Akim Camara

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Akim Camara (born 26 September 2000[citation needed] in Berlin) is a violinist child prodigy who began playing at the age of two.[1]

Music career[edit]

In May 2003, at only two years of age, Akim was given violin lessons by instructor Birgit Thiele at the Marzahn-Hellersdorf School of Music.[1] Akim was at this point still in diapers and speaking in unintelligible toddler gibberish yet he was remarkably able to remember music heard[2] and the names of all orchestral instruments. Moved by his remarkable memory and natural "ear for music" Akim's teacher began instructing the toddler twice a week in 45 minute sessions.[1] Akim participated enthusiastically and, due in part to his remarkable memory, the toddler was learning unbelievably fast. After six months of this fairly light training regimen Akim had his debut performance in December 2003 at the age of three in a Christmas concert "Schneeflöckchen, Weissröckchen" put on by the Marzahn-Hellersdorf School of Music.[1]

Birgit Thiele and the music school principal, Gudrun Mueller, messaged Andre Rieu, the celebrity Dutch violinist, regarding Akim's prodigious talent through his website. Rieu responded swiftly. He sent a camera crew to Berlin to film Akim on the violin. What he saw astounded him. He hastily took action and invited the parents and grandmother of the boy to his studio in Kerkrade, Netherlands along with Akim. Three year old Akim's performance at the studio was apparently so impressive that it left all of the orchestra members in astonishment and disbelief.

Within two weeks, in July 2004, Akim was performing with Rieu in concert at Kerkrade's Parkstad Limburg Stadion filled to near max capacity with an audience of 18,000 people on a toddler-size violin and wearing a tiny custom-made concert tuxedo and dress shoes. After amusing the crowd with a "water trick" toddler Akim then performed Ferdinand Kuchler's violin concertino in G, opus 11 followed by a brief encore performance. Akim exited stage right after two massive standing ovations and roaring cheers.[1]

Following the success of Akim's performance he had to be essentially hidden from the public eye as many German television stations began pursuing him for appearances. Rieu took Akim under his wing, paying for his musical lessons on both violin and piano and overseeing his instruction (both musical and otherwise) so that Akim will remain "a nice boy"[1] and not become "an insufferable child prodigy" as Rieu fears would be a possibility without his influence.

With his uncanny ability to memorize a musical piece after hearing it only once or twice, Akim's talent developed rapidly and his youthful enthusiasm and passion for the violin only grew. After an interview and appearance on a Danish TV show the young prodigy performed once again with Andre Rieu. This time Akim was performing a more complex piece, Felix Mendelssohn's Dance of the Fairies and at New York City's Radio City Music Hall, and with an appropriately bigger violin. He also sang "Pie Jesu" with Carla Maffioletti.[2]

Akim has since performed on television with the likes of Wolfgang Fischer and Richard Clayderman.[1]