On the eve of his UApresents concert at Centennial Hall last October, the world-renowned Chinese pianist Lang Lang bowed out.
Hurricane Sandy was barreling toward his adopted home of New York City and the brunt of it was expected to hit the day after his Oct. 28 Centennial Hall appearance.
With about 24 hours notice, Lang Lang pulled out of the concert, telling organizers he had obligations in New York that week and couldn’t afford to be stranded in Tucson should the storm tangle travel plans.
By the time it hit landfall on the East Coast, Sandy was downgraded to a superstorm, but it still wreaked havoc on New York City and the New Jersey shore.
We caught up with Lang Lang via email from a concert in London last week to talk about the storm and his makeup date Tuesday.
How were you able to so quickly reschedule Tucson?
“My concert schedule is always set two years in advance. But thanks to the mutual wish to reschedule the concert from UApresents, too, luckily we found this new date.”
Are you throwing in an extra encore or some new piece as a bonus for your fans here?
“I will play an encore if the audience welcomes that.”
You were supposed to do a big benefit gig that same weekend. Did you ever perform the makeup date?
“Yes, it is the first-ever fundraising concert for the Lang Lang International Music Foundation, which was scheduled exactly on the storm day, but again, soon after we canceled the date, we found a date in June that mutually worked for my schedule and Carnegie Hall.”
How long did it take after Sandy for your cultural life in New York to resume?
“New York is a city that reacts very fast, so it actually didn’t take so long for life to resume.”