Yuja covers up (we thought you should know)

Yuja covers up (we thought you should know)


norman lebrecht

January 13, 2021

The pianist appeared masked and long-skirted in her first concert for a long while.

She writes: I had a great time performing Strauss’ “Burleske” this weekend with the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra, led by Eric Jacobsen. Thank you to our audience for enduring chilly (for Florida!) temperatures to enjoy the music with us. Headed back in #NYC for some real winter now!



  • Petros Linardos says:

    We would love to know if we could somehow listen to the great pianist’s interpretation of Richard Strauss’ wonderful work for piano and orchestra.
    The noise about her wardrobe is totally irrelevant.

  • Birchley Poundbottom says:

    Such virtue! A real hero!

  • Anon says:

    Five concerto performances this summer at Lucerne Festival, with four orchestras and three conductors. You will update us on what she will wear each concert, in the hope that if you only ever talk about her clothes people can forget how her playing towers over some of your favourites you love to promote on this blog, yes?

    • Karin Becker says:

      Yuja Wang played in Lucerne for the first time 10 or 11 years ago. She has developed herself and her career. Whether she really is such an outstanding artist, as some say, – I think around her is a great hype. But she has achieved one thing: she has made her concert clothes, her work clothes a brand and a theme. No concert criticism without the critic not addressing her dress. It has managed to take away something completely unimportant. She is a child of our picture media. When Pollini was about 33 years old, he gained respect through reference recordings such as his Stravinsky Prokofjev-Boulez-CD, not through bare thighs.

  • CYM says:

    Well, maybe Yuja was performing during a ‘dress’ rehearsal,
    who knows ?!

  • David K. Nelson says:

    Wearing MORE clothes for Burlesque — wonderful irony. I am no pianist but my understanding is that that piece is a notorious finger-buster.

  • Don Ciccio says:

    In related news, Enzo Bearzot started the game with:
    Cuccureddu, Gentile, Scirea, Cabrini.
    Oriali, Tardelli, Antognoni.
    Causio, Rossi, Bettega.

    Back-up players are the goalkeeper Bordon, plus Collovati, Conti, Graziani, Zaccarelli, and Patrizio Sala.

  • JussiB says:

    Anne Sophie Mutter always wears strapless, sleeveless gowns and nobody says anything.

    • Karin Becker says:

      Right, she made it her trademark. The difference with the Chinese pianist is: A.-S. M. is (also at the age of 50) a beautiful woman with beautiful movements. Be showing only her shoulders, not other body parts. She observes the (Italian) rule that an elegant woman should never show multiple body parts: so never a mini dress that shows both legs and a décolleté and free shoulders and bare arms. YW doesn’t respect these lady rules, she probably doesn’t know them at all. Their role models are pop stars. Their outfits are without elegance, often really ugly, very generous. Sometimes I don’t know: is it 50% or 75% naked. Wang is ordinary and vulgar. She plays in shorts, – in Sao Paolo as well as in Istanbul. She insults her listeners, especially women. A.-S. Mutter is by no means vulgar, she does not want to provoke with her concert clothes and does not want to distract from the music. But that is what the Americanized Chinese woman does. She wants to be progressive and yet she is very old-fashioned in her appearance: she undresses – that’s what many career-willing women have done. But they, too, got older.
      Richtig, sie hat daraus ihr Markenzeichen gemacht.Der Unterschied zu der chinesischen Pianistin ist: A.-S. M. ist (auch mit 50 Jahren) eine schöne Frau mit schönen Bewegungen. Sei zeigt nur ihre Schultern, nicht noch andere Körperteile. Sie beachtet die (italienische) Regel, dass eine elegante Frau nie mehrere Körperteile zeigen soll: also nie ein Minikleid, das beide Beine zeigt und ein Dekolltee und freie Schultern und nackte Arme. Diese Lady-Regeln beachtet YW nicht, sie kennt sie wahrscheinlich gar nicht. Ihre Vorbilder sind Pop-Stars. Ihre outfits sind ohne Eleganz, oft richtig hässlich, sehr freizügig. Manchmal weiß ich nicht: Ist sie zu 50% oder zu 75% nackt. Wang wirkt ordinär und vulgär. Sie spielt in Shorts, – in Sao Paolo ebenso wie in Istanbul. Sie beleidigt ihre Zuhörer, vor allem die Frauen. A.-S. Mutter ist keinesfalls vulgär, sie will mit ihrer Konzertkleidung nicht provozieren und nicht von der Musik ablenken. Das aber tut die amerikanisierte Chinesin. Sie will progressiv sein und ist doch in ihrem Auftreten very uralt: Sie zieht sich aus, – das haben schon viele karrierewillige Frauen gemacht. Aber auch sie wurden älter.

  • JussiB says:

    I’ve seen less clothes worn at a burlesque show. Just sayin’

  • Tony Sanderson says:

    Her concerts with the Clevland Orchstra, the San Fransisco Symphony and the New York Philharmonic which takes up to the middle of February have all been cancelled because of the COV19 pandemic.

    This is a small example of how different states in the USA have different restrictions in place. Florida seems less strict.

    • Anon9 says:

      Florida doesn’t really do winter. The concert was open-air, in a football stadium. Masks were required, and I suppose that the audience was correctly socially-distanced. Guidance from the Orlando Philharmonic website, https://orlandophil.org/venues/. However the temperature was down to the 40s that evening, which may be why Ms Wang was more fully clothed than usual.

  • Disgruntled says:

    Her clothing seems to have rendered these crusty old men quite speechless! They can’t seem to grasp that a woman can be attractive (wearing whatever she likes) AND ten million times more talented than they’ll ever be! Move on.

  • Vladimir Sofronitsky says:

    Overrated pianist.

    • Anon says:

      “Overrated” is exactly what I think of your namesake, who has a mystical reputation built up by self-congratulatory remarks between soviet pianists that does not bear scrutiny when one hears his recordings.