World famous Chinese classical pianist Li Yundi apparently hit some very wrong notes during an embarrassingly off night in Seoul on Friday, igniting a media firestorm with disappointed fans asking for their money back.
The Chongqing-born piano prodigy was in town for two performances with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. Tickets for the event ran from between 300 to 1400 RMB.
So concerts goers were understandably a little bit miffed when conductor David Robertson had to stop the performance of Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 1 because the celebrated soloist had become horribly lost.
Some reports in Korean media allege that Li blamed the conductor and orchestra for the mistake, and that many in attendance had requested refunds. After the unexpected interruption, the orchestra began again and finished the piece.
For your listening pleasure, here is audio from the concert recorded (illegally) by one attendee:
On his official Weibo account, Li rejected reports from Korean media that he had passed off blame for his own mistakes on the conductor and orchestra and also denied that there was a refund issue.
Meanwhile, on his personal Weibo, Li issued the following statement:
“We apologize for our mistakes in the Seoul concert and would like to issue a sincere apology to our fans and friends and thank the conductor and the orchestra for their support and forgiveness. As a pianist, I know that no matter what, my performance on stage must be perfect, any kind of explanation is insufficient. Thank you for your comments.”
On his official Facebook account, Li seems to have taken the incident more in stride:
Which led to some lecturing from fans:
There are people who would remember your play in Seoul for… god knows how long, and that’s not just me. To apologize properly, and to re-accomplish your credit as a world-renowned pianist, you need to show your better performance, not just apologizing on your SNS. Well, it’s said what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. I will look forward to your play, which should be at least a notch above your previous ones.
While other fans left disgruntled posts on his Facebook page:
Earlier in October, Li was at the center of another bit of controversy when he suddenly disappeared despite his responsibilities as a juror at Warsaw’s International Chopin Piano Competition. He only popped back up at the fairytale wedding of Angelababy and Huang Xiaoming.
Held once every five years, the Chopin Competition is one of the world’s oldest and most prestigious music competitions. In 2000, Li became the youngest pianist to win the competition at the tender age of 18.
Watch his performance here: