Classics in Concert

Lang Lang In Concert At The Met Museum

Audio Only: Four Chinese Pieces From The Concert

Audio is no longer available

For more than half of his 32 years, Lang Lang has been in the spotlight, as an international star and arguably the most crowd-pleasing classical pianist on the planet. From venues as diverse as the Beijing Olympics and Brazil's World Cup to New York's Central Park and Stockholm's Nobel Prizes, Lang Lang routinely crisscrosses the globe playing to innumerable masses. Last month he filled London's cavernous Royal Albert Hall two nights in a row.

Thursday, May 14th, the charismatic pianist lands at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York to perform a concert at 8 p.m. ET. The performance will be webcast by the Met Museum and NPR Music, and viewable on this page.

Lang Lang's appearance is tied to the opening of the Met's new exhibition China: Through the Looking Glass, an exploration of how Chinese aesthetics have influenced Western fashion. The exhibition was organized, in conjunction with the museum's department of Asian Art, by The Costume Institute, which held its popular gala last week. The party is a magnet for celebrities and flamboyant fashions, ranging this year from Rihanna's voluminous fabric to Beyonce's, well, lack thereof.

A snappy dresser himself, Lang Lang has been cited in the past for having a little too much glitz at the keyboard. But in recent years critics have noticed he seems to be settling into what might be called a more mature style. For this Met Museum performance, there are no explosive Vladimir Horowitz transcriptions or thundering Rachmaninov sonatas. Instead, the focus is on The Seasons, a lesser known cycle of 12 short pieces by Tchaikovsky and and a set of Chinese pieces including Lü Wencheng's evocative "Autumn Moon on a Calm Lake."

If the technical demands for those pieces are on the lighter side, especially for a pianist of Lang Lang's virtuosity, a more daunting task will be tackling the physical and interpretive challenges in the first and third of Chopin's scherzos. But the music should be firmly under Lang Lang's fingers. He's planning to release an album featuring the Tchaikovsky and Chopin this fall.

Program

Chopin: Scherzo No. 1 in B minor, Op. 20
Chopin: Scherzo No. 3 in C-sharp minor, Op. 39

Tchaikovsky: The seasons, Op. 37b
-January: By the Fireside
-June: Barcarolle
-July: Reaper's Song
-September: The Hunt
-October: Autumn Song
-December: Christmas

Wu Zuqiang/Du Mingxin: Dance of the Seaweed
Wu Zuqiang/Du Mingxin: Dance of the Coral

Li Huanzhi: Spring Festival Overture Fantasy

Lü Wencheng: Autumn Moon on a Calm Lake

[+] read more[-] less

More From Classical

A still from Maya Beiser's "Air" video. Courtesy of the artist hide caption

toggle caption Courtesy of the artist

All Songs TV

First Watch: Maya Beiser, 'Air'

In a new video, the cellist reflects on her childhood and the timelessness of J.S. Bach's music.

Yuja Wang played a demanding program at Carnegie Hall, topped by four encores. Ebru Yildiz/for NPR hide caption

toggle caption Ebru Yildiz/for NPR

Carnegie Hall Live

Yuja Wang Plays Carnegie Hall

WQXR radio

Hear one of today's most charismatic pianists tackle the toughest sonata Beethoven could muster.

Yuja Wang Plays Carnegie Hall

Audio is no longer available

Conductor Mariss Jansons led the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra at Carnegie Hall Wednesday in Shostakovich's Symphony No. 7, "Leningrad." AJ Wilhelm for NPR hide caption

toggle caption AJ Wilhelm for NPR

Carnegie Hall Live

The 'Leningrad' Symphony At Carnegie Hall

WQXR radio

Mariss Jansons leads the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra in Shostakovich's wartime epic.

The 'Leningrad' Symphony At Carnegie Hall

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/474662768/475125195" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Michael Mizrahi channels the harpsichord in new music by Troy Herion. Eno Swinnen/Courtesy of the Artist hide caption

toggle caption Eno Swinnen/Courtesy of the Artist

All Songs TV

First Watch: Michael Mizrahi, 'Harpsichords'

Pianist Michael Mizrahi channels old school harpsichord music in a new piece by Troy Herion.

Music director Iván Fischer leading an Budapest Festival Orchestra concert at Carnegie Hall in New York Thursday. A.J. Wilhelm for NPR hide caption

toggle caption A.J. Wilhelm for NPR

Carnegie Hall Live

Budapest Festival Orchestra Plays Carnegie Hall

Iván Fischer conducts a Liszt piano concerto with soloist Marc-André Hamelin.

Budapest Festival Orchestra Plays Carnegie Hall

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/466299701/467669984" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Lawrence Brownlee performs with pianist Jason Moran in the active crypt below the historic Church of the Intercession in Harlem. NPR hide caption

toggle caption NPR

Field Recordings

Singing For Life In A Crypt In Harlem

Opera singer Lawrence Brownlee joins jazz pianist Jason Moran in an old spiritual.

Tiny Desk Concert with Teddy Abrams Jun Tsuboike/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Jun Tsuboike/NPR

Tiny Desk

Teddy Abrams

Hear a young conductor, composer and pianist play Beethoven and his own jazzy pieces.

Conductor Simon Rattle took his Berlin Philharmonic and symphonies by Beethoven to Carnegie Hall for a week-long residency. AJ Wilhelm/NPR hide caption

toggle caption AJ Wilhelm/NPR

Classics in Concert

Beethoven Symphonies At Carnegie Hall Via Berlin

WQXR radio

From a week-long residency, hear the Berlin Philharmonic in Beethoven's Sixth and Eighth.

Beethoven Symphonies At Carnegie Hall Via Berlin

Audio is no longer available

Conductor Andris Nelsons led the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Tanglewood Festival Chorus Thursday in Prokofiev's Alexander Nevsky at Carnegie Hall in New York. AJ Wilhelm for NPR hide caption

toggle caption AJ Wilhelm for NPR

Classics in Concert

A Tale Of Two Sergeys: Boston Symphony Orchestra At Carnegie Hall

WQXR radio

Andris Nelsons conducts Prokofiev's Alexander Nevsky and Rachmaninov's Symphonic Dances.

A Tale Of Two Sergeys: Boston Symphony Orchestra At Carnegie Hall

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/451116807/451174052" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
Back To Top