Northwest NEWS

February 5,2001

Local News

Gifted young pianist leaves audience elated

by Deborah Stone
   For one spectacular evening, Chinese-born pianist Lang Lang performed works by Handel, Brahms, Scriabin, Tchaikovsky and Balakirev at Meany Theater on the University of Washington campus.
   A prodigy at 18 years old, Lang Lang has already shown himself to be an artist of maturity and depth well beyond his years. Critics have showered this talented young man with unanimous praise for his ability to play with technical precision and amazing intensity.
   His joy for making music, combined with his charm and youthful wit has set the classical music world abuzz since his U.S. debut in October 1998.
   Born in Shen Yang, China, Lang Lang began his piano studies at the age of 3. He entered the China Central Music Conservatory at the age of 9 and proceeded to win various prizes for outstanding artistic performances at various competitions in China and around the world.
   In 1997, he was accepted into the prestigious Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia where he currently studies with Gary Graffman, the Director of the Institute.
   At his recent Seattle debut, Lang Lang did not disappoint audience's high expectations. This gifted musician packed substance and passion into every measure he played, while using awe-inducing technique that leads piano music afficionados to compare him to famed pianist Vladimir Horowitz.
   He immersed himself into the moods and mystical qualities of the various selections chosen, contrasting delicate interludes with rapid fire, tornado-like projections. His performance was breathtaking and electrifying, full of poetry, fire and grace, which led listeners to jump to their feet in thunderous applause at the dazzling conclusion.
   The accolades heard for Lang Lang echoed in the halls and corridors of the theatre as the audience filed out, filled with elation from an incredibly special evening of entertainment.
   Up next at Meany Theater is French-born Helene Grimaud, a pianist of startling artistry who will play works by Rachmaninoff, Bach and Brahms for one performance only on Feb. 21. For ticket information, call the UW Arts Ticket Office at (206) 543-4880.