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Monday, May 16, 2011

Teen pianist amazes tutors

A teenager has astounded tutors by learning to play complex piano pieces in just a few hours despite being unable to read music.

Samuel Osmond, 19, has never had a piano lesson but can pick up pieces by composers such as Chopin and Beethoven in minutes because of his note perfect memory.

The teenager, from St Austell, Cornwall, who is studying Law at AS Level, had intended to pursue a career as a barrister, reports the Daily Telegraph.

However, his teachers have urged him to make his future in the field of music instead. He learns a piece of music by listening to it in sections and then working out the notes.

He started playing two years ago and the first piece he played was Moonlight Sonata by Beethoven.

He is currently learning a piece by Chopin, Ballarde No 1 in G Minor, which is filled with rapid scales, large chords and difficult fingerings.

It is a piece so difficult that his music lecturer Cecil Du Valle, who has two masters in music, cannot play it.

Mr Osmond said: "It comes easily to me - I hear the notes and can memorise them - each individual note. Recently I did a performance of a Chopin piece in public.

"It's ten minutes long and must have over a thousand notes in it but I had committed it to memory."

Mr Du Valle, who teaches at Cornwall College in St Austell, said his pupil was a unique find over a 40 year career.

He said: "He's extraordinary - I have never ever known anybody with an ability like this - it's extremely rare.

"He memorised a nine minute long Chopin piece and was note perfect - without being able to read music -or without any piano lessons. It's incredible."

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