One musician who participated at the 2015 MTNA Conference in Las Vegas who has been doing a lot to introduce young people to the piano and hold their interest is Lang Lang. His boyish charm and somewhat flamboyant style makes him appear more accessible to a younger audience. Maybe in your day it was Liberace, or Van Cliburn but charisma has always played a part in musical performance though of course it must always begin with real skill or that elusive something described as “talent” to become a superstar.
In fact, speaking of superstars, a number of MTNA attendees took the opportunity to see Elton John, another consummate piano performer of the popular genre, who was appearing at Caesar’s which was the next venue over from The Rio where the conference was being held.
Though Lang Lang did not give a piano performance he did conduct a master class and a showcase session (both of which I attended) introducing his new piano teaching materials distributed by Alfred Publishing. I was lucky enough to pick up a copy of each of the Level 1-5 books and get a couple of them autographed.