FRIDAY, September 27, 2019
Alexandra Dovgan is at most 12 years old. She was born in 2007, but I can’t find the month or day of her birth. I believe she was only 10 when this recording was made.
The Russian music system is unique. Young, talented musicians are discovered and then everything is done for them financially. Nothing like that exists in the US. From what I’m reading she does not go to school. She has tutors in order to leave her free to practice for many hours a day. On one hand I envy teachers who get such talented young students who have unlimited time to practice. On the other hands, I have to wonder if such young children have any time to play or lead normal lives. Many such talents burn out while still young, or have very troubled, emotionally turbulent lives. So who knows if these monumental talents are lucky – because they are so famous – or unlucky because they pushed and manipulated so much from such a young age and often have tragic lives.
But I’m putting this here for my young students who may think that only old people play the piano well.
Famous for 188 years…
This piano concerto, Piano Concerto No 1 in G Minor, was written by Felix Mendelssohn in 1831, when he was only 33 years old. Mendelssohn was a young prodigy who like Alexandra Dovgan could play anything, and was also known as a great organist. But for Mendelssohn that barely scratches the surface. He was already composing amazing music at around age 13, and at age 17 he composed A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Probably the only other composer whose musical maturity and compositional genius reached such a staggering level while still a teenager was Mozart. As if fate got even with him for being given so much so early, he was dead at age 38 from a series of strokes. This life ending malady was a family curse, genetic. His older sister, Fanny, also died of a stroke at age 41 about 6 months before her brother, Felix.