Yuja rescues Tanglewood opening night

Yuja rescues Tanglewood opening night


norman lebrecht

July 05, 2022

The French pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet has withdrawn from Tanglewood’s opening concert on Friday night due to a death in the family.

Luckily, Yuja Wang had kept her phone on and will replace him in the first Liszt piano concerto – rather than the intended Bernstein Age of Anxiety which is presumably not in her repertoire.


  • E Rand says:

    It’s so depressing – such a talent….and yet she dresses for the gutter to the point I am disinclined to expose her to my children. The Kardashianization of our culture is complete.

    • henry williams says:

      i have been to weddings where
      people come wearing casual clothes. jeans etc.

    • Ellingtonia says:

      Oh do grow up, musicians should be judged on talent and not subjected to the snobbery of the classical music elite over what an artist wears. And just for good measure have a look at this performance by Tina Turner at 60 years of age…….now there is a woman (and possible the best intro to a piece of music you will ever hear)https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T2T5_seDNZE

      • E Rand says:

        Im well grown up…probably thats the rub. I’m of an age that expects people to aim higher than to the basest of our urges. Especially when playing great music (i.e. NOT Tina Turner) music which points upward.

        • Mary Talmi says:

          Tina Turner was a fantastic performer- one of the best.

        • Cheryl Meadows says:

          Okay, you may not like how the girl dresses. Don’t dis Tina Turner like that! She is a cultural icon and the genre is totally different!

      • AnneB says:

        Wang’s outfits stir a lot of controversy- Oh but her performances are stunning.When I saw her recital at Carnegie Hall in April, I thought her skin tight outfit actually accented how much of an Olympic sport concert piano is. The amount of strength and endurance required is highlighted when you can actually see the body. But I don’t know how she works the pedals in her stilettos!

    • Karl says:

      You’re an idiot. Her beauty actually adds to the music in my view, and nothing that she wears is something that should be hidden from children. Do you keep your kids away from the beach nowadays, where bikinis have become smaller and smaller, necessitating all sorts of waxing, cutting, and lasering in order to even be acceptable to a liberal population? You need some serious therapy.

      • Karin Becker says:

        Not the user, Wang needs therapy. She obviously doesn’t know what her own limits are. She insults her audience. If I buy a concert ticket to hear Beethoven and Schoenberg, I don’t want to see the soloist’s ass. Wang is engaging in sexual harassment.

    • john robbins says:

      Add classical pianist Lola Astanova to the list. Disheartening is all I can say. Imagine if entire orchestras dressed like these peacocks.

  • Adam Stern says:

    Hoping the Bernstein may indeed find its way into her repertoire eventually…!

    • John Kelly says:

      It might – she plays Turangalila after all. She probably didn’t feel comfortable learning such a big part in such a short time. Professional. The BSO and audience will not be let down as she hammers her way through the 20 minutes of Liszt………..

      • David says:

        100% agreed. Last minute sub by playing Liszt, and the implication is that she whould have known the Berstein. Sheesh, we’ve become awefully choosy for a last minute sub. Just the Liszt, nothing difficult. There aren’t enough eye rolling emojisin the world.

  • msc says:

    Surely there will be other changes to the program. Swapping a nineteen minute concerto for a thirty-eight minute concertante work seems to leave a gap to be filled.

  • HSY says:

    Is that Disney Hall? I’m pretty sure that’s the only place where she wore that outfit. How kind of Yuja to give the LA classical music critic some fresh material on the only topic that he is “qualified” to write about: celebrity clothing gossip. Very LA indeed.

  • MacroV says:

    Condolences to Mssr. Thibaudet. But kind of a disappointing substitution, repertoire-wise.

  • George says:

    Not the most flattering shot of Ms. Wang. Did she forget part of her outfit that night?

    • Wannaplayguitar says:

      When you realise you forgot to pack your trousers and can’t remember where you left your instrument case backstage at 7.25pm

  • M2N2K says:

    Given the contents of this post, a photo of the substituting soloist coming toward the piano would have been more appropriate rather than one showing her going away from it. But apparently other visual considerations take precedence.

  • Ludwig's Van says:

    She could learn Age of Anxiety if somebody just whistled it to her!

  • Joe says:

    In that outfit Yuja can rescue anything.

  • Judith Dernier says:

    Yuja’s risqué outfits for performances are on the edge. Nervously anticipating a nude performance from her very soon. 🙂

  • Piano Lover says:

    Congratulations but will there be some nasty comments on her outfit again?
    “””Bernstein Age of Anxiety”””…not this time thanks!

  • Mark Mortimer says:

    Good luck to her. How strange however- never seen Martha Argerich, Evgeny Kissin Murray Perahia, Mikhail Pletnev or Maurizio Pollini coming to play on stage with half their backsides showing.

  • Paul Capon says:

    With that outfit, she has no Anxiety, it all out there – pure Liszt; He would have been proud.

  • V.Lind says:

    Last time I saw an outfit that skimpy in public was on Copacabana Beach.

  • Cecily says:

    No matter how rushed or nervous you are as a performer, ask check you have remembered to lift your housekeys on the way out (and put on a skirt!)

  • ER says:

    A good picture, modern, colors all in harmony.
    She’s unique among many great pianists still playing, in adding this challenge to our sleepy minds. I’d rather this than others, who seem to dress as

  • Daniel A. says:

    Interesting programming choice to play the Age of Anxiety yet again. Thibaudet already was a guest in March 2018 doing this same piece. Nonetheless, i look forward to hearing him in Feb 2023 doing the Khachaturian concerto w/Shani. I anticipate that will be a thrilling performance.

    • Stephen Owades says:

      The Boston Symphony often repeats repertoire between the regular season in Boston and the summer season at Tanglewood. The audience is quite different (the Berkshires and Tanglewood attract more New Yorkers than Bostonians).

    • music lover says:

      I could live without the Khatchaturian..A horribly tacky,banal piece.The Bernstein is in a different class,though.

  • Judy says:

    Highly inappropriate outfit and picture.

    No shirt, no shoes- no service as they say here in the states. Oh and add Pants/skirt to that.

  • Fsm says:

    Lots of keen comments I’ve enjoyed and agree with on both sides, but all cracks aside, is that picture for real? If it’s real, then she’s definitely pandering..poor thing

    • M2N2K says:

      The picture is definitely real, except that in person this attire looked even more revealing than it does in the photo. By the way, she played brilliantly and changed into a sparkling long dress for the second half of the recital.

  • Parsifan says:

    Age of Narcissism is in her repertoire for sure.

  • BEcherd says:

    Mr. Rand, Seriously you would deprive your children of this lovely young woman and her other worldly talent??? And why critique her individuality, sensuality, spunkiness or humor? Could we not ALL use more of it? Yuja is AMAZING

  • Irv O. Neil says:

    I wonder what Darva Chan would say about Yuja’s outfit. She would probably approve but suggest a whip too!

  • Amos says:

    If it hasn’t already been noted perhaps drawing attention to the fact the MTT will be conducting the last 2 Tanglewood concerts this season is more worthy of discussion. Given his medical situation and early association with the BSO as assistant conductor under maestro Steinberg, when he conducted many more concerts than any other junior assistant of a major orchestra, we hope the reunion results in memorable music making.

  • Karin Becker says:

    She is addicted to attention and it is her body that is to be seen in large auditoriums. She has no culture and no class, she prefers the vulgar and the vulgar. Instead of a Steinway grand piano, she should do tricks on a pole. Then everything would fit together. It would be better if she sought help from a psychoanalyst.