24 October 2016
Piano wunderkind Li Yundi (inset) didn't live up to audience expectations at his concert in Seoul. Photos: Facebook
Piano wunderkind Li Yundi (inset) didn't live up to audience expectations at his concert in Seoul. Photos: Facebook

Pianist Li Yundi apologizes for poor performance in Seoul

Li Yundi, a world-famous classical pianist from China, apologized on his Weibo account for his inexcusably bad performance at a concert in Seoul, am730 reported Tuesday.

On his personal Weibo account, Li wrote Sunday night: “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.”

Li is best known for being the youngest pianist to win the International Frédéric Chopin Piano Competition, in 2000, when he was 18.

The concertgoers in Seoul on Friday were surprised when the conductor of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, which was accompanying Li in Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 1, stopped the piece for about 10 seconds because Li had become horribly lost and hit some very wrong notes, South Korean media reported.

After the performance resumed, Li’s playing was still out of sync with the orchestra.

Local media said Li seemed to be suffering from amnesia.

Li hurried to the backstage without answering a curtain call after the performance.

Some in the audience asked for their money back.

Internet users criticized Li in online posts afterward.

One told him “not to come to South Korea any more”.

Another said, “You will be always be mocked for this.”

Concert organizer Sena Korea was also unhappy with Li, saying it was absurd that the pianist, who was clearly tense during the performance, blamed his mistakes on the conductor.

The Korea Times reported Li saying the next day, Halloween, on his Facebook account: “It’s always been a pleasure to come to Korea.

“Thanks for all your support and hope to see you again.”

Earlier in October, Li was at the center of another bit of controversy when he suddenly disappeared from the jury at the International Frédéric Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw, which coincidentally was later won by Cho Seong-jin of South Korea.

The next day, Li showed up at the fairytale wedding Oct. 8 of Angelababy and Huang Xiaoming in Shanghai.

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