says:

      Wang has never played with Rattle, if I recall correctly.

      • Jonathan Z says:

        Well there is always a first time. The Los Angeles performance was with Dudamel, a Rattle protegé, so the chemistry might have been OK. Wang doesn’t seem to be playing anywhere else around the Barbican dates. I would be surprised if she would have turned down the opportunity of two performances of the Bartok at sold out concerts at a major venue with a fantastic orchestra and conductor. Maybe she hasn’t learnt Brahms 1 yet – she is doing that with Gergiev in Munich on July 16. It’s not a piece that I associate with her.

  • Dave says:

    Lang Lang replaced by Bang Bang. How appropriate!

  • Marios Papadopoulos says:

    Maxim Vengrov is replacing Lang Lang in Oxford on the 4th July, playing the Brahms Violin Concerto.