Yuja’s sunning it through Covid

Yuja’s sunning it through Covid


norman lebrecht

July 15, 2020

A bored Yuja Wang is posting pictures of her daily life in New York.

Lest we forget.


  • Jeremy Wardle says:

    It’s really odd all this. She is such a major player she doesn’t need to do all the things you’d associate with a desperate wannabe

    • hsy says:

      Let her live her life… If she wants to share some facets of her life with us, why not? Two Instagram posts per month is hardly desperate. And one does wonder why this is considered news on this site.

    • Henry williams says:

      What about Nigel kennedys Hobo like clothes.

    • Grittenhouse says:

      Does she have any poetry, esthetic refinement?

      • Steve says:

        Obviously you haven’t listened to her Scarlatti, Schumann, Scriabin… amongst many others

      • Don says:

        It’s interesting to see that “Grittenhouse” says some platitude and expects everyone to agree with him or her … a Karen or a male Karen …

  • violafan says:

    Does anyone else get a shiver down there spine when they see a post about Yuja on this site?

    • Novagerio says:

      Gustavo: He certainly won’t beat his father in the Schmidt, despite the fancy lable and all the posing (!)

      • Gustavo says:

        Well hard to compete with dad conducting Detroit and Chicago Symphony Orchestras on Chandos – but let us wait and hear.

        Paavo’s Rott with the Frankfurters is one of the best on the market.

        Neeme’s Rott with BPO is probably the best recording that is not on the market.

  • If you’ve got it (which I ain’t) flaunt it. It matters little – she is one of the greatest players of her (or any) generation.

    • Grittenhouse says:

      People who have taste do not flaunt it, personally or musically. I don’t know of any musician who has musical taste who doesn’t also have personal taste.

  • macman says:

    she could do a centrefold, if only she wasn’t so over-dressed…

  • Mouse says:

    Nice to see that after Covid-19 also SD tries to go back to normal with a little Yuga Wang promo … I am glad to see SD gives at least these Yuja Wang images regular files names “yuja-wang-summer .. jpg”. I found it quite disturbing to see pics of this woman on this blog named “yuja-wang-shorts-300×200.jpg” [at the piano], “yuja-wang-shortest-271×300.jpg” [walking off stage], “yuja-wang-long-proms-300×200.jpg” [on stage at proms], and so on…

  • RW2013 says:

    Learn some Alkan, some Sorabji…?

    • macman says:

      you can learn any composer in your skimpies – have you not tried it?

    • Novagerio says:

      Oh, given her monstrous technique, Alkan and Sorabji are a walk in the park for her, rest assured!

      • John says:

        Seriously, she genuinely could. She’s not given enough credit for the breadth of her repertoire. She does ALL the Prokofiev concertos for example. She plays the more troublesome Ravel Left Hand concerto as well as the popular G major. She even plays Messiaen’s Turangalila – and you don’t tackle that piece unless you are very serious indeed, and prepared to put your virtuosity at the service of a bigger cause. She’d be fantastic in Alkan, whose quirkiness and driving energy are perfect for how she plays. I’d rather hear her do some of the Sorabji Transcendental Studies than a great big piano symphony or Opus Clavicembalisticum. And if she wants to play in a skimpy dress or tight shorts, why not? I don’t mind what she wears. She’s a great ambassador for music generally.

        • RW2013 says:

          Indeed. She could easily make Alkan and Sorabji into household names.
          Having recently heard a live Sorabji Opus, I’m not sure that anyone can really bring it off…

          • Quire says:

            Just out of curiosity, what Sorabji work did you hear live?

          • RW2013 says:

            Opus usually means Opus Clavicembalisticum.
            14/11/2019 from 19:00 until about 1:30.
            Any more questions?

        • Quire says:

          Since you mention the Turangalîla-Symphonie, I’m tempted to suggest something like The Garden of Iram from Sorabji’s Symphonic Variations; that work exists in a typeset version and the orchestral parts are quite doable, and the piece lasts some 30 minutes. The piano part is outrageously intricate, though, even compared to Sorabji’s other nocturnal music.

        • John Borstlap says:

          I didn’t know there was a piano version of Messiaen’s Turangalila.

          • clarrieu says:

            It would be fun to see the whole Turangalîla orchestra dressed the same way… Would that have been Yvonne’s taste?

        • Sue Sonata Form says:

          There’s quality then there’s quantity.

        • Hilary says:

          True, those composers ( Alkan and Sorabji) generally fare better as miniaturists.

          If only someone would cut the Barraqué piano sonata by 10mins or so and we’d have one of the great post -war piano works. Far stronger than the Boulez 2nd.

      • Grittenhouse says:

        It’s not technique. It’s mental control, playing like an automaton. Her hands are a wreck. She’s also lacking in real “power.” Tone quality, volume. I guess studying with Graffman paid off.

        • Hilary says:

          “ playing like an automaton”

          Wasn’t what I encountered when I heard her play Scriabin’s 10th Sonata at the Barbican a few years ago.

  • yujafan says:

    is she getting worried by Lola Russian Piano Porn/No Talent…? Yuja has all the gifts, musical and body beautiful, therefore has no cause for concern.

  • Guglielmo says:

    Stop harassing her. Please.

  • Nigel Goldberg says:

    She’s just having fun. I think that’s her whole ‘thing’ and why not, she’s a product of the times we live in. Whatever you might think, yes, she’s no Brendel or whoever, but can certainly play.

  • SteelTownRunner says:

    Why is a musician’s innocuous instagram post newsworty?

    • Bruce says:

      Have you seen how many comments, and up/down votes, this post has gotten? -Which is surely just a small fraction of the number of total clicks. Yuja brings in the revenue.

      Sadly (?), the posts with the highest numbers of comments &/or clicks on this site are usually the ones that are not about music (or only tangentially, e.g. Domingo, Dutoit, et al). Sexual harassment, and racial and economic injustice, pay the bills.

      • Mick the Knife says:

        But Bruce, though you have a habit of taking the high ground and preaching to the fallen here, you are like a “hog at the trough” reading and posting every day.

        • Bruce says:

          True, I come here every day. I do like reading about what’s going on in the world of classical music, and learning to read between the lines of NL’s sensationalistic/ misleading headlines is the price I pay for getting that information for free. I do try to read the relevant articles when they’re not blocked.

          My “taking the high ground and preaching to the fallen” is simply me seeing things the way I see them… same as for those who see things differently than I do. I disagree with them, they disagree with me, and the world continues to go round. If you see me as a sanctimonious scold, well, I’m sorry about that. But don’t expect me to change the way I see things, any more than you’d expect Doug or Sue Sonata Form to change their approaches based on my opinion.

          In the meantime, my point about sex/ sexual harassment and racism getting more clicks than anything else is neither original nor untrue. Nothing based on actual artistry, even the most partisan pro/anti Netrebko arguments, garner so much attention. That’s how the world works, and Norman has do what pays the bills. (I’m sure that the 19thC newspapers now mostly remembered for running serialized novels by Dickens or Trollope, made most of their money covering crime and tawdry sex scandals. Plus ça change…)

  • Old Man in the Midwest says:

    Beautiful musician and beautiful young lady.

    Enjoy it while it lasts.

    Youth will last forever and sooner or later there will be someone new and the youngsters will ask “who is Yuja Wang?” .

  • John Kelly says:

    …..well it has been 35 celsius pretty much every day here in NYC……………..

  • M McAlpine says:

    Just a bit of post-teen rebellion. Of course, SD has to publish the pictures to show our disapproval!

  • Another orchestra player says:

    Why are these pictures such a big deal? Let her be!

  • Tamino says:

    she is sexy

  • John Borstlap says:

    My fly on the wall tells me that Ms Wang let herself be inspired by purely musical considerations, projected upon her wardrobe. So, the picture demonstrates her personal interpretation of sonata form: this is the ‘exposition’, which will soon be followed by the ‘development’, after which we can expect the ‘recapitulation’.

  • Alexander Tarak says:

    Not much to write home about.

  • Phillipe says:

    She is beautiful, and she is proud of it.
    A great musician (and she is) can also be a beautiful woman.

  • Xi Pooh says:

    Trying hard to be relevant. Good fingers.

  • Simon Behrman says:

    Everyone is entitled to their own taste in music and musical performances, but what is unarguable is that Yuja Wang is one of the most accomplished pianists around today. Personally, I’ve found her performances of Ravel and Prokofiev electrifying. What is repugnant is the drooling over her appearance by the middle-aged men here and elsewhere. (Full disclosure: I am a middle-aged man) Most male artists her age or even older do cover art, magazine shoots, post on social media displaying their love of clothes, a come-hither expression, or showing off in some other way, but do not get the kind of lascivious attention that Yuja gets. Get a grip and try at least to pretend that the Me Too movement means something.

  • Mouse says:

    On many occasions readers of this blog expressed their concerns about the future of classical music performance/recording and named education systems, politics, distraction through media etc. as the typical reasons why there is no ‘Kleiber’ or ‘Horowitz’ amongst young women and men.
    I wonder who will be the first, author or reader of this blog, to make contact with reality: Go and meet with average, educated young people (students in a campus cafeteria or your own kids upstairs) and simply ask them what they hate more: Classical music – or the opinions of classical music lovers on Yuja’s photos? Guess what the answer will be…

  • Ed says:

    Perhaps she thinks she is an attractive woman.

  • Vaquero357 says:

    Yuja posts always get a metric ton of views and comments…. I wonder why Norman keeps doing them.

    The view from my seat: She’s an excellent pianist who deserves the serious critical praise she’s received. If you agree but her attire bothers/distracts you…. just listen to her recordings/webcasts. If you think she’s a mediocre pianist who needs the social media shenanigans to stay in the public spotlight….. well, why do you keep reading this stuff?

  • Sue Sonata Form says:

    Generation Facebook and Instagram Narcissist.

  • Mandingo says:

    When is dressing for the weather controversial? Also, for the prudes here. The anger twisted up with sexual arousal almost like shouting to strangers you’re impotent and frustrated IMHO.

  • Rod Steele says:

    She needs to keep toning her ass in the gym.

  • Grittenhouse says:

    Finally, something about Wang. I watched her play Flight of the Bumblebee with staggering accuracy, too fast, and with loads of tension in her hands. Then I looked at Vladimir Horowitz’s hands while playing. What a difference, in every sense. Relaxed, poise, moving freely, while she pushes through everything, sheer determination and will power. Is this how all the Chinese students are taught, to stretch their fingers out with a tensed hand, no matter what the cost? I predict she will be unable to play by the age of 40 due to tendonitis, wear and tear and sheer exhaustion. It’s odd, because I’m sure they had Russian teachers in China originally. They must have been bad ones.

    • Bruce says:

      Interesting. Don’t know who her teachers were in China, but it wouldn’t be surprising if they were Russian or Russian-schooled, since the Russian influence in piano playing is everywhere. In the US she studied with Gary Graffman, who has his own history of hand problems (and had a famous Russian teacher).

  • Just Saying says:

    Eh. She’s ok in the image department. Just has a good image consultant/publicist.
    I can think of a lot more Asian-american classical musicians I’d rather check out.

  • mary says:

    Too bad no male classical musician can fill out a pair of cutoffs like Yuja.

  • Greg says:

    I find it interesting that the above pictures were actually posted on Yuja’s Facebook account on July 12, whereas on July 15 – the date of this column – she posted a picture of herself in sporting attire on a bicycle at West Harlem Piers. I submit that the columnist had the option of what to post, but possibly selected these photos because they suggest a certain narrative, of indolence or ennui.

  • Thomas says:

    Personally I find this constant cattiness about this beautiful young woman’s clothing choices, and her social media accounts, is getting rather tiresome. Everytime I see one of these annoying headlines about her appearance, it makes me wonder if this is becoming some sort of Rupert Murdoch tabloid vendetta!?

    There are, of course, performers whose bland musicianship has no great appeal, and they’ve used cheap tricks of sexualizing their appearance to garner some attention, for what usually amounts to a brief flirtation with fame.

    Yuja Wang is a fantastic musician, who I love listening to. She’s young and will continue to grow as an artist, and whilst she has this amazing body, why not celebrate it too. If she was 500 lbs and came out in pink spangly hot pants and some electrical tape on her nipples, then I would be repulsed and her appearance would probably ruin my evening. This is clearly not the case!

  • Karin Becker says:

    YW likes to show up in generous clothes or just covered with sheet music (from her preparation for the hammer piano sonata?) https://www.gettyimages.de/detail/nachrichtenfoto/yuja-wang-nachrichtenfoto/541093148
    d92a39a07bdaf172e446b27354d4355f.jpg (1536×2048) (pinimg.com)