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Lang Lang's flying fingers to get big-screen moment in Costa Mesa

September 25, 2008 | 11:05 am

Lang Lang

Superstar classical pianist Lang Lang always puts on a show -- some say too much of one. But his flying fingers definitely sell tickets. In July, nearly 14,000 people paid to see him at the Hollywood Bowl.

There's a problem for many fans, however: They want to watch Lang Lang's hands on the keyboard, and if they're not seated at the proper angle, they're out of luck.

Enter the Philharmonic Society of Orange County. When it presents the pianist on Oct. 1 at the Renee and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall in Costa Mesa to open its 55th season, the organization plans to hang a 7-by-21-foot video screen above the stage that will depict the keyboard of Lang Lang's instrument. Presto! Everyone gets a view.

According to Philharmonic Society President Dean Corey, he hatched the plan after hearing a panel of young people at an International Society of the Performing Arts conference say they wanted promoters to "give us more to interact with -- use some technology to enhance the experience."

And as usual, those in the audience who balk at showboating can simply close their eyes.

-- Craig Fisher

Photo by Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times