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Lang Lang

Monday, February 20, 2017


Norman Lebrecht - Slipped disc

February 9

Why Lang Lang left Sony

Norman Lebrecht - Slipped discIn a nutshell: he wasn’t loved enough. The US-based Chinese pianist is high maintenance. He needs to know he is appreciated. And while his label, Sony Classical, was behind him all the way, he didn’t get the feeling that the company as a whole supported him. Memories of the $3 million signing-on fee in 2010 soon faded. Having left DG in a huff with its former boss, he would still drop into the Berlin office to see old friends. The breach was never total. And when Sir Lucian Grainge, chairman of Universal Music Group, took him to lunch in LA, Lang Lang felt the love once more. Universal offered him a global 360-degree marketing plan that Sony could not match. Last night, he signed on with DG. Sony are left licking the costs. His defection is a serious loss of face and a blow to its faltering Chinese presence. Lang Lang never sold as many records as Sony expected but he was a Sony poster boy and the label is poorer without him. Perhaps his last record cover revealed more than intended.

Norman Lebrecht - Slipped disc

February 9

Just in: Lang Lang quits Sony, returns to DG

Rumours had been floating for a while that Lang Lang was unhappy at Sony Classical. Tonight, they have been confirmed. The Chinese pianist has signed a contract with Universal president Sir Lucian Grainge to return to his first label, Deutsche Grammophon. Lang Lang says: ‘When I met Lucian and his team I was amazed by their open-mindedness and passion for innovation. This is exactly the spirit we need to promote classical music in the 21st century. My dream has always been to share music with as many people as possible, and I can’t wait to start working with the Universal teams around the world.’ This a shock to Sony and a blow to its chief Bogdan Roscic, himself on borrowed time until he becomes head of the Vienna Opera in 2020. It’s the first musical night raid of 2017. More on the consequences tomorrow.






Classical music and opera by Classissima



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