Derek Amato

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Derek Amato (born November 19, 1966)[1] is a composer and pianist who received a head injury on October 27, 2006, and subsequently became a musical savant.[2] He is the only known musical savant to have developed savant syndrome through a brain injury.[3]

At the age of 39, Amato dove into a shallow swimming pool and hit his head, resulting in major concussion and 35% hearing loss. Although he had played the guitar prior to his injury, the level of his musical ability suddenly progressed to the point where he was able to compose for piano. He has been diagnosed as experiencing a form of synesthesia.[4]


  1. ^ Derek Amato - Musical Genius - Superhuman 41
  2. ^ Uncharted Waters, an article about Amato in Southwest Magazine.
  3. ^ Sudden Savant, from NPR's "Snap Judgement."
  4. ^ Derek Amato (12 Oct 2012). "Experience: a head injury made me a musical prodigy". The Guardian. Retrieved May 4, 2018.