Fake Piano Featured at Olympic Opening Ceremony
Fake Piano Featured at Olympic Opening Ceremony

Chinese young pianist Lang Lang and five-year-old Li Muzi perform during the opening ceremony of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games in Beijing on August 8, 2008. (Filipo Monteforte/AFP/Getty Images)
Chinese young pianist Lang Lang and five-year-old Li Muzi perform during the opening ceremony of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games in Beijing on August 8, 2008. (Filipo Monteforte/AFP/Getty Images)

First the fake fireworks used at the Olympic Opening Ceremony were revealed, then the lip syncing nine year old , and now a fake piano?

Immediately after the ceremony, some Chinese internet bloggers started questioning whether world-renowned Chinese pianist Lang Lang and five-year-old Li Muzi were “playing” an actual piano or not.

One blogger said: “Why was the top of the piano not even opened?”

Another said: “It must have been pre-recorded! The piano was even shaking! [The floor] is absolutely not even!”

Indeed when looking at the tape of the broadcast, Lang Lang and the young girl looked more like they were playing around than playing the piano. The piano was bouncing up and down very visibly as Lang Lang and the little girl played, looking more like a cardboard prop on an uneven ground than a piano.

The piano duet can be seen on YouTube in a Chinese video from NTDTV that pokes fun of various elements of the opening ceremony. Below is that video: fast forward to 1:15 for the piano performance. [article continues after video]



One blogger, a piano salesperson, said he/she watched the details very carefully during the performance. “When I watched it, I felt very sad. I can only say it was a fake piano, but I dare not be right.”

So the salesperson joined an online piano forum and found that a number of people in the piano industry were also discussing this issue and coming to the same conclusion.

Members of the forum raised doubts about the beginning, when the little girl and Lang Lang had a few unsynchronized moments as they danced across the keys together. Other questions were raised concerning the quality of the piano and the keys, and the design of the piano. Everyone in the forum agreed that it did not look like a real piano.

One musician in the U.S. who watched the opening ceremony on TV, told The Epoch Times that she thought that the piano was fake the moment she saw it.

She gave several reasons. The piano shape looked like a rigid box, she said, which is very crude. She said that no quality piano looks like that. She noted as well that the piano pedals and the way Lang Lang used his right foot on it looked wrong. She believes it’s not a real pedal.

She also wondered whether the floor the piano stood on would be strong enough to hold a real piano. The floor was some sort of LCD screen which often changed colors and backgrounds.

Toronto pianist Brenda Chen agreed. Chen did not watch the opening ceremony but after looking at the pictures that we showed her and the YouTube video, she said, “The piano is absolutely a fake. It is impossible for such a heavy instrument to shake like that.”

Chen also pointed out that the girl was sitting too far from the piano keys to really play. Chen gives piano lessons to children.

According to Chinese media reports, 26-year-old Lang Lang said he was very happy with his performance at the opening ceremony. “Very perfect, not a single defect,” he said, adding, “This 8-minute performance, made an unprecedented impact on me… this must be a new starting point for my life.”

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