Lang Lang and the Houston Symphony

It’s been four years since Houston has experienced Lang Lang, and classical music fans are jonesing for a fix. Who can blame them? The 25-year-old pianist is one of the most exciting — and controversial — classical musicians of the day. Some critics toss around lofty phrases like “one in a million” for his brilliant performances; others have nicknamed him Bang Bang for his emotionally overwrought playing. While the critics duke it out, fans flock to his concerts in droves, world-class orchestras stand in line to have him appear as a guest soloist and his CDs top the classical sales charts.

Not bad for a kid who says he got his musical start by watching Tom and Jerry cartoons (it was The Cat Concerto that did it for him). Today’s program, with Hans Graf conducting, includes works by Chopin, Liszt, Chabrier and Franck, but, sadly, no Tom or Jerry. 8 p.m. today. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. For information, call 713-224-7575 or visit $25 to $90.
Thu., March 6, 8 p.m., 2008

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Olivia Flores Alvarez