This season’s roster of performers on the La Jolla Music Society’s Frieman Family Piano Series has been stellar, featuring exciting young pianists such as Yuja Wang and Haochen Zhang, as well as the iconic master Mitsuko Uchida. After hearing Barry Douglas perform a tedious, perfunctory recital Friday (May 9) at Sherwood Auditorium, I must report that the Irish performer has sullied this series’ glowing record.

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In his Saturday (Dec. 7) program for the La Jolla Music Society, Haochen Zhang, gold medalist of the 2009 Van Cliburn Competition, not only dazzled his audience with the bravura technical arsenal expected from a medalist, but invited his listeners into the interior emotional landscapes of works that others rush through solely to indulge their spectacle.

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