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The God-Child Myth: Are Child Singers Jackie Evancho, Amira Willighagen, Angelina Jordan Astar, Etc. Actually Talented?

by Ian Holubiak   May 8, 2014 12:33 PM EDT

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The appeal and draw that lies in young talent far exceeds actual understanding. It just seems to be interesting to most folks, and the way that the internet trends these days makes way for these prodigies to become but a blip on your computer screen.

Beyond our ability to hear such wunderkinds live and in person, lies the obsession that viewers have, especially in classical circles, with youthful genius.

In short, what does virtuosity mean in the young? Moreover, is that notion alone justification for arbitrary acceptance, unhinged from looking at the performance objectively and placing it, fairly, in line with others--even though they are much older?

Bottom line: Is it acceptable to say that some of these child phenoms just don't have it?

Jascha Heifetz, Yehudi Menuhin, Arthur Rubinstein and Daniel Barenboim gave their debut recitals at tender ages, none exempt from serious accolades and long-term, fruitful musical careers.


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