Monday, August 15, 2011

Yuja Wang dang doodle

As a music critic who is a woman I feel I must weigh in on this tempest in a teacup going on about pianist Yuja Wang.

Wang apparently played the Rachmaninoff Third at the Hollywood bowl wearing a minidress.

Mark Swed of the Los Angeles Times wrote about the situation. Anne Midgett of the Washington Post takes issue with him.,

I like both critics but I go with Swed on this one.

My belief is, if you want to play the Rachmaninoff Third wearing a micro-mini, go right ahead. It's not as if it is surprising or anything, especially in the case of Yuja Wang whose out-of-the-gate-running CDs have already proven her to be something of a show-off. We will be seeing more of this kind of look with the proliferation of young beautiful skinny classical musicians. Anyway, there will be nothing we can do to stop it.

If you want to play Rachmaninoff in your underwear, I guess it is still a free country despite the efforts of certain people, and I am not so naive as to think anything I am going to say is going to make any difference.

Just do not be surprised if someone comments on it.

I read once where Liberace ...

... said, "Go ahead! Stare! I didn't dress like this to go unnoticed."

Yuja Wang could say the same thing.

I think she should.


  1. You're right: she can do what she wants! But she might not decide what she wears...

    What I disagree with is the use of a certain type of marketing/communication : everybody knows that sexually provocative messages are a very good way to sell products, and it is not a clever form of marketing.

    The clothing debate is not new in classical, there were in the past many attempts to break the rules like Wang's micro dress. Do you remember we spoke about this in this post back in 2009?

  2. Pierre-Arnaud, thanks so much for your comments! I agree, not a clever form of marketing ... I wonder how this played out in centuries past, you know? I wonder if Clara Schumann ever sashayed out in a slinky dress.