In the first half, Jean-Yves Thibaudet was the soloist in Ravel's Piano Concerto. The dashing French pianist wore a tuxedo jacket adorned with rows of gold buttons, and bright red socks with his black dress shoes. Some of this flashiness crept into his elegant pianism, yet overall he gave an incisive reading.
Katsaris recalls another era even in his appearance. He has long hair, pianist’s hair. Do you know this Irving Berlin lyric? “When Paderewski comes this way, I’m so delighted if I’m invited to hear that long-haired genius play.” Katsaris also shows up in white tie and concert tails, skipping the present-day Mao suit.
[Lang Lang's] hair and clothes have made him look like a rock star for years, and now he performs alongside them, in this case with classical repertoire by a man who's often called the original rock star, Franz Liszt. If you were Lang Lang and asked to be in such a visible forum - you can see it on iTunes if you have a properly up-to-date Mac - would you say yes? And would you dress in the appropriate fantastical fashion for the occasion? If Lang Lang had answered "no" to either question, he wouldn't be Lang Lang . . .
The only bit of upstaging that transpired was Wang's double-barreled, eye-popping fashion choices for the evening. She slipped swiftly onstage, an elfinlike gamin in a flame-colored, shirred tube dress with side vents and dramatic black V accenting on the back. It was a sexy little number that could not respectably have been any tighter or any shorter.
Last June on the day she attended NCPA’s press conference, her parents took her to buy a “formal suit”. They went to Xidan and picked a simple white shirt and cream pants.
Now lots of designers want to dress her. But Wang usually says no.
“It’s a commitment and you always have to wear their dress. And I just don’t want to commit. It’s not going to enrich me, it’s going to distract me. Music is my main interest,” she says.
But beyond the sheer spectacle of all that galvanic power coming from a waifishly slender young woman with a shaggy mane of model hair and club-kid threads, there are the more enduring qualities in evidence of a sharp musical mind and a poetic soul.
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