Lang Lang arrived at the Cultural Palace of Nationalities, the same small, now dingy hall where Ormandy conducted in Classical musicians have long been considered dusty, dry figures, but in China, year-old Yundi and his more internationally known rival Lang Lang are treated as rock stars. It was nearing midnight. Another knelt before him and polished his shoes and then the soles of his shoes. We had no air-conditioning, no heat. But he is ambitious and listens solely to that ambition.
We've never met' His piano recitals attract billions; he won't do 'crossover'; and he's making Chopin hip.
During the rehearsal, Lang was all business, and by the time he was done his shirt and jacket were soaked with sweat. His listeners were impressed but, for the moment, offered no jobs. Why it's time to end our Cold War view of Soviet music.
Lang played the red Steinway grand, which he was auctioning off on his Web site to raise money for earthquake victims.