A hundred youngsters playing 50 pianos all at once may not sound like everyone's idea of a musical treat, but it's a sellout at London's Royal Festival Hall this coming Sunday.
Call it the "Lang Lang Effect."
The 28-year-old Chinese piano phenomenon, who has brought popstar glamour to the classical concert circuit, landed in Britain this week on what he says is a mission to bring music – both playing and listening – to a wider, younger generation.
"Lang Lang Inspires," a six-day series of recitals and public events at the Southbank Center, has also given audiences an opportunity to judge the musical merits of a pianist who has divided critics with his showmanship and prodigious technique.
Hailed by some as among the world's finest, whose success has inspired millions of Chinese youngsters to take up classical piano – dubbed the "Lang Lang Effect" – others hear a lack of artistic sensibility beneath the dramatic keyboard skills.
"The new generation's Liberace," sniffed one London critic.