The World's Greatest Musical Prodigies
About the Show
Sixteen-year-old Alexander Prior is one of Britain's most talented and prolific young composers. Now he's bringing together some of the world's greatest young musical talent to perform his new concerto.
Series 1 Summary
Sixteen-year-old Alexander Prior is one of Britain's most talented and prolific young composers. He began composing at the age of eight and has already written more than forty works.
Now Alex brings together some of the world's most remarkable young musical talent to perform a concerto.
Taking inspiration from these talents he writes a quadruple concerto and invites the children come to England for a week of intensive rehearsals, which climaxes in Alex conducting a concert at the Sage Gateshead, with The Northern Sinfonia.
But before the performance, Alex must ensure these extraordinary young performers are able to work together and create a spectacular performance on the night, as it promises to be a defining moment in all of their careers.
Alex travels to Miami at the invitation of renowned prodigy-hunter Giselle Brodsky, who runs the Miami International Piano Festival. Giselle has selected five of America's most gifted young musicians, who have flown in from all corners of the States to audition for Alex.
Among the children are two violinists: Simone, a 12-year-old Harry Potter fanatic, and Michael, a charismatic 13-year-old who hates practising and would rather be playing basketball or dancing to hip hop.
Two cellists are also in the running: 15-year-old Nathan, whose prodigious abilities were first realised when he was spotted air-conducting aged just three; and 16-year-old Oliver, whose family live in seclusion on an isolated island off Seattle and who has cello lessons by video-link over the internet.
The fifth musician is Anna, a 12-year-old harpist who has been playing for just three years but whose phenomenal aptitude and passion for the instrument have fuelled her swift progression.
Ida Haendel, the legendary violinist, who was herself a celebrated child prodigy, will assist Alex and Giselle in the selection process which culminates in a public recital in front of an audience of 500 at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
But it is Alex alone who faces the difficult task of deciding which musicians to choose, before breaking the news to all the children.
In the second programme, sixteen-year-old Alexander Prior goes to Shanghai in search of China's most brilliant piano prodigies.
In recent years, the Chinese have fallen in love with Western classical music, and with the piano in particular: the country now has 30 million piano students.
With help from two piano professors at the Shanghai Conservatory, Alex meets and auditions four astonishing young pianists aged eight to 12.
He then faces the difficult task of deciding which one to choose - and breaking the news to all of the children.
In this final episode, Alex composes a concerto that will do justice to the remarkable talents of his four soloists. As the concerto begins to take shape, viewers gain a unique insight into the mind of one of the world's most brilliant young composers.
The World's Greatest Musical Prodigies synopsis
Sixteen-year-old Alexander Prior is one of Britain's most talented and prolific young composers. Now he's bringing together some of the world's greatest young musical talent to perform his new concerto.Episode Guide >