Tuesday (2/2) on Bloomberg.com, Norman Lebrecht reports, “The Chinese musician Lang Lang, 27, has signed for Sony Classical for $3 million, an executive familiar with the move at his old label Deutsche Grammophon told me. A Sony spokeswoman in London said that the company wouldn’t comment. … He has been a star in the west and an Elvis-like figure back home ever since he sold out Carnegie Hall, performing the Grieg concerto at the age of 19 in 2001. He was mobbed on his first return to Beijing with the Philadelphia Orchestra that year. The pianist signed a record contract with Deutsche Grammophon, part of Vivendi SA’s Universal Music Group. He released his first disc in 2003 featuring concertos by Tchaikovsky and Mendelssohn, with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra conducted by Daniel Barenboim. … At the rarified Deutsche Grammophon, which shelters such media-averse pianists as Martha Argerich, Maurizio Pollini and Krystian Zimerman, Lang Lang’s noisy populism was never an easy fit. … So when Sony rebooted its classical wing last April after a long dormancy, the new chief Bogdan Roscic was given an open checkbook and told: ‘Get Lang Lang.’ … An executive at Deutsche Grammophon confirmed both the signing and the fee.”

Posted February 2, 2010