We chat with pianist Lang Lang at the opening of the first Hublot boutique in Hanoi, where he played one of his first concerts since returning from a tendonitis injury
How has the year off been for you?
It felt pretty good. I had more time to relax and more time to date. I did a lot of work with my foundation and a lot of masterclasses. But now I’m back! I feel good and refreshed, and hungry to get back to playing.
What gives you the most career satisfaction?
I think it’s being a good communicator about classical music. When I was a kid, I was not very sociable. I was very shy and really weird. But when I started making music, I started making friends. You play a song and everybody starts singing along. And at that moment, you become friends. That’s the power of music.
How do you see the relationship between classical music and watchmaking?
It’s timeless and has so much tradition behind it. Classical music is from 300 years ago, and the same goes for watchmaking. We need to respect what has been done in the past, but we have to chase the new time zone—that’s what I’m trying to do in classical music and what Hublot is trying to do in watchmaking. Respect the past but, at the same time, create a new dynasty.
What is the most interesting to you about watchmaking?
The discipline, perhaps. For Hublot, it’s not so much about the discipline, but creating an art piece. Everything is totally unique and has its own personality. The brand does a lot of collaborations with great artists. There are a lot of brands that do limited editions, but they do it with people who have already passed away. [Laughs] I remember once upon a time, I told another brand I was working with that I had this wonderful idea, and it said, “No, no, you have to be dead! Then we’ll work with you!” There are a lot of traditional brands that are like that. Hublot is really great in that respect— the brand is so creative with their collaborations, and open to using new materials. Whatever you think of, the brand makes it work. I’m also really honoured that Hublot wanted to make a watch with me around music-making. The watch I’m wearing now is the Classic Fusion 45mm Ceramic Ultra-thin Lang Lang. It has music notes on the dial, and is super light because it’s made of titanium and ceramic, so I can easily perform with it strapped on my wrist. I also love the Classic Fusion Tourbillon Cathedral Minute Repeater Carbon Lang Lang, because I never have to look at the watch to tell the time. I just push a button and it will chime the time for me.