Michael Landers, a former national table tennis champion who competed in 2013’s Maccabiah Games, is set to appear in his New York Philharmonic debut on February 20, in Andy Akiho’s concerto “Ricochet.”
While the New York Times reports that Landers has perfect pitch and a fondness for bassoon, it his table tennis prowess that will be on display. He and fellow former table tennis champion Ariel Hsing will rally on a ping pong table elevated over the rest of the Philharmonic, where they will use a series of makeshift paddles — including wine glasses and drums of various sizes — to turn their strokes into a rhythm section.
The piece will appear as part of a program of music from China meant to celebrate the Lunar New Year. Ping Pong is China’s most popular recreational sport.
You can check out Landers’ playing in the Times’ video here.