Formation of Lang Lang's Musical-Perfomance Style

Che Chao


The relevance of the article is to investigate the formation of the performing style of one of the brightest and most popular pianists of our time, Lang Lang. Currently, there are no musicological researches dedicated to this subject.

Main goal of the article is to trace gradual becoming of Lang Lang’s musical performance style starting from his early years till this day.

Methodology of the research is based on biographical, interpretational and comparative analysis approaches. The study of individual musical performance style characteristics relies on the concept of “Musical creativity style” by V.G. Moskalenko.

Main results and conclusions. Exploration of the famous Chinese pianist Lang Lang’s musical performance style was based on his gradual development stages. Autobiographical observations of the pianist were used as a factual basis.

In order to determine the Lang Lang’s individual musical performance style characteristics, the logical “top-down” concept was used. As the “top” concepts of Lang Lang’s musical style development process such points were established: a) based on autobiographical data general specifics of Lang Lang’s worldview and musical thought were revealed; b) such musicological researches development style vectors of modern Chinese performing arts were introduced: national, romantic, virtuosic and globalistic.

Three major stages of pianist’s style becoming were identified. Initial stage covers pianist’s time in China. During second stage (1996–1999) Lang Lang studies at Curtis Institute in the USA. He refuses to participate in piano competitions, strives to artistic cognition of the world, enriches his repertoire in stylistic and genre way. The main feature of the third stage, which starts at the moment when the pianist comes to the global concert stage and continues now, is his transition into professional musician status. Pianist starts an active artistic dialogue with broad public, famous symphonic orchestras, artistically cooperates with exceptional musicians exchanging musical and performing experience with them.

A distinctive feature of the third stage of Lan Lang's performing arts is the special role of the phenomenon of publicity. His individual musical performing style serves as the natural ground of this phenomenon.

Virtuosity is defined as the dominant in Lang Lang’s pianistic art style. Individual characteristics of this phenomenon manifestations were shown. As a depiction of one of the Lang Lang’s virtuous style characteristics the term of “musical performance picture” was introduced.


creativity by Lang Lang; becoming; musical performing style; virtuosity; musical performing picturesqueness


Eisenstadt, S. A. (2015). Piano schools of the countries of the Far Eastern region (China, Korea, Japan). Problems of theory, history, performing practice [Fortepiannye shkoly stran Dal'nevostochnogo regiona (Kitai, Koreya, Yaponiya): problemy teorii, istorii]. Manuscript of Dissertation work for gaining the degree of the Doctor of Art Criticism by specialty 17.00.02 Music Art. M. I. Glinka Novosibirsk State Conservatory. Novosibirsk, 326 p. [in Russian].

Katrich, O. T. (2000). Music Performer’S Style (Theoretical and Aesthetic Aspects) [Styl muzykanta-vykonavtsia (teoretychni ta estetychni aspekty)]. Drohobych: Vidrodzhennia, 100 p. [in Ukrainian].

Martienssen, K. A. (1966). Individual Piano Technique on the Basis of the Creative Sound Will [Individual'naya fortepiannaya tekhnika na osnove zvukotvorcheskoi voli], ed. G. M. Kogan, transl. from German by V. L. Michelis. Moscow: Muzyka, 220 p. [in Russian].

Moskalenko, V. (2012). Lectures on Musical Interpretation: [Lektsii po muzykal'noi interpretatsii]: tutorial. Kyev: Typohrafiia «Kliaksa», 272 p. [in Russian].

Rabinovich, D. A. (2008). Artist and style [Ispolnitel' i stil']. Moscow: Klassika-XXI, 208 p. [in Russian].

Rabinovich, D. A. (1979). Artist and style [Ispolnitel' i stil'] In 2 vols. Vol. 1: The performer and the style. Problem of pianistic stylistics. [Problemy pianisticheskoi stilistiki]. Moscow: Sovetskii kompozitor, 320 p. [in Russian].

Establishment [Stanovlennia] (1978). In: Dictionary of the Ukrainian language [Akademichnyi tlumachnyi slovnyk ukrainskoi movy], in 11 vols. Vol. 9. Kyiv: Naukova dumka, 649 p [in Ukrainian].

Xu Bo. (2011). Phenomenon of piano performance in China at the turn of the 20–21 сenturies. [Fenomen fortepiannogo ispolnitel'stva v Kitae na rubezhe XX–XX vekov]: Manuscript of Dissertation work for gaining the degree of the Candidate of Art Criticism by specialty 17.00.02 Music Art. Rostov State Rachmaninov Conservatory. Rostov-na-Donu, 149 p. Available at: (accessed: 11.05.2018) [in Russian].

Tsukkerman, V. A. (1983). Analysis of musical works. Complex forms. [Analiz muzykal'nykh proizvedenii. Slozhnye formy]. Moscow: Muzyka, 214 p. [in Russian].

Che, Chao. (2019). Public component of Lang Lang's music-performing style [Publichna skladova muzychno-vykonavskoho styliu Lan Lana] In: Scientific herald of Tchaikovsky National Music Academy of Ukraine [Naukovyi visnyk Natsionalnoi muzychnoi akademii Ukrainy imeni P. I. Chaikovskoho]. Issue 126. Kyiv, pp. 102–111 [in Ukrainian].

Chynaev V. P. (1995). Performing styles in the context of the artistic culture of 18–20 centuries: in piano performance [Yspolnytelskye styly v kontekste khudozhestvennoi kulturы XVIII– XX vekov]. Manuscript of Dissertation work for gaining the degree of the Doctor of Art Criticism by specialty 17.00.02 Music Art. Tchaikovsky Moscow State Conservatory. Moscow. Available at: (accessed: 26.05.2018) [in Russian].

Che, Chao. (2020). Lan Lan virtuose. Experience in comparative analysis. In: Europen Journal of Arts. Vol. 2. Vienna, pp. 110–115 [in English].

Lang Lang, D. (2009). Journey of a Thousand Miles: My Story. New York: Spiegel & Grau, 276 p. Available at: (accessed: 17.04.2019) [in English].

GOST Style Citations

Айзенштадт С. А. Фортепианные школы стран Дальневосточного региона (Китай, Корея, Япония): проблемы теории, истории : дис. … доктора искусствоведения : спец. 17.00.02 Музыкальное искусство / Новосибирская гос. консерватория им. М. И. Глинки. Новосибирск, 2015. 326 с.

Катрич О. Т. Стиль музиканта-виконавця (теоретичні та естетичні аспекти). Дрогобич : Відродження, 2000. 100 с.

Мартинсен К. Индивидуальная фортепианная техника на основе звукотворческой воли / пер. с нем. В. Л. Михелис ; ред., примеч. и вступ. ст. Г. М. Когана. Москва : Музыка, 1966. 220 с.

Москаленко В. Г. Лекции по музыкальной интерпретации : учеб. пособие. Киев : Типографія «Клякса», 2012. 272 с.

Рабинович Д. А. Исполнитель и стиль. Москва : Классика-XXI, 2008. 208 с.

Рабинович Д. А. Рабинович Д. А. Исполнитель и стиль : избранные статьи : в 2 т. Т. 1 : Проблемы пианистической стилистики. Москва : Сов. композитор, 1979. 320 с.

Становлення // Академічний тлумачний словник української мови : в 11 т. Т. 9 / Ін-т мовознавства АН УРСР. Київ : Наук. думка, 1978. С. 649.

Сюй Бо. Феномен фортепианного исполнительства в Китае на рубеже ХХ–ХХІ веков : дис. … кандидата искусствоведения : спец. 17.00.02 Музыкальное искусство / Ростовская гос. консерватория (академия) им. С. В. Рахманинова. Ростов-на-Дону, 2011. 149 с. URL: (дата обращения: 11.05.2018).

Цуккерман В. А. Анализ музыкальных произведений. Сложные формы. Москва : Музыка, 1983. 214 с.

Че Чао. Публічна складова музично-виконавського стилю Лан Лана // Науковий вісник Національної академії України імені П. І. Чайковського. Вип. 126. Київ, 2019. С. 102–111.

Чинаев В. П. Исполнительские стили в контексте художественной культуры XVIII– XX веков : дис. … доктора искусствоведения : спец. 17.00.02 Музыкальное искусство / Московская гос. консерватория им. П. И. Чайковского. Москва. 1995. URL: (дата обращения: 26.05.2018).

Che Chao. Lan Lan virtuose. Experience in comparative analysis // Europen Journal of Arts. Vienna, 2020. Vol. 2. P. 110–115.

Lang Lang D. Journey of a Thousand Miles: My Story. New York : Spiegel & Grau, 2009. 276 p. URL: (дата звернення: 17.04.2019).

ISSN 2522-4190 (print)
ISSN 2522-4204 (online)