Lang Lang

New Yorker Article on Lang Lang

New York’s flagship orchestra maps out a busy week with multiple agendas. The main event is a program with the world’s most popular pianist, Lang Lang; he collaborates with Alan Gilbert and the ensemble in Bartók’s incisive Second Piano Concerto, the centerpiece of a program bookended by two colorful and propulsive works, Magnus Lindberg’s “Feria” and Prokofiev’s Symphony No. 5 in B-Flat Major. (Jan. 18-19 at 7:30 and Jan. 20-21 at 8.) | Lang Lang is not only a piano phenom but also a celebrity ambassador representing a country with a booming classical-music culture. As the soloist in Liszt’s rollicking Piano Concerto No. 1 in E-Flat Major, he headlines an inaugural venture for the Philharmonic, a Chinese New Year gala, which also features starring roles for the bamboo flutist Tang Jun Qiao, the Philharmonic’s own principal oboist, Liang Wang (performing Chen Qigang’s “Extase,” for oboe and orchestra), and the Quintessenso Mongolian Children’s Choir; Long Yu, the music director of the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, among other groups, makes his Philharmonic conducting début. (Jan. 24 at 7:30.) | The formidable German violinist Frank Peter Zimmermann, the Philharmonic’s artist-in-residence this season, will play Beethoven’s Violin Concerto with the ensemble later in the month; this week, he performs with several of the orchestra’s principal players in an all-Brahms chamber program (featuring the pianist Enrico Pace) that includes two of the composer’s early masterworks: the melancholy Horn Trio and the ebullient String Sextet No. 1 in B-Flat Major (with his friend Alan Gilbert sitting in on viola). (Jan. 22 at 3.) (Avery Fisher Hall. 212-875-5656.)