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10 Most Talented & Famous Child Prodigies

Posted by Mariana Del Rosal on Apr 30, 2020 4:12:56 PM

When it comes to learning new stuff, young children are like sponges: they seem to absorb knowledge all around them! Given a stimulating environment and provided that their needs (both physical and emotional) are covered, any child can display their talents! Many famous musicians started taking music lessons when they were kids, although not all of them would qualify as a “child prodigy”. By this we are referring to those rare cases of children who are absolute geniuses, displaying abilities that go way beyond the normal even compared to adults. Those kids amaze the people around them and sometimes achieve great accomplishes later in life.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

His name is almost a synonym of “child prodigy”, as we have all heard about how he started performing when he was only four years old and composing his pieces by the time he turned five. He and his elder sister were child stars in European courts. Mozart was not only talented because of his dexterity with the instrument, but his memory was also astounding: it is said that when he was fourteen, he was able to transcribe Allegri’s Miserere, which takes around 12 minutes, after listening to a single performance in a visit to the Vatican.

Felix Mendelssohn

Perhaps not as impressive as Mozart, but still, this 19th-century German composer began his piano lessons when he was six years old, performed in public by the time he was nine, and at eleven he was already composing. One of his most famous pieces, the Overture to “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”, an example of Romantic music, dates from the time he was just a 17-year-old boy. Today, among many other pieces, he is also known for his world-famous “Wedding March” (yes, you’ve heard it too, even if you are not a classical music fan).

Jascha Heifetz

The violin in the 20th Century would not be the same without the influence of this expert. Even as a young baby, Jascha would smile when his dad played the violin and frown if he happened to hit a wrong note. By the time the boy was three, he asked for his first violin and begun receiving lessons. He was giving concerts when he was only five. Once his family ran away from the Russian Revolution and moved to the USA, Jascha debuted at Carnegie Hall as a teenager. And he didn’t stop there: he grew up to become a huge success way into his old age.

Stevie Wonder

If a child is born both blind and in poverty, you would expect him to have a totally hard life. Yet, Stevie Wonder was able to become a good musician when he was still a young boy. Before he turned 12 he learned to sing, play many instruments (piano, harmonica, organ, drums) and even write music. He became a professional musician under the name Little Stevie Wonder in 1962, but time proved he was more than just a child novelty, as he became a serious artist who got into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and has sold more than 100 million records.

Ethan Bortnick

He is a young American pianist, singer, composer, and actor who began his career really early! By the time he was three, he already played the keyboard, and he composed his first music when he was five. Given that, it may not surprise us to know he played in Las Vegas being only 10 and he also has a Guinness World Record being the youngest solo musician to headline his concert tour!

Umi Garrett

By the time she was 8, this little girl from California won Americans’ hearts when she performed the piano on the Ellen Degeneres show. Since then, she has continued growing as an artist. In 2011, she organized the “Kizuna Concert Series" to support the people from Japan who had suffered the devastating tsunami. Besides being a classical pianist, she also plays the violin and takes ballet lessons.

Ryan Wang

Another child prodigy who was spotted in the same TV show: this Canadian boy was five when he was broadcasted in Ellen’s show, but he had already been playing the piano since he was one year and a half! “Sometimes the music just goes to my fingers!” he explains. Since then, he has performed in many countries around the globe, such as China, UK, Italy, Poland, Japan, Singapore, and more.

Akim Camara

This young man from Berlin became famous back in 2003, when he was only two years old, still wore diapers and babbled like any toddler, but could already play the violin and retain in his memory the music he heard. A famous Dutch violinist, André Rieu, was astounded by the little boy’s performance and took him under his wing, providing him training and guidance. Since then, he has made appearances on TV and, lately, he became part of the successful “Lieberman quartet”.

Malik Kofi

He became a cello prodigy by the time he was 11 years old. This young boy from Birmingham was not only a musical prodigy, as he learned to speak when he was only 8-months old, to read by the time he was two and was raised and home-schooled by his grandmother. He has received praise from his adult contemporaries, such as Udi Bar-David from the Philadelphia Orchestra who praised Malik for his creativity, his maturity, and his stage presence: “he is open to learning and has strong ideas of his own”.

Rhema Marvanne

This young gospel singer recorded her version of “O holy night” when she was just seven years old. She claims her mom, who died when Rhema was very little, is her heavenly inspiration. When we listen to her sweet voice, we believe her!

There are child prodigies in many fields, such as math, astronomy, and event chess, but today we took a look at ten children who mastered music and became (or may become) legends. It doesn’t hurt to remind our readers that their children do not need to be prodigies to learn and enjoy music or even to become talented musicians later in life.

Sources:

https://www.britannica.com/list/7-famous-child-prodigies

https://listverse.com/2013/07/09/resend-10-modern-child-prodigies/

https://www.mentalfloss.com/article/27906/9-child-prodigies-who-actually-ended-doing-something

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/child-prodigies-2013_n_4469084

Topics: Music, Musicians, Famous Artists, History of Music

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