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Lang Lang to perform PSO gala with one hand, joined by 14 year old Maxim Lando / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

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One-handed pianists aren't as uncommon as you might think. Pianist and composer Alexander Scriabin injured his right hand over-practicing in the late 1800s. Paul Wittgenstein developed new techniques after losing an arm during World War I. Leon Fleisher developed the musical equivalent of the yips (focal dystonia, a neurological condition affecting the fingers) in the latter half of the 20th century, though he eventually recovered.

In April, Lang Lang, 35, perhaps the most famous pianist in the world, canceled his touring appearances for the summer citing inflammation in his left arm. His doctors have prescribed rest and expect a full recovery in time. Notwithstanding his injury, Lang Lang returns to Pittsburgh Sept. 16 to perform with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra during its annual gala, though he'll play only with his right hand. He'll share the stage - and indeed, the piano bench - with 14-year-old wunderkind Maxim Lando, already a world-renowned pianist and a graduate of the Lang Lang International Music Foundation. Lang Lang will play with his right hand while Maxim performs with his left. They'll perform Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue" with the orchestra, as well as arrangements of "America" from Bernstein's "West Side Story," the "Dance of the Sugarplum Fairy" from Tchaikovsky's "The Nutcracker" and "The Aquarium" from Saint-Saens' "Carnival of the Animals."

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