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Culture\Music and Theater

Return of the lovable pianist

By Chen Jie | China Daily | Updated: 2017-08-18 07:22

Return of the lovable pianist

Lang Lang gives instructions to young musicians at an open master class on Monday at the National Center for the Performing Arts in Beijing. Lang Lang, pianist. [Photo by Jiang Dong/China Daily]

It was not a serious class for Lang Lang, who was born in Northeast China, the home of many popular comedians. But he speaks like a comedian himself.

"When I teach young kids, I try to be funny because I know practice is boring. I try to make them love it," he says.

He says that most young Chinese musicians have good technique. But technique is not everything.

And he quotes one of his teachers, maestro Daniel Barenboim, who said: "I will not teach you technique, which you can improve by yourself. I just want to talk about music, the story or the feelings behind the scores."

Fans were eager to see Lang Lang as it was the first time he has appeared publicly in Beijing since his left arm was hurt in early April.

The inflammation was so severe that he had to cancel all his concerts, including one at the National Center for the Performing Arts in April.

It was a depressing time.

"I was anxious to return to the stage. I had to cancel one concert after another. The feeling was so bad."

During that time, many pianists shared their experiences with him and gave him advice, including his mentor Gray Graffman, who had to stop using his right hand at 50.

Fans also emailed him their good wishes.

He tried sports initially, but it did not work.

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