Yuja Wang drops a stool on stage at the LA Phil.

In February, my husband and I were back in the Disney Concert Hall to see Yuja Wang play Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 (hey, number two, get it?) to a packed house. At 8 p.m., the house lights went down, someone dropped their cell phone, someone took a prohibited photo of the stage and a reverent hush descended over the concert hall.

The stage door opened and out strode Yuja Wang in a sparkly long dress and 5 inch platform, followed shortly by Gustavo Dudamel to thunderous applause.

Dudamel led the orchestra into the dramatic first movement (hey! Another pun!). When it was finished, Wang leaned toward the conductor and whispered something to him. He got down off his platform and left the stage, followed by the much flashier Wang, clopping off on her towering shoes.

Whispering spread throughout the concert hall. What was happening? Was she demanding that some violinist be shot on stage who hit a B sharp when it should’ve been a B flat? Did some of the tendrils of her floor-length dress get caught in the foot pedals? Did she leave the toaster oven on at home?

A second later, a large stagehand came out and approached the piano. The audience watched, spellbound. The man leaned over and grabbed the piano stool by the sides and lifted up the offending piece of furniture. He carried it offstage and the door closed behind him.


A minute later, the stagehand returned, new stool in hand, with rubber, nonslip feet and placed it in front of the piano with the nonchalance of someone who just poured a cup of coffee.

A minute later, Wang and Dudamel returned to the stage and the concert resumed.

The orchestra had a successful second and third movement.

Everyone in the concert felt very much relieved.