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Injured Lang Lang lent a hand at Carnegie opening

Injured Lang Lang lent a hand at Carnegie opening
Chinese pianist Lang Lang is nursing an injured arm but will perform at Carnegie Hall's annual gala -- with help from a friend

Pianist Lang Lang, nursing an injured arm, has found an innovative solution to avoid missing Carnegie Hall's annual gala Wednesday -- a young protege will literally lend a hand.

The Chinese-born pianist, one of the world's most recognizable classical musicians, is opening the prestigious New York concert hall's season by playing George Gershwin's classic "Rhapsody in Blue."

But Lang Lang, who will be joined on a second piano by 76-year-old jazz great Chick Corea, is recovering from an inflammation in his left arm that forced him to cancel several months of concerts.

The solution -- Maxim Lando, a 14-year-old US pianist who studied in a music scholarship backed by Lang Lang, will join him and play the left hand.

"With the artistry of the legendary Chick Corea and the exciting young talent Maxim Lando, we hope to delight the audience and take a little pressure off my left arm while it continues to heal," Lang Lang said in a statement.

The unusual three-person, four-hand arrangement will accompany the Philadelphia Orchestra led by Yannick Nezet-Seguin, the French Canadian conductor who in 2020 will become the music director of the Metropolitan Opera.

"Rhapsody in Blue," which premiered in 1924, is one of the most popular 20th-century US compositions and infuses jazz into Western classical music.

Gershwin -- who composed for concert halls, theaters and early movies -- wrote "Rhapsody in Blue" in versions both for one and two pianos.

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