It’s all in the wrists

Or perhaps on the wrists. Yuja Wang took to Facebook to show off a Rolex:

Yuja Wang wearing a Rolex

Does it affect her playing style? Probably not:

Yuja Wang wearing a Rolex

A moment away from the keyboard, with mentor Michael Tilson Thomas:

Yuja Wang on the sofa

For some reason, Tilson Thomas looks to me in this picture like he’d just asked her if she wanted to buy a watch. He hadn’t.

Yuja Wang plays RavelOn the off-chance that she actually had to pay for that pricey timekeeper, I was able to replenish her funds to a small extent by buying her album — as always, on Deutsche Grammophon — of the two Ravel piano concerti, fleshed out with Fauré’s Ballade in F# major. I’ve played it through twice so far, and I’m not sure whether it moves to the top spot in my list of favorite Ravel piano recordings. I think I’m going to have to go hunt around in the stacks for its most serious rival, a 1976 outing by Anne Queffélec from the old Musical Heritage Society.

Addendum: The CBC names Yuja among the ten best-dressed classical musicians today.



  1. ETat »

    5 December 2015 · 12:50 pm

    Another Woody Allen and his Asian “muse”.

  2. CGHill »

    5 December 2015 · 2:15 pm

    Nothing going on here. Tilson Thomas is gay and married to a fellow he’s been with for over 30 years.

  3. ETat »

    5 December 2015 · 3:40 pm

    Then it’s even more disgusting. At least in Option#1 he’d be showing a [regrettable, but understandable] human weakness.
    As is, it’s AA along politically-correct lines. And the subject of all the winking and posturing winks and posturing too, and giggles like 12yo school girl. While wearing risque half-naked dresses…

    You see, a good musician doesn’t have to dress and giggle like that to be promoted. Actually, it’s the same in all professions: when you see a woman who crudely sucks up to the Boss, wears reveling dresses and plays a schoolgirl – her quick career is not based on merit.

  4. ETat »

    5 December 2015 · 3:50 pm

    I look her up on YouTube.
    Like this, f.i.
    Technically fluent, emotionally – barren.
    No feeling, no accent, no drama. No quiet desperation, no nostalgia, no reflection, no regrets, no depth, no longing, no Chopin.

  5. ETat »

    5 December 2015 · 3:55 pm

    Compare with Vladimir Ashkenazy

    She is a piece of careerist garbage, that’s all.

  6. ETat »

    5 December 2015 · 4:05 pm

    Or to Zhenya Kissin:
    On a second thought – your zhu-zhu is not even technically adept. She skips notes, doesn’t finish musical phrases, glosses over tremolos.

  7. What I hate [Блезир] | Скрипучая беседка »

    5 December 2015 · 4:49 pm

    […] polish). Continuing with skin-selling, rolex-bragging, notes-skipping human-imitating android of a Chinese pianist, so popular with male audience of certain age. Ending with so called interior design of an […]

  8. CGHill »

    5 December 2015 · 6:16 pm

    I have box sets full of Ashkenazy. Frankly, he’s not that cute in an LBD.

  9. ETat »

    5 December 2015 · 7:42 pm

    I am afraid even ask what’s LBD.
    No, don’t tell me. Some things should remain blurred.

  10. ETat »

    6 December 2015 · 7:57 am

    i feel I have to add some more.

    Let’s consider the item in question. It’s duality manifests as a) classical pianist b) young[ish. Asian appearance is misleading western eye] woman.
    A) is not very good, as I said above. Not much sentiment, just phony grimaces to suggest the sentiment is there. Technical fluidity, on first hearing, but for a half-practiced ear, for someone who either attempted to play him/herself or just listened to same classical pieces presented by really good, serious musicians – the difference is obvious. She is not of a 1st league, not even of a 3rd.
    B) The woman sells sex. Unscrupulous self-promotion of a most vulgar type, speaking ethically. So let’s evaluate her product. She has a bad figure, as most Chinese-born-in-China; is it a lack of proper nutrition or result of an air pollution, I don’t know. In terms of physical attractiveness the woman could appeal only to certain “special interests” customer: one desiring “helpless, vulnerable” half-formed perpetual 12yo, preferably in alluring combination with risque “slut” clothing and whorish high heels.

    I’d admit, the a) rarely combines with b), so maybe you’re justified in being interested in collecting her albums. But no-way, No Way she can be praised for her achievements in either: she has none.

  11. ETat »

    6 December 2015 · 8:17 am

    …and I’m not alone in my impressions:
    “…After a Hollywood Bowl concert in 2011, the LA Times critic wrote: “Had there been any less of [the dress], the Bowl might have been forced to restrict admission to any music lover under 18 not accompanied by an adult.”

    Some young pianists would be stung by that, and quietly moderate their dress sense. Not Yuja Wang. She appeared in a similarly revealing number at Carnegie Hall only two months ago, teetering on high heels just to complete the effect. As the reviewer for New Criterion drily remarked, “A Times Square hooker, in the old days, would have said, ‘For heaven’s sake, put on some clothes!’ ”
    During the interview w/Telegraph reviewer Yuja shrugged: “I don’t understand why I have to explain this, I do what is natural for me”. Yep, it’s natural for her to be a hooker.
    She also said that she thinks with years she’s getting younger and younger. I wonder how many times she’ll celebrate her 29th birthday, like Franny Drescher in that Nanny show. At least Franny was justified in offering to the eye some womanly curves…
    A commenter in the thread sensed that, too: he offered to be her sugar daddy.
    Only if you can offer her a record deal, season with Italian conductor or a series of Carnegie-Hall concerts, dear. Those eyes-wide-open do not come cheap!

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