It looks like Lang Lang will be out for a full year

It looks like Lang Lang will be out for a full year


norman lebrecht

October 15, 2017

The Chinese pianist has cancelled dates in Germany as far ahead at April 2018.

That will be a year since he first suffered the left-arm tendonitis that put his concert life on hold.

Meantime, apart from some one-hand appearances, he is going to baseball…

…and cutting ribbons. With his right hand.


His website continues to list a US tour in February-March but this may be, like much else on the site, out of date.


  • Mark Henriksen says:

    During this time, can he practice the piano some or does he have to stop playing completely? If the latter, he must be going nuts. Has any other big time pianist taken a year off from playing and come back immediately?

  • Ben says:

    Morale of the day: When playing the piano, don’t bang too hard consistently every night.

    Message to Tan Dun: You may as well compose a piano concerto for right hand to help out your countryman. Rip a few pages from Ravel, scramble the 2nd movement from any shattered Glass, add your own Asian-Fusion Tiger Dragon music, voila!!!! No, I hate all of your compositions. Yes, you seem to fool so many people about their artistic quality. Your tie-in with Boston Symphony would help. Lang Bang Lang will play your right hand piano concerto like a champion, similar to Yo-yo with John Williams cello concerto, or Nicola with Wynton Marsalis violin concerto.

    (I feel bad for such soloists : Somebody composed those “quality” works for them and they had to play such works everywhere as if they are Beethoven or Brahms)

  • Richard Zencker says:

    You can learn quite a lot during time spent away from the keyboard.

  • John Borstlap says:

    Cutting ribbons has its dangers too. Chinese emperor Wu of Han (2nd century BC) opened his ‘Music Bureau’ in 120 BC, an institution to oversee the music production and to control its quality, so not the emperor’s new clothes but his new music, soviet-style.

    He had his aides handle the scissors which were on the large side, and they cut-off – by accident, of course – one of his fingers. They were immediately executed and ribbons prohibited in the whole empire, and the Music Bureau got more severe than initially envisaged. So, it is to be hoped that LL will cut his ribbons all by himself.

  • Van says:

    Lang Lang is loved in certain parts Asia. He’s the second incarnation of Liberace. Shall we say Langberace? Whenever he plays Tchaikovsky 1st, I am often reminded of Freddy Martin. Tonight More Love please Langberace.

  • Dave says:

    Damn! No banging the keys for a full year.

  • Hilary says:

    Sabbatical can be a good thing. Alexis Weissenberg is a good example(10years), He came back with renewed vigour and one of the great pianists of the 20th Century.

  • William Safford says:

    Perhaps someone could write a right hand concerto for him.

  • PhilOrchFan says:

    That’s not baseball. It’s American football.

  • Ruben Greenberg says:

    You would think Chinese medicine would be of help-namely, acupuncture. It works wonders for tendinitis.

  • Anon says:

    Probably the April dates are contractually in one batch with the November dates, and the promoter ceased the opportunity to demand clarity for their own planning security now.
    Also we know that Lang Lang usually has clauses in his contracts, that there can NOT be any replacements but the concert is cancelled if he is not capable. If I were the promoter of his tour, I would then try to get rid of that risk as soon as possible and cancel the contract.
    Other engagements he is unlikely to cancel that far in advance.

  • La Verita says:

    If he wants to keep playing, the Ravel LH concerto can be played with the right hand – it’s been done before.

  • George Marcus says:

    Welcome to the Carnegie Hall Cabaret.
    Yuja Wang could have help warming-up the public with a few bowings (toward the piano!)
    Victor Borge and Sahan Arzruni were much, much more funny, not to say, in better taste!
    The hall saw better!

  • george benson says: