Yuja: Mozart wore short shorts just like me

Yuja: Mozart wore short shorts just like me


norman lebrecht

September 01, 2019

The pianist is discovering London.



  • debuschubertussy says:

    Um…what exactly does that headline have to do with Yuja’s post…?

  • Mick the Knife says:

    I confess that I went to Instagram to view more.

  • Sue Sonata Form says:

    Are you sure her name isn’t Yawna Wang?

    • nimitta says:

      Aren’t you clever! As if nobody ever thought of ‘Sue Snotty Form’…

      Your trollery aside, I can assure you no one was yawning during any of the many performances I’ve heard from Yuja Wang. In fact, the last time I heard her in recital, her renditions of Rachmaninoff preludes, the Scriabin 10th, and three Ligeti études – Touches bloquées, Vertige, & Désordre – had a full house sitting at the edge of their seats, gasping at her playing’s mad, thrilling splendor.

    • Loke Fook Seng says:

      Her actual name in Chinese is Wang Yujia with the surname first. She defers to people who mispronounce her name and expects to see the surname at the end of a name and introduces herself as Yuma Wang.

  • Olev says:

    I won’t get into the clothing debate, because that’s exactly what you want so you can demand more money from your advertisers.
    However, in that Instagram post it’s interesting to note that a professional pianist uses the word “apparently” in this context.
    As far as I’m aware, Mozart DID live in London. It is well documented and is a fact. A fact a professional pianist should know.
    The way she wrote it reads like she stumbled across this monument to Mozart, and learnt this information for the first time from the information panel.
    I have always assumed all professional musicians have read the letters/biographies of the composers they perform…I guess not.

    • Jack says:

      Uh, she’s writing for a mass audience on Instragram and you’re looking for scholarly insight???

    • Jeffrey Hampton says:

      That is a lot of reading! and sometimes not as helpful to the learning process of the pieces in question.

      Does knowing all the biographical information help learn a piece? If you enjoy knowing those things, it provides exciting context, but not everyone is interested in music for the same reasons.

    • hsy says:

      That is a lot of extrapolation from a single word. “Apparently” in this context can also convey a sense of amazement. In other words, she is in awe of Mozart who wrote two symphonies at 8 in London. Of course you can interpret the word whichever way your bias takes you. But to spend so much thought deciphering a throwaway instagram post seems a bit weird.

      • Greg says:

        apparently adverb
        ap·​par·​ent·​ly | ə-ˈper-ənt-lē , -ˈpa-rənt
        Definition of apparently
        : it seems apparent —used to describe something that appears to be true based on what is known

        Often a person for whom English is a second language will have a better knowledge of the meaning of a word than some native speakers who are accustomed to a more idiomatic or contextual sense of the word.

  • Minutewaltz says:

    Did Mozart also go commando like her?

  • ACN says:

    This is so misogynistic. ENOUGH with the Yuja-bashing posts, and any other headlines about what women wear, or don’t wear, or should wear. I read this page for classical music news, but the tabloid-style misogyny and sensationalism of nearly every other post turns my stomach.

    • norman lebrecht says:

      Don’t read it, then.

      • me says:

        That’s your response to a well made charge of misogyny and by extension damaging society. Are you waiting for misogyny to be illegal and won’t stop until it is?!

        • Sue Sonata Form says:

          Uh, no; he probably believes that the Left should have the sole prerogative on making rules about what we can and cannot do, say and cannot say, think and cannot think. It’s their schtick.

      • ACN says:

        In a world of fake news, rampant misogyny, prejudice, and sensationalized smut, you actually want your site to…exemplify this? Great.

        Some people may enjoy a race to the bottom, but the rest of your readers deserve better.

        • Enquiring Mind says:

          Maybe there is more to these stories then you are seeing. For me, the first glamour puss was Mutter. What you see today in Wang is an evolution of the great musicians that provide “value added” on stage in their physical appearance. Its relevant music journalism and entertaining.

          • Sue Sonata Form says:

            Mutter was and is elegant. Wang is into raunch culture; there’s a BIG difference.

          • Enquiring Mind says:

            I said evolution, and thats just what it is. Every young musician knows Yuja and elegance isn’t their thing.

          • M2N2K says:

            The difference is generational more than anything else. People who are closer to ASM age tend to prefer her style while people who are closer to YW generation tend to see her look as the more attractive one. Those of us who understand that styles and fashion change over time are able to appreciate them both.

        • Alphonse says:

          “Rampant misogyny”?? You’ve got to be kidding. There is no more privileged being on this earth than the modern Western woman- endlessly coddled, their every whim catered to, given laughably light sentences compared to men for committing identical crimes- meanwhile the homeless population suicide rates, and incarceration rates are overwhelmingly male. Male victims of domestic violence are laughed at; depressed men are told to “man up” and have nowhere to turn. The average man- the man not in the top ten percentile of men in terms of wealth, looks, etc.- are completely and utterly invisible as far as the world is concerned. And no one cares. I know the resident white knights here- who are inexplicably eager to full on their swords for m’lady- will downvote this post into oblivion. So be it. Let’s face it- we live in a matriarchy.

        • Saxon Broken says:

          ACN writes: “Some people may enjoy a race to the bottom, but the rest of your readers deserve better”

          Why do any of us deserve anything? And why is Norman responsible for “what we deserve”?

          It isn’t our site: if we don’t like it then we can go elsewhere.

    • George says:

      What can possibly be misogynistic about “Mozart wore shorts just like me??” She’s wearing a cute pair of shorts while looking at a Mozart statue. That’s all there is. You’re clearly reading something into this post that isn’t there.

      • ACN says:

        The headline is “Mozart wore short shorts just like me” – emphasizing the length of her shorts (HOW IS THIS EVEN A NEWS STORY???). This website has a history of Yuja-bashing, especially when it comes to her clothes, so the context is impossible to ignore, the meaning impossible to deny.

        • Saxon Broken says:

          ACN writes: “This website has a history of Yuja-bashing…”

          Perhaps Yuja isn’t doing the bashing when reading this site…

      • Sue Sonata Form says:

        Sorry, but it’s Yawna Wang who keeps, er, banging on – about her clothing. Me, me, meeeee; look at meeeeee.

        • M2N2K says:

          She does not. You talk about her clothes much more than she does. She simply wears what makes her feel comfortable and attractive. The only time she talks about it is when she is asked about it.

    • Sue Sonata Form says:

      Reminds me of Woody Allen’s line: “The food was terrible and the portions were so small”!!

  • Steven van Staden says:

    I’m reminded again of Peter Katin’s comments about what’s become of the music world. It’s sorely degraded.

    • Petros Linardos says:

      What is degraded is coverage of Yuja Wang, though her overactive tweeter and clothing choices don’t help. Nothing of this nonsense has anything to do with her supreme musicianship.

      • Sue Sonata Form says:

        You’d think her musicianship would speak for itself, but her own constant chatter about her clothing mostly drowns that out. Personally, I think it’s all a red herring…..

        • hsy says:

          You are gaslighting. She does not constant chatter about her clothing. If no one asks her about it, she does not talk about it. You should blame the endless fascination some journalists have with her clothes.

  • Jack says:

    Some very sniffy folks this morning. Yuja is a breath of fresh air in a very stuffy field.

  • Robert Werblin says:

    Everyone should be much more interested in what she covers and uncovers with her artistry than what she covers or uncovers with her attire! She flaunts her gifts, both the talent and the appearance. But true aficionados of music should be by far more interested in the former.

    • Petros Linardos says:

      Indeed. Moreover, I don’t think that great conductors and orchestra like, say, Claudio Abbado and the Lucerne Festival Orchestra, worked with her because of her good looks or clothing choices.

      • Pedro says:

        I confirm. I was there for the second-best Prokofiev 3 in my life. The best was Martha’s of course! In Paris with the LFO and Nelsons.

  • Anon says:

    “Will you still need me, will you retweet me… when I’m 34?”

    • Sue Sonata Form says:

      I presume that number refers to age!!!”-)

      I’m sure Lee Liberace would be proud of Yuja Wang; and a glorious tradition of clothing being more important than music!

      • M2N2K says:

        Fortunately, music is still far more important for Yuja Wang than clothing (e.g. there is not a single word about clothes in her post that is discussed here) which is much more than I can say about many of the commenters above and below.

    • Petros Linardos says:

      Music connoisseurs probably look forward to an older and musicially wiser Yuja. I definitely do.

  • Judith Despaties says:

    These pictures are meant for Instagram and its clientele. To take one out of context and dress it up with that title is at least passing judgment…so I will allow myself to pass judgment on your title and declare it mysogynistic…but good title for your advertisers !!!

  • Greg says:

    I can relate to Yuja because I would always bring my jogging shoes with me when traveling and often found myself out in the evening in my shorts and shoes and enjoying the sights and sounds of a different city. Maybe she just came upon the monument while out on her evening jog.

  • Sir David Geffen-Hall says:

    I assure you Ms Wang that you look much better in shorts than Wolfgang.

  • Michael Tierra says:

    Yuja, with or without clothes is one of the greatest living pianists.

  • OJ says:

    I had the chance to hear Wang live in Beethoven 4 and Chopin 1. She was fantastic. Then Prokofiev 3, well kit her stick but that’s ok.
    Since then, I have lost interest. The playing has lost this “Super special touch” she had as she was fresh out of Curtis.
    Hope for her she leaves this superficial zone and reemerge as the superb artist she can be.

  • Jax says:

    Like lang lang, when all else fails, lotsa loud, lotsa fast, sketchy clothes.
    Lordy I’m soooo tired of steel fingered midgets…!!