The attention-seeking pianist came on stage in sunglasses at her Vancouver recital on Friday night and refused to acknowledge the audience.
They grew increasingly resentful.
Here’s a vivid post from the conductor Tania Miller:
Last night I attended a Vancouver Recital Society concert with Yuja Wang performing. I was looking forward to hearing her perform. When she walked out on stage with sunglasses and a direct approach to the piano, quick bow and immediate performance with no acknowledgement of the audience, I thought it was quirky. Some of the audience tittered at the thought that this was some sort of cool new dress code.
But with each subsequent work that she performed, she stood up, bowed quickly without a smile, and when she left the stage she walked with clear body language that shut the audience out. When the audience continued to clap to bring her back out on stage, she refused. The effect was shocking. As each subsequent work was performed and this pattern continued, it became clear that she was shutting the door on her audience.
I heard later that she had trouble with the Canadian border getting into Canada. She was obviously angry. But Yuja Wang, you must not forget that the music is the most important treasure. And that some are bestowed with the ability to share it and it is an honour and a blessing to do so. Your innocent audience, some donning masks to protect themselves from the potential Coronavirus, came to be in your presence for this sold-out concert, and to hear the music and extraordinary talent that you had to share.
Instead they experienced the rejection of an artist withholding the permission to share in the feeling, transcendence and the shared emotion of the beauty, joy, and humanity of music.
UPDATE: Yuja: I was humiliated