Available for a limited number of cancellations: Yuja Wang.
The sensational young pianist did it last year, late in the season. (Louis Lortie came to the rescue.) Now she’s done it again, late in the season, late in the day. Wang has cancelled her appearances with the Pacific Symphony June 2-5. Word went out Friday afternoon. “Due to illness” was the reason given. We hope she’s OK, of course.
She was to perform Rachmaninoff’s “Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini” with Carl St.Clair and the orchestra. Conrad Tao, a 16-year-old Chinese-American pianist, will step in and perform the same piece.
This has been a public service announcement.
I heard someone refer to her as perhaps the next Argerich. I had assumed he meant that pianistically (if that is a word) because we were comparing various YouTube clips, but perhaps it is an even better analogy than her realized at the time.
BTW: Nice touch w/ the picture.
Oh no! I have Rach 3 tickets for June 8 in Toronto. For me over the last 5 years she has moved from mere Superstar, to Goddess of the piano, to pianist of the century.
Get well soon Yuja!
This is a message for The Toronto Symphony.
If Yuja Wang cancels with her scheduled appearance in Toronto next week at Roy Thopson Hall, send me a message, I have The Rachmaninoff Third Concerto in at my finger tips! tel: 905 873 9909.
Sincerely Ron Greidanus
As a Canadian fan of Ms Wang I must note that she cancelled two May concerts in Ottawa with Pinchas Zukerman and will not perform as she was scheduled to do with the Santa Fe Music Festival in August. Because the cancellations are quite far out I suspect a catastrophic illness.
She has just performed Bartok’s Second Concerto in San Francisco, apparently very successfully, so it does not look like there is anything seriously wrong with her, fortunately.
What I think is unfortunate is that she is overbooked or her agent is overbooking her and because of tiredness she is just worn out. But that “will she or won’t she appear will result in reduced box office sales until the day of the performance. Very unprofessional!!
She is at that level of solo career where the soloists are being booked several years in advance. Her calendar for this year was probably filled by her agents when she was 21 or 22 years old. It is possible that she is just beginning to realize that she must reduce the number of her engagements in order to maintain the highest possible quality of her performances. Let’s hope that she will manage her schedule better in the future. After all, she is still very young and i think deserves to be given the benefit of the doubt for now.
i only hope that she doesn’t injure her hands. she really needs to be careful. fortunately her manner of playing, although thoroughly amazing, appears fairly effortless.
This young woman who canceled her concert with PInkas Zukerman and the NAC orchestra and now a concert date in Santa Fe is headed for the garbage can.
Her schedule of performances was obviously filled years in advance when she was too young and inexperienced as a performer to realize her human limitations and how many concerts was too many for her personally. She is one of the world’s most brilliant pianists right now and the fact that she is trying to reduce the number of her performances says to me that she cares about her longevity as an artist and does not want to compromise the quality of her playing.
While I sympathize with the charitable view expressed by Mark I must say that I’m a bit jaded after spending close to one thousand dollars on airfare and hotels to get to Ottawa and see her cancel within 24 hours. Then low and behold she does the same thing in Santa Fe after I’d already booked my flights and accommodation. I first heard her in Santa Fe and I was an instant member of her fan club. But you know at 70 I’ve run out of patience with performers and booking agents with egos. She has a reputation now with performing venues of “will she play or will she cancel” and that’s why I predict that she’s burned too many bridges and is now consigned to the garbage can in the near future. Brilliant pianist but unable to make commitments to either her listening public or the halls in which she performs (sometimes).
Your disappointing experience is unfortunate and your personal feelings about it are understandable, but it is better for music and for her listening public if she plays 50 concerts a year for the next 50 years so that we can hear her when she becomes a fully mature artist, than for her to play 100 concerts for 10 years ending her career much too prematurely because of exhaustion, never reaching her enormous potential as a musician. My numbers are of course arbitrary and highly approximate because i don’t know the precise count but i am sure you are getting my point. She evidently made a mistake of agreeing to schedule too much when she was very young and too naive to realize all that, and it is best for her and for us listeners if she makes the necessary corrections in her schedule as soon as possible. Her next appearance in Southern California is scheduled for this November and i obviously hope that she shows up for it, but if she cancels and that cancellation eventually adds a year to her solo career, i will be pleased.
Yuja Wang is not performing out of the goodness of her heart for the benefit of the public to adore her natural talents. She is an extremely well paid professional who performs to paying audiences. As a professional, I believe a certain amount of cancellations are perfectly fine and normal, however, I think she is fragile and canceling a wee bit much. I do wish her well, though, and hope she gets her life in order soon.
No one said her type of job was easy. That’s why it pays so well to be a “star”. I suspect she will reevaluate what she is ready for and be better able to handle her schedule in the future. She is a grown woman, after all, not a child.
According to her recent interview in June, the cancellations this year as well as last year stem from “allergies, traveling exhaustion, and protection of the hands” (not injury to the hands, thankfully):
Thanks for the link, MM. Looks like my guesses about her reasons for cancellations were mostly correct. Of course she is an adult at 24 now, but schedules of top soloists are usually set two to three years in advance and at 21 she couldn’t possibly know everything she knows now.
But really, how many of us, or among people we know, would say no to an offer of a well-paid job doing what the person loves and is extremely good at, while in early twenties? She realizes her limitations now and i am sure she will be smarter about it in the future.
I agree– I also think she has made her realization and will be more careful in the future. So let’s hope she has a long and successful career.
Precisely. And the best thing about it is this – if she manages to pace herself correctly and stay healthy for a long time, it’s the listeners who will benefit most. As is of course true of all outstanding musicians.
How was her Rach 3 at the Bowl, MarK? Or were you too busy with your own business? I heard she wore quite a dress.
One can get an idea of her outfit here:
Imagine how short this dress really was when she was actually seating and playing a monster like Rach 3 all over the keyboard in it… Also, I have no idea how she was able to negotiate pedals so brilliantly while wearing such footwear.
Technically, her playing was virtually impeccable. Musically, it was all a little bit too easy, and to my ears, it sounded a bit too close to a virtuoso showpiece – not enough nostalgic pain for Rachmaninov. So, it wouldn’t be my favorite kind of interpretation of that concerto, but for an outdoor performance it was certainly very impressive overall.