New idols of classical music

For the second time tonight, the Athens Concert Hall will host Amsterdam’s Royal Concertgebouw, one of the world’s top orchestras, «super» piano phenomenon Lang Lang and acclaimed maestro Daniel Harding. In a recent assessment of the world’s best orchestras, Gramophone magazine gave its top spot to the Royal Concertgebouw, an orchestra with a 120-year history. Britain’s Daniel Harding last performed in Athens in October, at the same venue. For that appearance, he conducted the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, of which he has been the principal conductor since 2003. Harding is only 34 years old but has been described as a «symbol of youth, change and new readings of classical music.» Harding is set to conduct another symbol of youth, Chinese pianist Lang Lang, who is more reminiscent of a rock star than the stereotypical classical pianist. The Deutsche Grammophon music company has been promoting him as a combination of Mozart and the MTV rock idols, hoping to win over a new generation of listeners. The concert program features Chopin’s «Piano Concerto No 2» and Brahms’s «Symphony No 2.» For Athens Concert Hall information, see the What’s On column, at left.