Gregor Hohenberg

Lang Lang Returns to Davies Symphony Hall

Four years ago, Cultural Currents gave this story the headline: Lang Lang is Great Great….

San Francisco Symphony subscribers were out in full force last week as the brilliant Chinese pianist known as Lang Lang made good on what The Guardian calls “jaw dropping virtuosity.”

Cultural Currents does not approve of the expression “jaw dropping” any more than it does of “mouth watering” or “breath taking.”

We have never witnessed jaws on the floor, drooling diners, or asphyxiated audience members at Davies Symphony Hall…but there’s always a first time.

Digression dismissed.

Lang Lang rocked the place, taking apart Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 24 in C minor before dismantling Grieg’s Piano Concerto in A minor. Naturally, an encore ensued, with Mr. Lang pounding out a rousing bit by Tchaikovsky.

The poor Steinway by this time was heaving its last gasp…if you care for more hyperbole.

For an authentic critical evaluation of the performance, we direct you to fine musings of Ms. Heather J. Morris of The Peninsula Review.


Now he makes his triumphant return to Davies Symphony Hall on Monday, October 21, where we may expect Tchaikovsky again (as it is in the program): Symphony No. 4.

You may also expect to hear Glinka’s overture to Ruslan and Ludmila along with Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 2.

Ion Marin conducts.

Lang Lang performed two encores last night: His 1st encore was Mendelsshon Spinning Song, Opus 67.

He also played a lively short Czerny Etude from the School of Velocity.