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Five year-old pianist to play at Carnegie Hall

His name’s Ryan Wang and he’s from Vancouver, in Canada.

He won a Carnegie Hall date, apparently, by coming second at the American Protege Piano and Strings International Competition. He also has a concerto scheduled later in the year with an orchestra in Shanghai.

Suspend your scepticism. We wonder what Lang Lang makes of the competition.

Ryan Wang, pianist

Here’s a fuller clip of what the kid can do:

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  1. Wow! This boy could go far, indeed. From the clip, it looks like he can already span an octave comfortably, and he has a great sense of rhythm in addition to his obvious intelligence. And it’s all just a game for him, just having fun!

  2. Disneyland North America:
    “he really gets into ‘it” ” ….?!
    is there a serious music audience waiting breathlessly to hear this???
    and the SFOrchestra cancelling its Carnegie Hall concerts.

    Guess CHall has to fill its calendar with anything!

    life in amerika ….bizarre

  3. Petros Linardos says:

    Why should we suspend our scepticism?

    This kid may have a great potential. He may realize it, if he simply plays a lot like a child. If he engages in open ended play,

    A reasonable measure of piano practice, lots of singing and lots of chamber music will help. Maybe he should even go to Marlboro when he is older.

    That’s at least what I would do if I were raising a musical prodigy.

  4. Nandor Szederkenyi says:

    Why some people don’t let kids being kids?
    Sorry, but for me this is the ugliest business making ever.

    • He seems to be enjoying himself at the piano. Isn’t this what kids are supposed to do … have fun?

      But I agree, it often doesn’t remain that way. Let’s hope he has a normal life with school, friends and sports as well as music.

      • Robert, it isn’t the enjoyment of playing the piano that is the problem (of course not!), it is the fact that he is 5 years old and cannot make decisions for himself at that age, yet is performing in front of huge crowds and big venues, with orchestras, being put in competitions (the last thing he needs at this age!), and doing TV news segments. Haven’t we collectively learned our lessons about needing to protect these kids childhoods and not have them burn out by age 20? I’m sorry for this kid and what will happen to him when he becomes an adult, I’m afraid he is going to have some serious problems.

        • Well said, KS. Such early exposure is totally unnecessary and very dangerous for the child.

        • Marguerite Foxon says:

          I agree. He is a prodigy, he loves playing …. super! Let him do that, get him a good teacher, but hold off sending him around the world like some child freak. It will destroy him. How many people are going to Carnegie Hall for any other reason than to see the unbelievable – a 5 year old who plays like a 25 year old. its very sad and yes, its exploitative.

  5. Reminds me about the morher who brought her son to play for the great Josef Hofmann:
    Hofmann: “And what are you going to play for me??”
    Son: “The Tchaikovsky concerto. sir”
    Hofmann: “And how old are you?”
    Son: ” Six years old. sir”
    Hofmann: ” To old”…………..

  6. Dr. Marc Villeger says:
  7. Sorry, but to me this is just a form of child abuse and exploitation. Why would anyone do this to their kid except for money? Reminds one of a certain Leopoldo Mozart.

  8. Was this the little guy on the ellen show?
    I appreciate his talent but is it safe to say the Carnegie Hall is no longer equal to virtuosity but fame or public attention now ? I just do not agree that he is as good as adults, even young adults

  9. alright he is not the little guy on the ellen show. sorry for that

    • Dr. Marc Villeger says:

      No he is not yet there. The little guy on the Ellen show knows already all the moves of faking emotions… That’s part of cloning.

  10. Matthew McFarlane says:

    This is a cash grab by an organization that rents out Carnegie Hall. They shuffle kids on and off the stage, make a bundle and call them “prodigies.” Is this kid talented? No doubt, but this isn’t news. It’s exploitation.

    You know what is news? Timothy Chooi, a young violinist, 19, from Victoria BC is making his Carnegie Hall debut in May. He won this fair and square, playing in a masterclass for the famous violinist Vadim Repin.

    • Dr. Marc Villeger says:

      To lighten the mood, here is a pianist’s experience at making her Carnegie Hall debut at Weill Recital Hall


      • Finally, a real performance at Carnagie! That must have been exciting. Congratulations Svetlana.

        It takes more than a few years of piano lessons and hard work to get there. Ryan the 5 year old “prodigy” may be good, but he has a long way to go. There are also many other talented 5 to 10 year old students out there playing the same elementary repertoire as he and just as well. There are so many talented little students playing in local music festivals. None of these early competitions really matter when it comes down to it. Who really cares if you came 1st or 2nd or dead last in a Grade 4 repertoire class.??? It is not until they are older like Timothy Chooi and others competing with advanced repertoire. Advanced students need to win big scholarships for launching performance careers and to pay for education. By then only the really serious musicians are left anyways. The ones that love to play for the music alone.

  11. Interesting discussion. Of course, children need to be nurtured and not exploited; no disagreement there. Perhaps his CH venue is only happening once in a lifetime, and he will he also be visiting relatives on the Shanghai trip?

    As to the integrity of the show’s producers, it would be good to have more information about them. @Matthew McFarlane: Perhaps you could substantiate a little by providing links? And are you implying that little Ryan didn’t win his competition “fair and square”?

    And what is everyone’s take here on Jackie Evancho? :)

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