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Little maestros: the strange world of the child prodigy

But are they monsters or genuises?

By Suna Erdem   August 2018

As the orchestra playing Vivaldi’s Summer fades out an air of anticipation builds. Then the solo violinist takes over, swaying with feeling, his expressive eyebrows marking each dynamic change—a picture of poise and maturity. This could be a top-class -performance in any of the big classical venues. Except that the soloist has a half-size violin, and he’s only 4’4″.

In April, 10-year-old Christian Li became the youngest ever winner at the prestigious Menuhin competition—the so-called Olympics of the…

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