Have you ever seen/heard a musical child prodigy?

“Child prodigy” is a familiar concept, but I’m curious about how many people have ever seen or heard one live.

I did, back when I was a teenager. She was an 11-year-old girl named Carol Sindell, who played Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto with the Cleveland Orchestra. To this day, she holds the record for being the youngest soloist to perform with the orchestra. She played flawlessly, but what I mostly remember was the way she was dressed. She wore a Shirley-Temple-style dress, complete with little shoes with straps. I guess her parents wanted her to look like a 5-year-old, to accentuate the “prodigy” angle. I can’t help wondering how they actually got her to wear it.

Now, decades later, that little girl has been a Professor of Music at Portland State University. At least she dresses like an adult now.

In 1990 or 1991, I was living in Tallahassee, FL. I was part of the local crew setting up for a concert; I think it was Jimmy Buffett. Anyway, the way these things usually work is, the lights, sound and stage get set up in the morning, then after lunch is lighting focus and sound check. About 4pm, we’re basically all done so there’s lots of sitting around backstage and stuff.

So on this day, like most, we’re all sitting around backstage while the backline techs are tuning drums, guitars, etc. Out of nowhere, we hear what sounds like Eddie Van Halen or Jimi Hendrix or some other shredder just fucking WAILING and he DOES NOT STOP he just keeps shredding and shredding and shredding and we can’t for the life of us figure out who this could possibly be, because it’s not really a shredding kind of night, ya know what I’m sayin’?

So we all get up and head out to at least the stage left wing so we can see who’s creating havoc in the arena, and HOLY SHIT there’s only one person on stage, and it’s a little kid! And he is tearing the joint up, really rocking out. We collectively pick our jaws up off the floor and ask as one voice “who the fuck is that???”

It was Derek Trucks. He was 11 years old.

And I have yet to see her live, but I will (even tho I’ll prolly actually hate most of the type of music she will record) because she is easily the most gifted, talented and amazing female singer I’ve heard in all my life (I think): Carly Rose Sonenclar.

Yeah, watching X Factor videos is a guilty pleasure of mine. :smiley:

I saw Ginny Tiu on the Ed Sullivan show when she was 5 years old and played some intricate classical piano pice by ear. She could not read music. I think she is playing in a piano bar now in Honolulu.

Then there is always Jackie Evancho

I came in to mention Carly Rose and post that same video but you beat me to it. She is simply unreal. One thing that is really cool about her, though, is that if you listen to her in interviews she is just the most balanced, humble and thoughtful kid you could imagine.

I’ve always wanted to ask someone who is really knowledgeable about singing what they think of Carly Rose’s singing and what it is technically that makes her so amazing. And how can a kid who is only 13 years old sound like that? Any thoughts, anyone?

A bit different and quite a bit older then what’s been mentioned already, but these kids are only 13 and 15. I have to assume they were doing pretty well on the guitar even when they were younger.

I was about to change my mind about posting this, but then, on one page I noticed all their upcoming performances are in and around Wisconsin and realized their from my home state, so, I’m posting it anyways.

Hmmm. JoeyP, were they hiding behind the huge glass of beer, or were they just ducked down behind the bar? Either way, I agree that their hiding skills are unmatched by their peers.

Errr, let’s try that again.

That Asian boy who played the piano in “Kids say the darndest things.” He even composed a song for Bill Cosby entitled “The Funny Man.” When he went on moderato, Cosby asked, “is that the part where I’m getting old?”

My better half collaborates with a former child prodigy who is all grown up (middle aged) now. A fruit of their labors.

Having been a Piano Tech in San Diego for 30 years, I saw Gustavo Romero, Kevin Kenner, David Koorevar (all three were SD piano prodigies).
Interestingly, one of my colleagues was Scott Thile, whose bouncing baby boy turned into mandolin prodigy Chris Thile. I never saw him play, and the family relocated in bluegrass country to nurture CT’s career. It worked.

Good lord, Chris is amazing; just won a MacArthur Grant. It sure did work. I saw him play with Mark O’Connor and they were amazing.

I knew it! Just based on your excellent description and the year. :smiley: