While the Y! Music studios have hosted musical performances of nearly every shape, size and genre, it has to be said that the recent visit from world-renowned concert pianist Lang Lang was unprecedented.
The 31-year-old Chinese pianist was in town for his memorable—and quite unexpected—live collaboration with Metallica on the recent 56th Grammy Awards Show in late January.
In our studio two days prior to that broadcast, the pianist graciously gave all of us a preview of what he’d providing for the night’s special arrangement of “One.” While we wouldn’t exactly call it heavy metal—it’s hard to get the necessary screech out of a Steinway piano—it rocked, it moved, and it was intense.
A warm and gracious interview subject, and, of course, an incomparable player, Lang Lang detailed for us what his life’s been like of late, what his post-Grammy show plans were, and what’s up for him next.
Directly next? Off he went to China–appearing before an audience of 814 million people for China Central Television’s Lunar New Year TV broadcast, numbers that dwarf America’s own record-setting Super Bowl telecasts and perhaps put the pianist’s international celebrity in the perspective it deserves.
To celebrate the holiday, in late January Sony Classical released Lang Lang – Happy Chinese New Year as a digital EP exclusively on iTunes—which is available here.
Popular on Rollingstone
Meanwhile, watch the colorful pianist offer up two memorable solo performances here and provide an upbeat, charming perspective on his life as, literally, one of the world’s most celebrated musicians.