Lang Lang names a role model

Lang Lang names a role model


norman lebrecht

April 24, 2019

In one of those quickfire things he does nowadays because he has nothing more to say in interviews, Lang Lang names two role models for readers of Ludwig Van Toronto. Both are gay men.

They are: Leonard Bernstein and… Vladimir Horowitz.

Now how does that work?

Gay and married?

Megalomaniac father-in-law?

Jewish, with a Catholic wife?

Several nervous breakdowns?

Only plays at 4pm?

Lives off a diet of boiled fish?

Which of these does Lang Lang want to be?


  • Quadra Spleen says:

    This doesn’t even merit being ignored.

  • Gerry Feinsteen says:

    As with the playing, i can’t say there’s as much depth behind this answer as you might think…

  • Petros Linardos says:

    Why more Lang Lang bashing in this space?

    • Bruce says:

      Because there can never be enough, apparently.

      • AngloGerman says:

        Well that really is up for debate. He is a terrible musician, and one who preys on the average plebians idea of classical music, and not for the greater good of the music itself, but rather for his ‘career’. Considering him a ‘musician’ at all is an insult to all of us who actually enjoy true art…

        He is nothing but a con artist and deserves no other treatment whatsoever.

        • Nick says:

          I wonder what is the basis of your immature statement? “Lang Lang is a terrible musician” (?!?) What do you know about being a good one? May be Trifonov? or better yet, Levit?

    • Luigi Nonono says:

      Because he deserves it!

  • Richard Craig says:

    there will NEVER be anyone to equal Vladimir Horowitz he was the greatest pianest of all time.the colours he could magic from a piano where simply jawdropping

  • boringfileclerk says:

    So Lang Lang happens to be….well….you know. So what?

  • anon says:

    I’d gladly live Bernstein’s life.

    Even 1/2 of it.

    Even 1/3 of it.

    Any third.

    His first 25 years was as charmed as his last 25.

  • Ed says:

    No more Dudalang please!

  • schweigundtanze says:

    What the hell are you blathering on about, Norman?

  • Bruce says:

    Well it couldn’t possibly be “two great performers with enormous charisma and great musical insight (which incidentally brought them huge careers which lasted many decades),” could it.

    I wonder: if Trifonov had named these two as idols, what would NL’s reaction be?

  • M McAlpine says:

    Just cannot believe what Norman has made of this. As both LB and VH were known rather more as musicians than gay (or bisexual) men during their lives it might be that LL was referring too their musicianship rather than their lifestyle.

    • Paul Brownsey says:

      Please don’t refer to being gay as a “lifestyle”. Lifestyles are what the newspaper supplements advise us on: white jeans are in for this summer (as The Guardian thought fit to announce today at the top of its front page), shepherd’s pie is the in dish for dinner parties, and corduroy furniture is making a comeback. The deep relationships of which gay people are capable should not be trivialised as lifestyle. Do you refer to being straight as a lifestyle?

    • Biologist says:

      Though I agree with the gist of your remark, just a reminder that being gay is not a “lifestyle”

  • :/ says:

    um…what the…? I stumbled upon this site thinking this was serious informational site on classical music…I guess I was wrong…who is this Norman person?

  • Mustafa Kandan says:

    So far all the prominent Chinese pianists seem to be followers of more flamboyant school of piano playing. Yuja Wang is by far the best of them. I wonder whether an equivalent of Mitsuko Uchida from Japan will ever come out of China.

    • hsy says:

      “I wonder whether an equivalent of Mitsuko Uchida from Japan will ever come out of China.”

      That totally depends on whether a major record label wants another complete cycle of Mozart piano sonatas and concertos in their catalog. This is an absolutely necessary (but maybe not sufficient) condition for an equivalent of Uchida to emerge.

    • Luigi Nonono says:

      Flamboyant is not the correct word for tasteless pianists lacking in culture.

  • fflambeau says:

    This strikes me as a racist and homophobic post.

  • fflambeau says:

    Somebody has gone off the deep end and it isn’t Lang Lang.

    In my opinion (and I am a lawyer who has handled defamation cases) this is defamation per se.

  • Daniel Kravetz says:

    I’ve heard Lang Lang. Thought he was so-so.

  • Novagerio says:

    “There are three kinds of pianists: Jewish pianists, homosexual pianists, and bad pianists.” – Vladimir Horowitz

  • Lasoprana says:

    Is this supposed to be a picture of Vladimir Horowitz with Leonard Bernstein? It’s Horowitz with Toscanini.

  • Tully Potter says:

    Norman, you have exceeded your bollocks quotient with this item.

  • Steven van Staden says:

    Whatever Lang Lang “want to be”, he will never, ever be in the Horowitz league (as a pianist, I mean).

  • Alexander Tarak says:

    From Heifetz, Horowitz, Toscanini etc. to Lang Lang.
    What a comedown! How did this happen?
    (It is really unfortunate when when he plays Horowitz transcriptions such as that of Liszt’s Hungarian Rhapsody no2. Such is the gulf between the two that Lang Lang does himself a huge disservice).

  • Ruben Greenberg says:

    The moderator needs moderating.

  • Furzwängler says:

    Reading some of the comments here, I sometimes feel as if I have walked in to the “Pseuds Corner” column of Private Eye.

  • Luigi Nonono says:

    Well, both were guilty of musical excesses and sometime tastelessness, so he is quite accurate in his choices.

  • Neptune says:

    bRRoiled fish. Not boiled.