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#426456 - 08/15/07 09:55 AM Re: Yet another prodigy link (this is unbelievable)
ecm Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/08/05
Posts: 1276
Loc: Republic of Macedonia
 Quote:
Originally posted by Mr_Kitty:
sorry for the double post.

It seems to me the world is obsessed with protegies.
Music becomes a spectator sport-LOOK HOW YOUNG THIS KID IS AND LOOK WHAT HE CAN PLAY!!!!!

music isn't about that.
I couldn't care less about kids with insane levels of skill at young ages. I care about great music.

and after Arrau playing all the Transcendental Etudes at age 11.... stuff like this doesn't phaze me [/b]
Agreed. I don't think a child can understand music on a way an adult will.
Firstly, because children experience everything emotionally, while when you are older you don't aproach to playing so emotionally but reasonably and with head.

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#426457 - 08/15/07 02:28 PM Re: Yet another prodigy link (this is unbelievable)
BruceD Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 18236
Loc: Victoria, BC
 Quote:
Originally posted by Mr_Kitty:
music isn't about that.
I couldn't care less about kids with insane levels of skill at young ages. I care about great music.

[/b]
Well, that clarification either helps or muddies the waters; I don't know. In your thread about Claire Huangci, you raved about her technique and the tremendous speed of her playing, but you said nothing about her musicianship. Now you say you care little about technique.

Regards,
_________________________
BruceD
- - - - -
Estonia 190

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#426458 - 08/15/07 02:35 PM Re: Yet another prodigy link (this is unbelievable)
sophial Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/11/05
Posts: 3486
Loc: US
When I look at this, I think it puts to rest the argument that there are not innate differences between true virtuosos and the rest of us (well, at least me!). I don't care how many hours of practice he might have had in the first few years of his life (the proverbial 10,000 or not)-- there is somethings very different about people who are able to play like this after three or four years of training. WOW!

Sophia

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#426459 - 08/15/07 04:50 PM Re: Yet another prodigy link (this is unbelievable)
Antonius Hamus Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/24/05
Posts: 2230
About innate differences... There is simple precocity, early intelligence, which is very advantageous for a child learning to play an instrument: others will catch up only in terms of absolute IQ, not skill level with the instrument. I would guess Armstrong will have a significantly higher than average IQ in maturity as well: early intelligence and great intelligence combined. It's like first you're cute and then you're sexy. But it doesn't always go like that. It might not go like that with Armstrong. But it probably will.

Let's also consider numbers a bit... Approximately 2 out of 100 adults could get into Mensa... Let's say Armstrong is one out of ten thousand 9-20 year-old pianists in the last 20 years who grew up in a very similar 'musico-educational' environment, and let's also say Armstrong was the only one of those ten thousand who could play that well at the age of 8...

It would probably be nice to be that good and all that. It would probably be even nicer if it weren't so unusual... I hope we'll soon get into some sort of highly successful wholesale gene-manipulation phase in the history of our species. I wish...

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#426460 - 08/15/07 04:55 PM Re: Yet another prodigy link (this is unbelievable)
Antonius Hamus Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/24/05
Posts: 2230
 Quote:
Originally posted by Antonius Hamus:
I hope we'll soon get into some sort of highly successful wholesale gene-manipulation phase in the history of our species. I wish... [/b]
I should have written:

I hope we'll soon get into some sort of highly successful wholesale gene-manipulation phase in the sad & muddy history of this wretched species that we call human and that is us. All those hundreds of thousands of years... I really, really, hope so...

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#426461 - 08/15/07 05:11 PM Re: Yet another prodigy link (this is unbelievable)
LisztAddict Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/12/05
Posts: 2896
Loc: Florida
I would be very happy if I can even play 1/10 as well as this kid.

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#426462 - 08/15/07 06:00 PM Re: Yet another prodigy link (this is unbelievable)
Mr_Kitty Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/07
Posts: 667
Loc: Toronto
I am not knocking this kid's talent-like I said, he can PLAY! phenomenally well, in fact. His technique, though incredible, is nothing close to Claire Huangci's. Musically speaking, I wouldn't pay to hear EITHER of them. The only purpose technique has is to serve the music. Go watch Kit's 4th Ballade. It's musically nonexistant. Not to mention, he drops the odd note just like the rest of us. If you guys like that type of playing, then all the more power to you! I wouldn't pay 10 cents to hear this kid. End of story.

I am sure one day he'll be a great pianist. Then, I will attend his concerts, and hopefully I will enjoy them. Emotionally and intellectually,I do not think he is prepared to tackle the cornerstone works of the reperetoire.


Prodigies often are pushed to learn big rep at young ages, for ex. with alot of octaves. They are taught to overcome these technical hurdles using incorrect techniques. However, they practice hard, and inevitably master much difficult rep. However, once they get older, these questionable habits are so well established, that they are often impossible to break.

My girlfriend was a prodigy, albeit not QUITE on the level of Kit Armstrong (she played Mend. concerto with orchestras at age 11, while I was learning much smaller pieces). Now, my technique is much better than hers.

The world is full of prodigies. Not all are as phenomenal as Kit Armstrong or Arrau or Peng Peng, or Sarah Chang, or Midori, etc.
If you want to pay big bucks to hear a 10 year old whizz kid play a big concerto, then you are free to do so.
Personally, I wouldn't.
Obviously this kid is a MAJOR beefcake.
He's almost an ubermensch. (speaks like 5 languages fluently, master of origami, already an undergrad at a big uni at the age of 15... etc)
I don't enjoy his playing. Others do.

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#426463 - 08/15/07 07:06 PM Re: Yet another prodigy link (this is unbelievable)
BruceD Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/26/01
Posts: 18236
Loc: Victoria, BC
Mr Kitty :

I don't disagree with most of what you say in your most recent post. I have often said that while I may admire the technique of many a young player, while I may even be amazed by it and envy that I don't possess such skills, I don't frequently go out of my way (to pay) to hear most prodigies. I think, and it seems as though we agree, here too, that many - but not all - of these youngsters do already have the building blocks to tackle the technical aspects of most works of the standard repertoire, and perhaps even beyond that. What they do with those skills and whether they become internationally acclaimed, mature artists remains to be seen and will in large measure be based on what they learn and eventually understand about the music they play.

Prodigies are more often considered as curiosities than artists, primarily on the basis of their technique, and most of us prefer to spend our money to hear artists.

On the other hand, if young performers, before they have had a chance to mature and become known as true artists, don't get support from the public when their careers are in their early stages, will they have careers? - your up-coming San Francisco performance being a possible example.

Regards,
_________________________
BruceD
- - - - -
Estonia 190

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#426464 - 08/16/07 10:34 PM Re: Yet another prodigy link (this is unbelievable)
Mr_Kitty Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/07
Posts: 667
Loc: Toronto
Bruce
In my own case, I will have a career regardless of the support of kind people like yourself or not.
I agree about the curiosity/artist point you made entirely.
Most of these prodigies play in a way that is very well-taught, very well "trimmed" musically speaking by very experienced teachers, and is very "musical" (you know what I mean) but still they aren't quite "artists" per say. Some exceptions, e.g. Mozart

Lol but I am far from a prodigy-when I was 7, 8, 9, 10.... I practiced half an hour per day, lived the life of a normal youngster-played outside with my friends, went to school etc. Only started practicing like a beast in recent years ;\)

I have several friends who hear Armstrong's recent Toronto debut. Some loved it and proclaimed him a genius, others couldn't stand it.
All a matter of taste.
One thing for certain-Kit seems to play everything very "safe"-he doesn't take risks. In order to be a great artist, you have to go above and beyond playing safe. I'm sure Kit will figure this out and one day be recognized as a great artist. Then-I will look forward to hearing him play.
\:D but I'll get free tickets cause of my connections \:D

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#426465 - 08/16/07 10:36 PM Re: Yet another prodigy link (this is unbelievable)
Mr_Kitty Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/07
Posts: 667
Loc: Toronto
lol argerichfan
forgot to mention.
just cause you and I don't get paid for playing concerts ;\) doesn't mean Kit Armstrong doesn't get paid... I'm sure he clears a couple grand per concert.
Concert pianists with international fame can become FILTHY rich if they play enough concerts...

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#426466 - 08/17/07 01:47 AM Re: Yet another prodigy link (this is unbelievable)
pianist.ame Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/18/07
Posts: 1166
Loc: Singapore
plsying mendelssohn's concerto at age 11 does not neccessarily make a prodigy. Many of my teacher's students have played concerto's of that difficulty at that age
_________________________
Mastering:Chopin Etudes op.10 nos.8&12 and op.25 no.1, Chopin Scherzo no.4 in E major op.54, Mozart Sonata in B flat major K.333& Khachaturian Toccata

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#426467 - 08/17/07 02:05 AM Re: Yet another prodigy link (this is unbelievable)
Mr_Kitty Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/07
Posts: 667
Loc: Toronto
lol but WITH a professional orchestra?

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#426468 - 08/17/07 03:57 AM Re: Yet another prodigy link (this is unbelievable)
pianist.ame Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/18/07
Posts: 1166
Loc: Singapore
yes, why not?
_________________________
Mastering:Chopin Etudes op.10 nos.8&12 and op.25 no.1, Chopin Scherzo no.4 in E major op.54, Mozart Sonata in B flat major K.333& Khachaturian Toccata

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#426469 - 08/17/07 03:58 AM Re: Yet another prodigy link (this is unbelievable)
pianist.ame Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/18/07
Posts: 1166
Loc: Singapore
even those who played it with just local string groups are excellent pianist's and nowadays there are quite many kids who play with professional orchestra's
_________________________
Mastering:Chopin Etudes op.10 nos.8&12 and op.25 no.1, Chopin Scherzo no.4 in E major op.54, Mozart Sonata in B flat major K.333& Khachaturian Toccata

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#426470 - 08/31/07 09:59 PM Re: Yet another prodigy link (this is unbelievable)
krypt0 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/07/07
Posts: 173
Personally, I'm completely fascinated and intrigued by child prodigies - not just piano prodigies, but prodigies in any field (art, math, chess, and even sports). I wonder (from a scientific viewpoint) what's different about these prodigies that gives them their amazing abilities and will science ever discover methods that might allow us all to unlock untapped potential within ourselves.

In his book, "The Great Pianists", Harold Schonberg says that all of the great pianists from history began as child prodigies. So, when I see a little piano prodigy on TV or on YouTube, I can't help but feel excited at the possibility that I'm looking at the next Mozart, the next Beethoven, the next Liszt, the next Chopin.

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#426471 - 08/31/07 10:35 PM Re: Yet another prodigy link (this is unbelievable)
T.S.R. Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/08/06
Posts: 231
Loc: Chicago, IL
Seeing kids like this... I don't know whether it's a good or bad thing. It just intimidates me because I was never blessed with abilities such as these. On the other hand though, there will most likely come a time where all of these pianists will equal out as far as technique and repertory go... All I can do is just practice and hope to catch up.... =/

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#426472 - 09/01/07 05:07 PM Re: Yet another prodigy link (this is unbelievable)
Mr_Kitty Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/07
Posts: 667
Loc: Toronto
Harold Shonberg made quite the blanket statement there.
Many great musicians feel they only became serious about music in their teenaged years. It is possible to catch up in technique, but not as easily in rep. For example-go to Adam Golka's website and look at his rep list. It would take most people 50 years to master all of that.
Chess and math-type prodigies amaze me. I heard Kasparov once played 40 games at once WITHOUT a single chess board.

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#426473 - 09/02/07 12:08 PM Re: Yet another prodigy link (this is unbelievable)
Schubertian Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 09/11/06
Posts: 937
Loc: Dallas, TX, US
Does The Prodigy have a name?

Good for him I say - may he go on to be one of the greats - if that's what he wants to do

The world needs more great pianists and fewer war lords, war profitteers [sic], corrupt politicians, pedagogs [sic], religious fanatics, etc.
_________________________
'Always remember: the higher we fly the smaller we appear to those who cannot fly.""
- Nietzsche

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#426474 - 09/02/07 09:10 PM Re: Yet another prodigy link (this is unbelievable)
Mr_Kitty Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/07
Posts: 667
Loc: Toronto
Kit Armstrong. Also a prodigy in other walks of life. Speaks like 5 languages. Is an undergrad at 15. Really good at origami, math and science.

http://youtube.com/watch?v=R3k38i2aBMU

imho the most unmagical performance of this work on youtube.

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#426475 - 09/02/07 10:40 PM Re: Yet another prodigy link (this is unbelievable)
reonat Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/25/06
Posts: 99
You guys are really something... His playing is somewhat mechanical indeed, but this guy is 15 for christ's sake. With such technique at such a young age, he can spend the rest of his life concentrating on emotions and interpretation.
Although you can be a prodigy at maths, piano, whatever else, there's only one thing that can't be innate and that's emotional maturity. A 15y/o kid, even with the highest IQ doesn't feel things the same way as a 20, 30 or 50 y/o, so how can you ask a kid of that age to play like an adult.
Intellectual maturity isn't emotional maturity.

Frankly I would be really happy if I had even half his skills, just like most of you guys.

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#426476 - 09/03/07 04:40 PM Re: Yet another prodigy link (this is unbelievable)
cccyyy Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/09/05
Posts: 22
Loc: Canada
...

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#426477 - 09/03/07 04:42 PM Re: Yet another prodigy link (this is unbelievable)
kcoul058 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/27/04
Posts: 973
Loc: UBC, Vancouver, Canada
There are things being developed in labs at this very moment that will one day allow nearly any child to exhibit such qualities, provided they are very interested and stick with the 21st century pedagogical method more or less. Fully fledged concert level pianists will be so common that the attention will finally come back to composition as being the element that distinguishes the talented musician from the flock, just as it was during the days when the pieces we all worship were written.

We have become so out of touch with the need for new works to refresh the repertoire that we have forgotten this, but it is inevitable that we return to the height of musical tradition since we will always take advantage of any and all new technological developments as they become available, and they will.

This is why it is so very frustrating that every time a thread like this comes up, a potential true prodigy with a wealth of compositions, we can never hear the compositions of course. This is how I would judge the child just as I would continue to judge my own works in order to improve in future efforts. It is as soon as someone else likes a rough interpretation of a new composition that it must be thoroughly learned and recorded, since nowadays we have this amazing ability to almost shut away the composers still writing new works, even if they are becoming more accessible once again.

In the best case scenario, we have a new work premiered, and then forget all about it. We give the standing ovation like we would to pretty much anything and then we move on, usually back to the classics.

People have been impeding the emergence of the 21st century style by putting it in the same bag as the 20th century works they would rather not listen to or consider performing, and this can only be remedied by awakening people to this reality and have everyone stand the new works up against the classics, work closely with humble composers willing to always try and try again, and hopefully start getting people writing on the level of the classics we so adore once again, even if in a completely new (yet accessible) style. Reading the history books, all composers have needed this process of feedback, and revision and/or writing a new work in an improved manner, to start producing masterpieces.

If 99 people read and ignored this post, and 1 person really thought about it, perhaps having studied enough music history themselves to know that this is true, the tragedy of vast segregation within the musical sub-circles of our modern times, then it would be worth taking the time to write.

It's not going to be an easy process to mend and patch the *one* musical, or even all-art circle to become closer to the way it once was, with all of the essential benefits thereof, but we have to try, it's all we can do.

I think we should encourage this prodigy to record the compositions he is most proud of. For non piano works, he should be taught how to do virtual mockups.

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#426478 - 09/04/07 03:12 AM Re: Yet another prodigy link (this is unbelievable)
Mr_Kitty Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/07
Posts: 667
Loc: Toronto
It's not Armstrong's iq I have a problem with-I'm sure his iq is well above 140. it's his EQ!
so what... being only 15 and having half the WTC in your reperetoire makes it okay to play mechanically?

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#426479 - 09/06/07 02:29 PM Re: Yet another prodigy link (this is unbelievable)
kcoul058 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/27/04
Posts: 973
Loc: UBC, Vancouver, Canada
One day anyone will be able to play well mechanically. Less people will be able to play well interpretively. Even less people will write compositions that have a lasting impression on humankind as was once popular. (but more than recently)

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