Bach FAQ 111


Was Johann Sebastian Bach a Musical Child Genius? What Actually Is a Musical Prodigy? A Musical Wunderkind?


To the point: yes, Bach was! But ... not yet always?


But ... not always? For over 310 years, Johann Sebastian Bach was definitely not a musical genius, since there were no compositions or reports from him suggesting that he started composing sooner than his return from Lüneburg to Thuringia. The year 1702 was the year when he finished his time at the Michaelis School in Lüneburg. At that time was Bach 17. And at age 17 you are no longer a child. Not today and not at the time back then.


What is exciting, however, is that this statement changed at the beginning of our third millennium, namely when once again  as at regular intervals soemthing new about the master from the pretty Eisenach came up: sometimes it's another picture of Haußmann that emerges, sometimes it is Bach's possession of silver mine shares and again and again yes: works, which the Thomas Cantor had composed.


Was Ludwig van Beethoven a Musical Child Genius?


Yes, he was!


Beethoven does not miss a lot of time at school, and the father instead holds him to practice the pianoforte. Thus, Beethoven can neither reckon nor write to his life. His father awakens him even at night so that he can play to the father's friends, who are drunk like the father himself, how well he can play by the father's education. His mother, too, was dependent on alcohol. At the age of 8 Ludwig van Beethoven gave his first concert in Bonn on March 26th, One can clearly say that Beethoven was already a genius in her childhood.



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Was Johannes Brahms a Musical Child Genius?


Yes, Brahms was a musical child genius.


Johannes Brahms originated from a farmer's and craftsmen family, but ... his father was a musician. And if you master a public concert at the age of 10 years – that is to say Son Johannes Brahms – can actually be considered a musical child genius. From age 14 – they are convinced today - Brahms started composing. These pieces, however, smaller chamber musical works – considered the master as not worth to preserve – and destroyed them.


Was Anton Bruckner a Musical Prodigy?




Although Bruckner made an early acquaintance with the music, he was a substitute organist even as a child at the age of ten, but in comparison with the other candidates on this page, he was not a super music in childhood.


Was Frédéric Chopin a Musical Child Genius?


Yes, Chopin was!


Unlike Beethoven, for example, Frédéric Francois Chopin was born into a "healthy world". That he was musically powerful is what was recognized already early. He is regarded as a child genius because he was already composing at the age of 7 years. His first polonaise was printed already in 1817, also as Chopin was 7 years old. A little unclear remain now how much child genius our Frédéric actually was, for the year of birth of Chopin is not quite clearly researchable. You can choose from May, 8th1809, February, 2nd 1810 and March 1st, 1810. Chopin himself believed he was able to remember that it was February, 22nd 1810. This fun, of course, is not created by me, but the question of whether he was 7 or 8 years old when he made the world happy with the first work seems irrelevant. So, of course, child genius.


Was Claude Debussy a Musical Child Genius?




Although you have to mention that Debussy already had an outstanding second place in a music competition with young 12 years, one year later even the first place, he "developed however backward" according to the opinion of an individual chronicler, as he didn't accomplish further in the good placements in the oncoming years. At the age of 18, his qualification was not yet enough to live from his music alone. In 1883 he was second, and in 1884, at the age of 22, he received the first prize at the Prix de Rome, the highest award for a French composer. But at age 22, Debussy is not really a child anymore.


Was George Friedrich Handel a Musical Prodigy?


Yes, Handel was a musical child genius!


It is well known that Handel began composing cantatas at the age of 9 in 1684. Bach was at this time with father Johann Ambrosius Bach en route to sing and play at weddings and festivals. At the age of just 12, Georg Friedrich Handel impressed with his music at the Prussian Court in Berlin. Up to the end of his life, which dated a few years later than that of Bach, the Kings of Prussia were really enthusiastic about Handel's music.



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Was Joseph Haydn a Musical Child Genius?



Although they discovered Haydn's musical talent when he was still a child. In 1740, the musical director of the St. Stephen 's Cathedral in Vienna noticed that when he – you call it a "scout" today – took notice of him. At that time he was just 8 years old. For nine years he was a chorus boy. Haydn was a self-educated person. However, nothing pointed to the fact that the musical performance of Haydn was so outstanding that it can be described as a musical genius in this child's age in the sense of our question on this page.


Was Franz Liszt a Musical Prodigy?




Liszt was born in 1811 and was considered a musical child genius, a wunderkind already back then. With just 7 years he taught himself to read notes and to write notes. At the age of just 9, he performed for the first time as a pianist. After that, his father then had him professionally trained. The first compositions, however, could not reach the quality of Liszt as a pianist. This was, however, only in the beginning, and in the course of the 702 works and of a whole life, this changed dramatically.


Was Mendelssohn Bartholdy a Musical Child Genius?


Yes, the Felix was a child genius.


Plus without this musical prodigy, Johann Sebastian Bach would perhaps be forgotten today.


Was Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart a Musical Child Genius?


And what a child genius!


Well, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart wasn't just any musical prodigy. Amadè, how he called himself certainly was the most well-known musical child genius of all.


Was Maurice Ravel a Musical Child Genius? Yes or No?




Maurice Ravel was a gifted musician and composer ... however, he was no music prodigy, no musical child genius, no musical wunderkind.


Was Franz Schubert a Musical Child Genius, a Child Prodigy?


Yup, Schubert was a child genius.


.. however, what do we read when we research: his father of all humans was jealous of his junior when he began composing very young. What a pity.


Was Robert Schumann a Musical Child Genius?


Yes + yes.


Clara Schumann was a musical prodigy, they are certain about that. However her dad Schumann? Of course, he was a musical child genius, too. How do we know? Well, what if you check here. Oops, forgot to tell you that this article is German only. However, what if you copy and paste and fill it in Google Translator?


Was Johann Strauss (Father) a Musical Prodigy?


No, he was not.


He created great music. However, he didn't do it earlier than at a "reasonable age".



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Was Johann Strauss (Son) a Musical Child Genius?


King of Waltz yes, child genius ... not.


He was supposed to become a clear, the king of the waltz. That is what his dad intended for his son. And maybe he was really early exciting in the matter of administration. 19 years old he performed in front of a huge public for the first time and that was when it all started with his career. At age 19 however ... at least that is what we think .. he is no child anymore, and that is to say, he was no musical child genius.


Was Richard Strauss a Musical Child Genius among Others?


We believe ... yes!


In some biographies, Richard Strauss is portrayed as a prodigy. And those who sit behind a piano as early as age 3, deserves this honor on this page of my website.


Was Georg Philipp Telemann a Musical Child Genius?


The first musical child genius ever.


I am learning so much on my own web portal with my own research. So, Telemann wasn't just the composer with the biggest "life yield", but in addition a child genius, too. How could I overlook such an expert at the beginning of my project?! Shame on me.


Was Igor Stravinsky a Musical Prodigy?


Just, if you are still a child at age 20.


In her book "Hochbegabt: Mythen and Realitäten von aussergewöhnlichen Kindern" (... Highly skilled: Myths and realities regarding exceptional children) author Ellen Wilmer writes on page 263 about the 100 most creative grown-up persons, that Stravinsky started serious composing not earlier than at age 20. If somebody writes a whole book about child geniuses than he or she probably knows exactly about the subject ... at least I do believe that and I use it as an info and source.


Was Peter Tchaikovsky One about View Musical Prodigies?




He himself wanted to learn to play piano as early as age 4 and he got lessons this early. They all agree: no question he was very talented, but he does not manage to be a musical child genius.


Was Richard Wagner a Musical Prodigy?


No, he was not, too.


With a little googling you probably find out the same result: Richard Wagner was a great, actually a real great composer, but he wasn't a musical child genius.


Was Guiseppe Verdi a Musical Child Genius?




2013 Guiseppe would have become 200 years old and they recognized early in his life, that he was exceptionally musically gifted ... but he just wasn't ... a musical prodigy.


Was Antonio Vivaldi a Musical Prodigy?


No, he hasn't been one.


At least they think he was born right during an earthquake. Whether that had an influence on his musicality, is not examined. And obviously, it wasn't, as he didn't become a child genius. A musical prodigy. He died in poverty. Those of you who find out the opposite, please let me know. Thank you.


Was Carl Maria von Weber a Musical Child Genius?


Sure he was a musical prodigy. and his dad already knew it.


With Carl Maria von Weber we have something really exciting right before this page comes to an end. The daddy of Carl Maria von Weber, who by the way has this embedded the title (... von) into his name and that is why Carl Maria has the "von" in his name, presented his junior as a musical prodigy. We find that really cool and we just have to find out, whether musical science considers him a musical child genius, too. Then, however, his dad would have discovered that really early, what his boy once would accomplish.


His father wrote in a letter to Weimar, that is 11-year-old son composed his first opera. He, the father is happy, that they don't call his "little Carl Maria" not "the next little Mozart". At age 14 his son composed the opera "Das Waldmädchen", which is "The Forest Girl" in English ... back then nobody liked it. So, we leave that answer open regarding this expert: was he a musical child genius, or wasn't he a musical prodigy?


Much More Stuff to Read – Much More Information


For those who just want to learn a little more about the subject "musical child genius - musical wunderkind", more than you could read in the few lines which are to the point above, for those I have a little more exciting reading, which I can recommend.


The Guardian published an article about Mozart’s sister and in the New York Times, you are educated on how to rise a musical prodigy. In the NYT as well you learn why often prodigies do not develop into masters when they have grown up. Click here for that article. This source is rewarding, it's about what genius and autism have in common. If you really can't get enough with this, here's one more suggestion. The Journal of the Royal society of medicine published a work and you can read it with a click here. Finally a last an article on the website "Trust me, I am a scientist" with the headline "Extraordinary Desire: How Child Prodigies Are Made".


Now you are perfectly informed about the subject and you can create a speech of your own. about what? Sure, about the musical child genius ... or the musical child geniuses ... or the wunderkinds, or German Wunderkinder ... or child prodigies.


And hey, there is another really exciting reading which I found, when researching for child geniuses. If you are speaking German, here is an appetizer. The German title is "Hochbegabt: Mythen und Realitäten von außergewöhnlichen Kindern", which is "Highly skilled: myths and realities about exceptional children". If you are not so much interested in that subject plus your German is good enough for a whole book about child geniuses - in German - here is, where you can buy it (... not in the publishing house of my wife).



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