When Lang Lang announced that he was organising a piano concert for children, the tickets disappeared in less than 24 hours. And it's easy to see why.
The Lang Lang effect is widely known. Described as “evangelical in his efforts to spread the popularity of classical music”, he has inspired millions of young Chinese to start playing the piano. So we couldn’t wait to see what he could do in front of a young audience.
We only truly realised what this meant when we walked into the Royal Albert Hall to find ourself surrounded by more than 3,000 children, babies and slightly overwhelmed parents due to the Hall's strict one adult one child policy. Lang Lang appeared on scene like a rock star and, before we had the time to realise the performance had begun, started playing Liszt.
If only we could hear the music! Screaming babies, children running around… The whole atmosphere was surreal. There were some exhilarating moments when Lang Lang played Mozart’s March Turk with young prodigy Alasdair Howell. Or when he confesses about his stress before playing on stage: “When you play at the Albert Hall, you need to have guts, it is such a big stage” .
Lang Lang has a lot of guts. However, his musical interpretations sadly got lost in the incredibly loud brouhaha of the audience. While he certainly managed to enthuse our 12 year old reviewer, who was delighted to learn about his scales tricks, we wonder whether the Royal Albert Hall shouldn’t have suggested a minimum age limit.
The little girl aged 2 sitting next to us was clearly more interested in Pepper Pig on her father’s mobile phone than in a Chopin’s sonata played by the best known pianist in the world. We know a lot of older children or adults who would have been delighted to take her seat.
|What||Lang Lang, Royal Albert Hall|
|Where||Royal Albert Hall, Kensington Gore, London, SW7 2AP | MAP|
|Nearest tube||South Kensington (underground)|
On 17 Apr 16, 1:45 PM – 3:30 PM
|Website||Click here to explore more on the Royal Albert Hall website:|