Beyond that early hype

At least some of Yuja Wang’s early fame derived from sartorial as well as musical choices. By now, the flap over what she might be wearing has given way to more serious concerns: what she might be playing. Which is not to say that she shuns the limelight or anything:

Yuja Wang on the cover of Tatler 10-15

This cover photo fascinates me, perhaps because of her enigmatic facial expression: I can’t tell if she’s truly relaxed, or if she’s feigning it just to get the photoshoot over with. (Then again, my ability to read women’s faces and/or body language is decidedly below average.) I’ve always suspected that, for her anyway, periods of relaxation and periods of ferocity tend to be interspersed at irregular intervals:

Yuja Wang kicks back in a Calgary park

Yuja Wang versus the piano

Yuja Wang’s most recent recording, being chased out the door even as we speak, is a pairing of the two piano concertos by Maurice Ravel, the jazzy G Major and the slightly more sombre D Major, written for the left hand only. Deutsche Grammophon is promoting it thusly:

I shall have this recording shortly.



  1. fillyjonk »

    10 October 2015 · 4:06 pm

    For what it’s worth, my interpretation of the expression in the first photo is, “I’m really uncomfortable and want this to be done so I’ll fake it”

  2. canadienne »

    10 October 2015 · 10:19 pm

    Agree with Fillyjonk.

    Also, “Holy Photoshop, where did her skin texture go?! Is she inflatable?” The Gaussian Blur filter has a slider…

  3. ETat »

    11 October 2015 · 11:31 am

    She looks much better in that video than on tall 3 pics.
    Hers is one of those faces that come alive when move.

    Music…well, general chinese characteristic: surface brilliance, even technical prowess – and total unfamiliarity with human emotion underneath

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