List of music prodigies
This is a list of music prodigies, young children (at or under age 12) who displayed a talent in music deemed to make them competitive with skilled adult musicians. The list is sorted by genre and instrument.
- 1 Classical
- 2 Non-classical genres
- 3 Post-war genres
- 4 Indian Artists
- 5 See also
- 6 Further reading
- 7 References
|Beverly Sills||12||Won on Major Bowes' Amateur Hour for the week of October 26, 1939, performed Gilbert and Sullivan by 16|
|Julie Andrews||12||Sang at the London Hippodrome.|
|Jackie Evancho||10||2nd place on America's Got Talent at age 10, and, still aged 10, the youngest solo artist ever to release a platinum-selling album. At age 11, Evancho also became the youngest artist ever to debut in the UK in the top 5, the youngest person ever to have a special on the PBS Great Performances television series, and the youngest person ever to sing a solo concert at Lincoln Center.|
Piano and organ
|Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart||Piano, violin||4||One of the most prolific composers of the Classical Era |
|Thomas Linley the Younger||Piano, violin||7 (earliest recorded performance)||Born the same year as Mozart; the two met in Italy and became friends|
|Ethan Bortnick||Piano||6 (Guinness World Record)||born in 2000, Started playing piano at 3 started composing at 5 and professianal at 6 giving his album "Anything Is Possible" entered Guinness World Record book|
|Charles-Valentin Alkan||Piano||6||At the age of seven, he won a first prize for solfège and prizes in piano, harmony, and organ; Luigi Cherubini, director of the Conservatoire, described his technique and ability as extraordinary|
|Martha Argerich||Piano||4||Orchestral debut at age six |
|Kit Armstrong||Piano||5||Concerto debut at eight; Morton Gould Young Composer Award for five consecutive years |
|Claudio Arrau||Piano||5||Could read notes before letters |
|Enrique Batiz||Piano||5||Now a conductor |
|Emily Bear||Piano||5||Composed and released her first piano album at age five|
|Vincenzo Bellini||Piano||5||Began studying music theory at two, the piano at three, and by the age of five could apparently play well|
|Georges Bizet||Piano||9||Entered the Paris Conservatory at age nine|
|Victor Borge||Piano||8||Won a full scholarship to the Royal Danish Music Conservatory at age nine |
|Lili Boulanger||Piano, violin, cello, harp||Attended Louis Vierne's organ classes at the Paris Conservatoire at age six |
|Cameron Carpenter||Organ||11||Performed J. S. Bach's complete The Well-Tempered Clavier from memory at age eleven.|
|William Crotch||Organ||3||Became a composer and first Principal of the Royal Academy of Music |
|Georges Cziffra||Piano||Entered the Franz Liszt Academy at age nine, after some four years performing in a traveling circus|
|Per Enflo||Piano||7||Won the Swedish competition for young pianists at age eleven in 1956 (and again in 1961)|
|Richard Farrell||Piano||4||Made his first radio broadcast at age four; at seven played his own composition (a lament on the death of an archbishop) in a public concert with the Wellington Symphony Orchestra |
|Carl Filtsch||Piano||6||Composed concerto at thirteen; died at age fourteen |
|Glenn Gould||Piano||4||Attended The Royal Conservatory of Music (Toronto) at age 10; passing his final Conservatory examination in piano with the "highest marks of any candidate"; attaining "professional standing as a pianist" at age 12|
|Horacio Gutiérrez||Piano||11||First piano recital at age four. Orchestral debut at age 11 with the Havana Symphony.|
|Johana Harris||Piano||8||Composed works as early as age six and began her career as a concert pianist at age eight|
|Felix Hell||Organ||8||Became a church organist at age eight; won competitions at age nine; began recording and touring shortly thereafter|
|Helen Huang||Piano||8||Performed with the Philadelphia Orchestra at age eight|
|Evgeny Kissin||Piano||10||Entered music school at age six |
|Aimi Kobayashi||Piano||3||Performed concerts at age three and with orchestras at age seven, performed at Carnegie Hall, etc.|
|Lang Lang||Piano||Began playing at age two; entered Beijing Conservatory at age eight; won international competitions at age thirteen |
|Ingmar Lazar||Piano||6||Solo debut at age six at the Salle Gaveau in Paris|
|Franz Liszt||Piano||9||Performed first major concert at age eleven |
|Leo Ornstein||Piano||Entered Saint Petersburg Conservatory at age ten |
|Sergei Prokofiev||Piano||Composed an opera at age nine|
|Camille Saint-Saëns||Piano||5||Gave his first public recital at age five|
|Ernest Schelling||Piano||4||Began studies in Europe at age seven |
|Dimitris Sgouros||Piano||7||First public recital at age seven; Carnegie Hall debut at age twelve with Rachmaninoff's Third Piano Concerto |
|Ruth Slenczynska||Piano||11||Played with a full orchestra at age eleven; writer of Forbidden Childhood |
|Conrad Tao||Piano, violin, composing||4||First public recital at four; first concerto at eight|
|Alicia Witt||Piano||7||Won several piano competitions in the years after her debut  Aside from being a music prodigy, "Alicia, possibly started reading at the age of six-and-a-half, seven months". At two years, she was reading college text books.|
|Yuja Wang||Piano||7||Performed in several piano competitions and concerts before moving to Canada at age eleven to study at Mount Royal College.|
|Noah Grey-Cabey||Piano||4||Youngest Person to perform solo in Sydney Opera House|
|Linda Brava||Violin||11||Worldwide tours at age eight, leader of the prestigious Helsinki Juniorstrings at thirteen |
|Guila Bustabo||Violin||9||Performed with the Chicago Symphony at age 9; made Carnegie Hall debut at age 15|
|Akim Camara||Violin||3||Performed "Schneefloeckchen, Weissbroeckchen" with the Marzahn Hellersdorf School of Music at age 2; with Andre Rieu at the Waldbuehne at age 3; with Andre Rieu at Radio City Music Hall at age 5; with Wolfgang Fischer at age 6 & Richard Clayderman at age 7 (2009).|
|Sarah Chang||Violin||5||Started performing at age 5, auditioned for the Juilliard School at age 6 and professional debut came when she performed Paganini's Violin Concerto No. 1 with the New York Philharmonic at age 8. Recorded her first studio album called "Debut" at age 9. Has performed with most major international orchestras by age 11.|
|Jacqueline du Pré||Cello||8|||
|Ida Haendel||Violin||Prizewinner in Henryk Wieniawski International Violin Competition at age six |
|Koh Gabriel Kameda||Violin||9||Orchestral debut at thirteen performed the violin concerto No. 5 by Henri Vieuxtemps with the Baden-Baden Philharmonic Orchestra|
|Apollinaire de Kontski||Violin||4||Appeared in public at the age of four, playing a concerto by Pierre Rode.|
|Rachel Lee||Violin||8||She has studied at the Juilliard School since age 8|
|Yo-Yo Ma||Cello||5||Performed for audiences at 5; performed for John F. Kennedy at 7; appeared on TV at 8|
|Anne Akiko Meyers||Violin||7|||
|Maria Milanollo||Violin||6||Learned violin as a toddler with elder sister Teresa. Debuted age 6 and toured Europe as a duo with Teresa. Nicknamed "Madamoiselle Staccato" for her liveliness. Untimely death 1848 (age 16).|
|Teresa Milanollo||Violin||9||Learned violin from age 4, debut age 9. Tutors: Lafont, Habeneck, de Bériot. Admired by Berlioz, Chopin, Johann Strauss the Elder, Liszt, Meyerbeer. Gave scores of acclaimed concerts throughout Europe in major halls and royal courts, both solo and as duo with younger sister Maria, whom she coached. Nicknamed "Mademoiselle Adagio" for her seriousness.|
|Stefan Milenković||Violin||10||First international award at age seven|
|Alma Moodie||Violin||6||Entered Brussels Conservatory at age 9; premiered concertos by Kurt Atterberg, Hans Pfitzner and Ernst Krenek|
|Gregor Piatigorsky||Cello||Entered the Moscow Conservatory at age eleven; headed a quartet at age fifteen |
|Michael Rabin||Violin||10||Could "keep beat" at age one  Carnegie Hall debut age 13 |
|Florizel von Reuter||Violin||10||Graduated from Geneva Conservatory at age 11, 1901 |
|Ruggiero Ricci||Violin||10||Began international tours at age fourteen |
|Clara Rockmore||Violin, theremin||9||Entered the Imperial Conservatory at age five, the youngest ever student |
|Henriett Seth F.||Contrabass||10||Gave up creative music career altogether at age 13 |
|Frank Peter Zimmermann||Violin||10|||
|Raphael Severe||Clarinet||11||Played Mozart clarinet concerto in China only three years after starting to learn the clarinet.|
|Julian Bliss||Clarinet||4||Began playing the clarinet at the age of 4. Currently a virtuoso touring musician. Has played for British royalty.]|
Composing and conducting
|Juan Crisóstomo Arriaga (1806–1826)||Composer||11||Composed a two-act opera at age thirteen |
|Samuel Barber (1910–1981)||Composer, conductor||7||Attempted an opera at age ten; attended the Curtis Institute of Music at age fourteen |
|Georges Bizet (1838–1875)||Composer||Entered the Paris Conservatoire at age ten |
|Frédéric Chopin||Composer||7||Began concerts and polonaises at age seven; attained notability by age fifteen |
|Alma Deutscher (born 2005)||Composer, violinist, pianist||6||Composed Sonata in E-flat by Alma in 2011 followed by her short opera The Sweeper of Dreams in 2012.|
|Morton Gould||Composer, conductor||6|||
|Jay Greenberg (born 1991)||Composer||12||Entered Juilliard School at age ten; composed five symphonies by age twelve |
|Erich Wolfgang Korngold||Composer, conductor||11|||
|Rued Langgaard||Composer, organist||11||Composed his first symphony (60 minutes duration) at the age of 14 |
|Lorin Maazel (born 1930)||Conductor||7|||
|Frederik Magle (born 1977)||Composer, organist, pianist||7|||
|Felix Mendelssohn||Composer, conductor||12|||
|Gian Carlo Menotti||Composer||7||Composed first opera at age eleven |
|Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart||4||His first compositions were Andante (K. 1a) and Allegro (K. 1b) |
|Olli Mustonen (born 1967)||?||Composed a Divertimento for piano and orchestra at the age of 12, and his piano concerto at the age of 14.|
|Niccolò Paganini||Composer, violinist||7|||
|Alex Prior (born 1992)||Composer, conductor||8|||
|Henry Purcell (1659(?) – 1695)||Composer, organist, choir master||11||A great composer, unsurpassed in England for 200 years.|
|Josef Rheinberger (1839–1901)||Composer||7||Entered the Hochschule für Musik und Theater München at age twelve |
|Nino Rota (1911–1979)||Composer||11||Composed an oratorio at the age of 10, conducting performances in Italy and Paris.|
|Julian Scriabin (1908–1919)||Composer||c. 9–11|||
|Wilhelm Stenhammar (1871-1927)||Composer, pianist||9||Composed his first piano sonata at the age of 9, the next at 10.|
|Edgard Varèse||Composer, conductor||12||Composed first opera at age 12.|
- John Burgess began playing at the age of four before turning professional at the age of sixteen. He was known as the 'King Of The Highland Pipers'.
Country and bluegrass
- LeAnn Rimes: Won two Grammys at the age of fourteen for Best New Artist and Best Female Country Vocal Performance becoming the youngest recipient of a Grammy Award.
- Billy Gilman: Had a hit single and a platinum album at age eleven; was nominated for a Grammy Award against adult competition at age twelve
- Hunter Hayes: a cajun accordionist that began his musical career at age four, making appearances at local performances and on national television.
- Alison Krauss: Won local competitions at age ten and was named the most promising Midwestern fiddler at age twelve 
- Brenda Lee: Debuted at age ten 
- Doug Sahm: Played with Hank Williams at age eleven; released an album by age fourteen; later helped form the rock band Sir Douglas Quintet and the Tejano music related Texas Tornados
- Ricky Skaggs: Mandolin virtuoso; performed with Flatt and Scruggs at age seven 
- Chris Thile: Cofounded Nickel Creek at age eight 
Folk and world music
- Areti Ketime: Debuted at age six; performed at the 2004 Summer Olympics at age fourteen 
- Adán Sánchez: Released first album at age eleven 
- Joe Bonamassa: Became proficient at Guitar at age 11, opened for B.B. King at age 13.
- Nathan Cavaleri Played with Mark Knoffler at age 9, proficient Blues Guitarist by age 10, played with B.B. King at age 13.
- Kenny Wayne Shepherd: Began at age seven; performed onstage with professionals at age thirteen
- Quinn Sullivan: Began playing guitar at age 3; has performed onstage with B.B. King and Buddy Guy
- Derek Trucks: Began playing with The Allman Brothers Band at age 11
- Reggie Sears: Began playing guitar seriously at age 11, by age 12 he played with Solomon Burke, Hubert Sumlin and Guitar Shorty, released his debut CD at 14 years old and headlined his first tour by age 15.
Jazz and jazz-fusion
- Shelly Berg: Entered the Cleveland Institute of Music at age six; was a professional musician at age thirteen 
- Andy Bey: He played at clubs at 5, By age 12 he performed at the Apollo Theater with Louis Jordan and had his first recording.
- Bix Biederbecke: Self-taught piano and cornet player, learning the first at a particularly young age (playing with his hands overhead while standing). Article written about him in Davenport (Iowa) newspaper at age 7, and went on to great fame before dying probably of alcoholism at age 28.
- Francesco Cafiso: He worked with Franco D'Andrea at age 11 or 12.
- Terri Lyne Carrington: Awarded a full scholarship to Berklee College of Music at age eleven 
- Dennis Chambers: began playing drums at age three, was professional at 9, was an 'in demand' drummer on the NYC music scene at the age of 14, and was a member of Parliament-Funkadelic at the age of 18.
- Cyrus Chestnut: Entered the Peabody Institute at age nine 
- Cy Coleman: Played in Carnegie Hall at age seven 
- Eldar Djangirov: "Discovered" at age nine; became the youngest musician to appear on Piano Jazz at age twelve; released his first CD at age fourteen 
- Taylor Eigsti: Opened for David Benoit at age eight and played with Dave Brubeck at age twelve 
- Herbie Hancock: Performed on piano with the Chicago symphony at age eleven; began playing jazz later in college 
- Biréli Lagrène: Won a Gypsy music festival in Strasbourg at age eight and performed at the Montreux Jazz Festival at thirteen.
- Buddy Rich: Began playing drums at 18 months old; was a bandleader by age eleven 
- Sugar Chile Robinson: A pianist in the jazz sub-genre of boogie-woogie, he had his first public performance at the age of 3; he retired from active performing at age 13.
- Hilton Ruiz: Performed at Carnegie Recital Hall at age eight; played in an accordion symphony at age nine 
- Tony Royster Jr: Began playing drums at the age of 3. He is known for winning the Guitar Center National Drum-Off competition Hollywood in 1995 (at the age of 11). He frequently tours with rapper Jay Z as part of his live band.
- Consuelo Velázquez: Began playing at age four; performed piano concerto at age six; wrote Bésame Mucho at age sixteen
- Mary Lou Williams: Taught herself piano before age five; played professionally by age thirteen 
- Keith Jarrett: Pianist
R&B, soul, and funk
- Michael Jackson: Joined his older siblings in the Jackson 5 at age five; his dancing, singing and performing abilities soon surpassed his older siblings; He had his first No.1 as a solo artist at age 13, and his first No.1 (as the lead singer of the Jackson 5) at age 11.
- Booker T. Jones: Keyboardist for Booker T and the M.G's was proficient at organ, piano, oboe, saxophone, and trombone by the age of 10. He began playing as a professional session musician at 16.
- Gladys Knight: Began performing at age four; won on the Original Amateur Hour at age seven; toured at age eight 
- Stevie Wonder: Skilled at multiple instruments early; signed to Motown at age eleven; first U.S. number-one hit at age thirteen.
- Bernie Worrell: Originally classically trained; wrote a concerto at age eight.
- Victor Wooten: Bela Fleck's bassist, started playing funk-bass at 3.
- Sugar Chile Robinson: Won talent contests as singer and pianist from age 3, performed and recorded as a child with Lionel Hampton, Count Basie and others
- Dido: Entered the Guildhall School of Music and Drama at age six.
- Marvin Hamlisch: Became the youngest student ever accepted by the Juilliard School of Music at age seven.
- Cleopatra Stratan: Had a hit single at the age of 3; Youngest artist to win an MTV award
- Vanya Popov: Had a hit single at the age of 4; released a solo album (record label Melodiya) at the age of 7; became a TV anchor on the biggest Russian Channel 1 at the age of 7 until age of 10.
Alternative and rock
- Tori Amos: Attended the Peabody Institute at age five and was expelled from it at 11.
- Björk: Began classical study at age five; released an album at age eleven 
- Alanis Morissette: Released her first song at age ten, which later became an unsuccessful single; became a protege of a local folk musician; had her own record and record producing company at an early age 
- Wolfgang Van Halen: Son of Van Halen guitarist Eddie Van Halen, Wolfgang began playing on-stage with the band at age 13, and was a full member of Van Halen at age 15. He plays guitar, electric bass, drums, and keyboard.
- Steve Winwood: Played organ in the "The Ron Atkinson Band" at age eight; was backing blues legends by age thirteen on United Kingdom tours; became the keyboardist for The Spencer Davis Group at age fifteen 
- Charly Garcia: Played piano at age of three, gifted. He has absolute pitch.
- Vangelis: Was composing at age of four.
- Jason Becker: Gifted electric guitarist afflicted with ALS
- Jordan Rudess: entered the Juilliard School of Music Pre-College Division for classical piano training at age nine. He currently plays keyboards, continuum, and synthesizers in the progressive metal band Dream Theater.
- Nathan Young: Joined the band Anberlin as a drummer at age 12.
- Yuto Miyazawa: 12 year old child prodigy who was named "The Youngest Professional Guitarist" by Guinness Book of World Records in August, 2008.
- Marcello Cirelli: 16 year old child prodigy; has absolute pitch, and as a result can learn extremely complex compositions in short periods of time.
- Ustad Zakir Hussain: A tabla maestro who was touring by the age of twelve.
- Kumar Gandharva: Legendary vocalist enthralled audiences and senior artists alike in his tours at a young age of twelve.
- Chandrakant Sardeshmukh: A Sitar maestro who performed at the age of six and declared child prodigy by world famous Ravi Shankar.
- U. Srinivas: A Mandolin player of Carnatic music, started performing at the age of nine.
Sujatha Mohan Debut at 10 Years through Odakuzhal Vizhi lalitha ganam. Sujatha shot to fame in the seventies as Baby Sujatha, the schoolgirl who regularly used to sing with K. J. Yesudas in his stage shows all over the world. She recorded her first song, "Kannezhuthy Pottuthottu" when she was in the sixth standard. She debuted in Tamil through the song "Kaadhal Oviyam Kandein" from Kavikuyil (1977). She completed more than 2000 stage shows before her 18th age.
- Musical Prodigies: Masters at an Early Age by Renee B. Fisher ISBN 0-8096-1854-0
- Musical Prodigies: Perilous Journeys, Remarkable Lives by Claude Kenneson ISBN 1-57467-046-8
||Constructs such as ibid., loc. cit. and idem are discouraged by Wikipedia's style guide for footnotes, as they are easily broken. Please improve this article by replacing them with named references (quick guide), or an abbreviated title. (June 2013)|
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