Where’s Lang Lang? Midway between Beijing and Disney

Where’s Lang Lang? Midway between Beijing and Disney


norman lebrecht

January 24, 2023

The one-times darling of Carnegie Hall has slipped out of focus during Covid.

Back home he has been appointed cultural ambassador for the 2023 Happy Chinese New Year celebrations.

Abroad, he’s due to perform The Disney Book Live in Concert on Valentine’s Day, February 14, at Radio City Music Hall in New York City.

Eat your heart out, Carnegie Hall.


  • Ionut says:

    Good for him. Much respect. Play for the money in your account and for the future of your children. Not for the posh arrogancy and for a dying breed of entertainment that is alive only because of public founding.

  • phf655 says:

    Radio City Music Hall, home of the Rockettes, and at one time a venue for Disney’s Fantasia is more suitable for him than Carnegie Hall. Madison Square Garden (venue for hockey and basketball might be even better.

  • Serge says:

    What has happen to Deutsche Grammophon. From hero to zero. Are there any quality left, except some of the old boys like Perahia and Sokolov?

  • High-Note says:

    I seriously doubt Carnegie hall laments losing laments losing such a program…

  • Leroy azpik says:

    He’s turning into Liberace.

  • DG says:

    I can’t think of worse Valentine’s Day plans than going to hear Lang Lang play Disney music at Radio City.

    Do the Rockettes come out kicking and surround the piano?

  • opus30 says:

    Can a Disney Cruise Ship appearance be next?

  • Terence says:

    Liberace? $$$?

    He’s entitled to play whatever he likes but it seems a waste of talent.

    • Leo Ribic says:

      I’m trying not to be a snob and say “What talent?” because he has some, but I can’t help but think he was always more interested in the showmanship of music than the art of it.
      If he’s taken this course, I can only say: One can’t waste what one never intended to use to its fullest.

      • Nick2 says:

        It is well known that when he ditched IMG Artists which had helped get his career started, he left for CAMI because CAMI promised to make him a world superstar. IMG was, he felt, too old fashioned. Well CAMI delivered but at the expense of a career as a major solo classical pianist. Expect more glitzy nonsense like this in future.

  • Carl says:

    10 years ago he was recording Prokofiev 3 and Bartok 2 with Simon Rattle and the Berlin Phil. But I suspect this Disney album is doing well or he wouldn’t be flogging it as much as he is. More power to him?

  • RPMS says:

    Why not? He’s always received the sneers of critics for being more interested in showmanship than in the music. So he can’t be blamed for making a virtue out of that, and pursuing it to its logical conclusion. I don’t enjoy his playing, but if others do, and if Disney is the only way they’ll get to see and hear a virtuoso pianist being a virtuoso pianist (I presume the Disney Book has plenty of fireworks), well that’s just fine. Maybe one or two will have their appetites whetted for more.

  • Monty Earleman says:

    Great pianists are a dime a dozen. Great piano TECHNICIANS??? Incredibly rare.

  • WFB says:

    I suspect he may still have injuries that prevent him from tackling core repertoire.

  • Minutewaltz says:

    Lang Lang has done a lot to help disadvantaged musicians by starting and financing programmes in state schools in U.S. and China.
    He has also inspired lots of young people to learn piano.

    • NoFan says:

      In case you missed it, Lang lang also got paid millions to promote online VIP peilian, an online piano tutoring scandal that cheated thousands of teachers and family.

  • Ed says:

    Where is Lang Lang? In the place he always wanted to be.

  • Nyeah says:

    Capitalism at its best folks! Disney buys up everything, and now that includes your precious concert halls and artists.

    • RPMS says:

      Not sure whether this is intended as a remotely serious comment. But it is patently daft. One entertainment venue (not concert hall), one artist (who’s long had leanings towards light entertainment). There are plenty of other places to see the greedy maw of capitalism. This isn’t one of them.

  • Genius Repairman says:

    Lang Lang has always played to the beat of his own A0. He was a prodigy abused by his father and pretty much forced into being a concert pianist. Core repertoire under his hands has always emerged in its own (slightly eccentric) way. Lang Lang’s success with the general public has allowed him to embrace the music that brings the most comfort and joy for the man who lost his childhood.

  • Fritz Grantler says:

    He has finally found his “stir “…..