Yuja’s sickness is blamed on management

Yuja’s sickness is blamed on management


norman lebrecht

July 22, 2021

Friction between the pianist Yuja Wang and the Austrain clarinetist Andreas Ottensamer over a cancelled Italian tour has been laid to rest after their managers took the blame.

Ottensamer posted first: ‘Unfortunately, Yuja had to cancel our recital tour in Italy due to health reasons.’

Yuja responded: ‘Although it had been announced I am sick I am actually – thankfully – doing well. Unfortunately the program with Andy Ottensamer had to be changed significantly per his request and needs and due to this it was no longer possible to perform…’

Andy flashed back: ‘I am very happy to hear you are actually not sick. Your management communicated that as the reason for your cancellation.’

And then: ‘Must be a massive misunderstanding…’

Agents…. who needs ’em?

review photo: Mark Allan/Barbican


  • RW2013 says:

    The Tom Cruise of clarinetists.

  • Wurm says:

    Very glad to hear Yuja is well, long may this continue. Who needs an agent’s excuses (read: thinly veiled lies) anyhow? However, I suppose this qualifies as doing something and therefore justifies -in their mind- the percentage cut from an artist’s fee.

  • Ken says:

    “Must be a massive misunderstanding” is not written by Yuja but by Andy. Check his Instagram post..

  • Ken says:

    But it shows that Yuja didn’t even care about ringing her fellow musician partner to tell him that she would cancel the concerts…

    • Tamino says:

      I would be careful about such clueless outsider judgements.
      Chances are, he single handedly commanded a change in programming without ringing her in the first place?
      My personal outsider judgement about him is that he seems to be such an annoying narcissist. Who now even wants to conduct… $$$$$$

      • Idamante says:

        his conducting is very bad!
        spastic and it looks like he rehearsed the movements in front of the mirror. but the hairstyle and suit fits perfect. but that’s it.
        and you are right-he is sich an annoying narcissist.
        writing he‘s conducting mdr orchestra but it was a conducting masterclass held by the weimar conducting teacher.

        • Fredric says:

          Andy, Pahud, and a few others from that Berlin band are just so disgustingly narcissistic that it makes non sheeple lose faith in humanity. The old legends had real substance, whereas these “poster boys” do everything for effect. It’s actually tragic for them because only the wrong people care.

      • David says:

        How can you advocate for not passing judgement from the outside, and then in the same breath do exactly that, but with even more vitriol? Are you really so clueless to not see the hypocrisy and the inconsistency?

        • Tamino says:

          No, I was fully aware, and tongue in cheek, because I have good reasons to believe my judgement is based on actual evidence 😉

    • NYMike says:

      Au contraire, Yuja is known to be a caring person.

    • George Neidorf says:

      That’s why you pay an agent.

  • Alviano says:

    Before social media we would never have known all this. Are we better off knowing it? Are Andy and Yuja better off?

  • Larry T says:

    Firstly, why is this important.
    Second, Norman, managers are needed so artists can focus on their art. You like to “blame” managers and administrators of orchestras, opera companies and performing arts series, but I doubt you ever were part of any. It’s easy to look in and criticize, not easy to work in one. If either artist has an issue their management, it’s up to them to deal with it. Having half the facts does not give us the right to make such statements.

    • at says:

      Seconded. Additionally, good managers exercise discretion on behalf of their clients to protect the artists’ relationships. Even if illness is a transparently obvious excuse for “I don’t really want to do this,” at the end of the day it allows everyone to save face and move on. Really not a big deal. The social media exchange quoted above is actually a good example of why artists need managers: to provide a buffer that avoids or reduces the unforced errors that otherwise cause unnecessary damage and make everyone involved look bad (or at least foolish).

      • BigSir says:

        When they put something on social media, its to get attention. To create a little drama, maybe increase ticket sales.

  • M.Arnold says:

    “Is that a clarinet or are you just happy to see me?”

  • Jasper says:

    Fascinating exchange. Have they broken up? Weren’t they an item?

    • TNY says:

      An item?
      No, not them.

    • LK says:

      @Jasper – Define “item”. I don’t think they were exclusive to each other, but there was definitely some kind of non-professional liaison going on for some time. These public exchanges perhaps suggest that it didn’t go so well the last time they met off-stage 😉

  • Eusebius says:

    YUJA-st have to air your dirty laundry on social media, don’t you?

  • CYM says:

    Looking at the picture, it seems that the lack of ‘social distancing’ may be the cause…

  • Doug says:

    Agents cover for artists, but if the program change was late and too difficult, that should have been said.

  • Sir David Geffen-Hall says:

    Just shows that you can be rich, famous, handsome, good looking, and outstanding in your line of work but totally clueless on how the real world works.

  • BigSir says:

    She came back with both barrels.

  • Tony Sanderson says:

    Let’s hope they make up.

    A reminder of happier days.


    Still there’s always Martin Fröst to partner with Yuja


  • MacroV says:

    They’ve been friends and collaborators for years; they wouldn’t have handled this all via e-mail or such? A little passive-aggressive tweeting seems out of character.

  • Minutewaltz says:

    This all sounds a bit odd.
    As previous posters have said, they’ve played together for years and presumably are in contact directly rather than via an agent.

  • Anyone know what a Wang-Ottensamer program had on it?

  • Frühbeck de Burgos Said to me, „managers work for us, they live from us,“ so it‘s nice to hear they take something besides our money.