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Originally Posted by phantomFive
Lang Lang earns more per concert than most pianists, and is certainly the hot item right now. My question is, why?

His market position is very powerful. He (and those that manage him) are very, very good at what they do. He has been able to position himself such that there is an insane amount of demand for him, which is awesome.

There are about a zillion things that have to happen to get into Lang Lang's position, so you can't really pinpoint it, but it's neat to witness.

Last edited by Atrys; 02/26/14 12:41 AM.

"A good intention but fixed and resolute - bent on high and holy ends, we shall find means to them on every side and at every moment; and even obstacles and opposition will but make us 'like the fabled specter-ships,' which sail the fastest in the very teeth of the wind."
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Originally Posted by Atrys
Originally Posted by phantomFive
Lang Lang earns more per concert than most pianists, and is certainly the hot item right now. My question is, why?

His market position is very powerful. He (and those that manage him) are very, very good at what they do. He has been able to position himself such that there is an insane amount of demand for him, which is awesome.

Well yes, that was a restatement of what I said! And it's very true.
The question is, how did he get into that position?


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Originally Posted by phantomFive

The question is, how did he get into that position?

We'll never really have the answer...it'd just be speculation.

I might say it's a composition of:
- His approach to his work
- His personality
- His management
- His style
- His circumstances (probably carrying the most weight)


"A good intention but fixed and resolute - bent on high and holy ends, we shall find means to them on every side and at every moment; and even obstacles and opposition will but make us 'like the fabled specter-ships,' which sail the fastest in the very teeth of the wind."
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I suggest that this thread be locked before a Lang Lang flame war ensues. It was never a very good topic in the first place.


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Originally Posted by Polyphonist
I suggest that this thread be locked before a Lang Lang flame war ensues. It was never a very good topic in the first place.

I don't think anyone is criticizing Lang Lang. Merely trying to understand what he does.


Poetry is rhythm
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Originally Posted by phantomFive
Originally Posted by Damon
Originally Posted by sonicbass
Lang Lang is the best pianist alive today!


Who who is is Lang Lang??

One question I've had....Lang Lang earns more per concert than most pianists, and is certainly the hot item right now. My question is, why? Does anyone understand what it is about his playing that draws crowds?


What draws the crowds? PR, PR, PR and more PR. It's all about marketing and the rumor mill. Joe heard that LL did such and such at concert "a" and Sally heard that LL did such and such at concert "b" and both of them take a look at Youtube and see the antics and the comments and know that when there is controversy something is bound to happen so let's check it out. After all, the sign said "world's greatest pianist".
Connect yourself to a good marketing outfit, create yourself some controversy, and make sure your technique is solid and you too can enjoy as much success as you can handle.



"And if we look at the works of J.S. Bach — a benevolent god to which all musicians should offer a prayer to defend themselves against mediocrity... -Debussy

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I vote Sokolov.

Jan Lisiecki plays the best Op 25 No 12 Chopin Etude I've heard. Promising career I think.


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Originally Posted by Atrys
Originally Posted by phantomFive
Lang Lang earns more per concert than most pianists, and is certainly the hot item right now. My question is, why?

His market position is very powerful. He (and those that manage him) are very, very good at what they do. He has been able to position himself such that there is an insane amount of demand for him, which is awesome.

There are about a zillion things that have to happen to get into Lang Lang's position, so you can't really pinpoint it, but it's neat to witness.

Lang Lang has two missions and lives in two worlds. This is what PW forum members don't seem to "get".

First, he has an artistic mission, just like any other pianist. When he's playing with a local orchestra he's just as devoted to the music as a Sokolov or Perahia, and can turn out serious, thoughtful, and very musical performances. I've seen him perform live. While he did retain his legendary mannerisms, his playing was impeccable, and his demeanor was friendly, appreciative, gracious. And when he is engaged in "serious" playing, for "serious" audiences, he is fair game for the same sort of criticism that any other artist would be. You either like his interpretation or you don't.

But he also has a second mission, which is to promote classical music and bring it to the unwashed masses - those who've had little or no exposure to classical music, and no desire to ever listen to it. But how do you do that? You certainly don't do it by playing the same types of serious, straight recitals as your colleagues. You build a persona. You make yourself the center of attention, because that's how it works in all musical genres except classical music. People attend non-classical concerts to see a star - Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift, Bruce Springsteen, etc. They don't care who wrote the music. It's the performer, and only the performer. So if your goal is to bring Liszt or Chopin to the peasants, it is you who must lead them. But first you must achieve superstar status yourself, or no one will follow.

I think it's this "pop" side of LL that usually gets all the attention, and seems to be what rankles so many PW members. The leather pants, the smoke machines, the over-the-top affectations, the marketing, the packaging, etc. It all grates on the sensibilities of serious musicians, like many in this forum, and understandably so. But I have no doubt that Lang Lang is immensely talented, loves the music he plays, and is completely dedicated to the idea of making it accessible to anyone.

If you don't like his playing, that's fine. But I think it's unfair to dismiss his contributions to music simply because he chooses to straddle the two worlds of straight music and entertainment. Is he "the best pianist alive today", as the OP asks? IMO, absolutely not. But I'd say he's absolutely the best ambassador for classical music on the planet.

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Originally Posted by Old Man
Originally Posted by Atrys
Originally Posted by phantomFive
Lang Lang earns more per concert than most pianists, and is certainly the hot item right now. My question is, why?

His market position is very powerful. He (and those that manage him) are very, very good at what they do. He has been able to position himself such that there is an insane amount of demand for him, which is awesome.

There are about a zillion things that have to happen to get into Lang Lang's position, so you can't really pinpoint it, but it's neat to witness.

Lang Lang has two missions and lives in two worlds. This is what PW forum members don't seem to "get".

First, he has an artistic mission, just like any other pianist. When he's playing with a local orchestra he's just as devoted to the music as a Sokolov or Perahia, and can turn out serious, thoughtful, and very musical performances. I've seen him perform live. While he did retain his legendary mannerisms, his playing was impeccable, and his demeanor was friendly, appreciative, gracious. And when he is engaged in "serious" playing, for "serious" audiences, he is fair game for the same sort of criticism that any other artist would be. You either like his interpretation or you don't.

But he also has a second mission, which is to promote classical music and bring it to the unwashed masses - those who've had little or no exposure to classical music, and no desire to ever listen to it. But how do you do that? You certainly don't do it by playing the same types of serious, straight recitals as your colleagues. You build a persona. You make yourself the center of attention, because that's how it works in all musical genres except classical music. People attend non-classical concerts to see a star - Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift, Bruce Springsteen, etc. They don't care who wrote the music. It's the performer, and only the performer. So if your goal is to bring Liszt or Chopin to the peasants, it is you who must lead them. But first you must achieve superstar status yourself, or no one will follow.

I think it's this "pop" side of LL that usually gets all the attention, and seems to be what rankles so many PW members. The leather pants, the smoke machines, the over-the-top affectations, the marketing, the packaging, etc. It all grates on the sensibilities of serious musicians, like many in this forum, and understandably so. But I have no doubt that Lang Lang is immensely talented, loves the music he plays, and is completely dedicated to the idea of making it accessible to anyone.

If you don't like his playing, that's fine. But I think it's unfair to dismiss his contributions to music simply because he chooses to straddle the two worlds of straight music and entertainment. Is he "the best pianist alive today", as the OP asks? IMO, absolutely not. But I'd say he's absolutely the best ambassador for classical music on the planet.

Well, that's an interesting post


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Richard Kastle?

Last edited by Hrodulf; 02/26/14 09:41 PM.

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Schiff
Sokolov
Perahia
Rupu
Zacharias

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I have a real soft spot for Schiff. He's just the consummate artist.

For local, there's an amazing poet of the piano in southern California named Edward Delgado.

Last edited by Roland The Beagle; 02/27/14 12:35 AM.

Danzas Argentinas, Alberto Ginastera
Piano Sonata Hob. XVI: 34 in E Minor, Franz Joseph Haydn
Nocturne, Op. 15 No. 1 in F Major, Frédéric Chopin
Prelude, Op. 11 No. 4 in E Minor, Alexander Scriabin
Prelude and Fugue in G Major, Well-Tempered Clavier Vol. 2, Johann Sebastian Bach
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Originally Posted by phantomFive
Originally Posted by Old Man
Originally Posted by Atrys
Originally Posted by phantomFive
Lang Lang earns more per concert than most pianists, and is certainly the hot item right now. My question is, why?

His market position is very powerful. He (and those that manage him) are very, very good at what they do. He has been able to position himself such that there is an insane amount of demand for him, which is awesome.

There are about a zillion things that have to happen to get into Lang Lang's position, so you can't really pinpoint it, but it's neat to witness.

Lang Lang has two missions and lives in two worlds. This is what PW forum members don't seem to "get".

First, he has an artistic mission, just like any other pianist. When he's playing with a local orchestra he's just as devoted to the music as a Sokolov or Perahia, and can turn out serious, thoughtful, and very musical performances. I've seen him perform live. While he did retain his legendary mannerisms, his playing was impeccable, and his demeanor was friendly, appreciative, gracious. And when he is engaged in "serious" playing, for "serious" audiences, he is fair game for the same sort of criticism that any other artist would be. You either like his interpretation or you don't.

But he also has a second mission, which is to promote classical music and bring it to the unwashed masses - those who've had little or no exposure to classical music, and no desire to ever listen to it. But how do you do that? You certainly don't do it by playing the same types of serious, straight recitals as your colleagues. You build a persona. You make yourself the center of attention, because that's how it works in all musical genres except classical music. People attend non-classical concerts to see a star - Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift, Bruce Springsteen, etc. They don't care who wrote the music. It's the performer, and only the performer. So if your goal is to bring Liszt or Chopin to the peasants, it is you who must lead them. But first you must achieve superstar status yourself, or no one will follow.

I think it's this "pop" side of LL that usually gets all the attention, and seems to be what rankles so many PW members. The leather pants, the smoke machines, the over-the-top affectations, the marketing, the packaging, etc. It all grates on the sensibilities of serious musicians, like many in this forum, and understandably so. But I have no doubt that Lang Lang is immensely talented, loves the music he plays, and is completely dedicated to the idea of making it accessible to anyone.

If you don't like his playing, that's fine. But I think it's unfair to dismiss his contributions to music simply because he chooses to straddle the two worlds of straight music and entertainment. Is he "the best pianist alive today", as the OP asks? IMO, absolutely not. But I'd say he's absolutely the best ambassador for classical music on the planet.

Well, that's an interesting post
I have to admit that it seems a very good explanation indeed.

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My vote goes to Hamelin.

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Probably the most technically accomplished, but certainly not the greatest musician (although he is a formidable one).


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Polyphonist
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Originally Posted by Polyphonist
Probably the most technically accomplished, but certainly not the greatest musician (although he is a formidable one).


i agree, i definitely think he has the best technique of any living pianist, but there are pianists who i think are better in a more 'musical' way. there's so many of them, though, that it's very difficult to choose :p

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Has Argerich been mentioned yet?


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Originally Posted by Polyphonist
Has Argerich been mentioned yet?

Check out the first page. (Oops, sorry. Forgot you're allergic to moldy threads!) grin

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Originally Posted by Polyphonist
Has Argerich been mentioned yet?


What an odd question!


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Originally Posted by Old Man
Originally Posted by Polyphonist
Has Argerich been mentioned yet?

Check out the first page. (Oops, sorry. Forgot you're allergic to moldy threads!) grin

I never read the beginning of the thread. grin


Regards,

Polyphonist
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