The Virtuosos

Making their mark in the competitive field of concert pianists are two strikingly talented Chinese pianists whose talents are taking the world of classical music to new heights.

Yuja Wang — known also for her glamorous style and as an ambassador for Rolex, Rimowa and La Mer — won her first Grammy Award for 2023’s The American Project and has been selling out concert halls since she first began performing more than 20 years ago.

Yuja Wang playing piano

Lang Lang won the Shenyang Piano Competition at the age of five, was named to Time magazine’s list of the 100 Most Influential People in 2009, and has been called “the J-Lo of classical music.” He’s performed with Metallica and Katherine McPhee and was the featured soloist on the Golden Globe-winning score for The Painted Veil.

Lang is known for his emotional connection to the music and flair, whereas Yang is lauded for grace, technical skill and control. Their differences are also coupled with astounding similarities of shared experience. 

Yuja Wang greeting Queen Elizabeth II
Lang Lang on a movie poster of Auditorio Nacional

Both are world-class musicians, both graduated from the Curtis Institute of Music in Pennsylvania, were mentored by pianist Gary Graffman, and take great care in cultivating their image. Both Lang and Wang rose to stardom when called to sit in for ailing pianists, Lang when he was 17 and Wang when she was 18. And most importantly, both are virtuosos for a new generation.  Although both performers shun comparisons with the other, Wang and Lang have managed to attract renewed attention to the world of classical piano, using their skill and star power to bring their music to a fresh new audience. These remarkable musicians provide not just showmanship and glamorous style, but also plenty of substance as two of the best living pianists representing the future of classical piano.

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