Special Report

31 Famous Child Prodigies

Source: Courtesy of Ominisoft Technologies

26. Priyanshi Somani (1998 -)
> Country of origin: India
> Talent: Mental calculator

Priyanshi Somani, who is turning 22 years old this year, is one of the world’s best mental calculators — people who possess an amazing talent to calculate large numbers by addition, subtraction, multiplication, or division without assistance from a device. She began mental calculation at 6 years old, and five years later she was the youngest participant in the Mental Calculation World Cup and won that event. Somani became the first person in the competition to be completely accurate in addition, multiplication, and square roots. She retired from mental calculation competition and is involved in theater in India.

Source: Courtesy of Akim Camara via Facebook

27. Akim Camara (2000 -)
> Country of origin: Germany
> Talent: Violinist

Akim Camara has been playing the violin since he started to walk. At 2 years old, he was taking music lessons in Berlin and was demonstrating a remarkable ability to remember music. His music instructor began teaching him twice a week. After just six months of instruction, Camara made his debut at a Christmas concert in Berlin at age 3. Dutch violinist Andre Rieu heard about Camara’s extraordinary talent and took him under his wing. Camara has performed on German and Danish television programs. He also performed at New York City’s Radio Music Hall in 2013.

Source: Michael Loccisano / Getty Images

28. Ethan Bortnick (2000 -)
> Country of origin: United States
> Talent: Pianist

Pianist Ethan Bortnick began playing the keyboard at age 3 and started composing his own music two years later. Talk show host Jay Leno brought him on “The Tonight Show” in 2007. Oprah Winfrey acknowledged his extraordinary talent by naming him one of Oprah’s All Time Smartest, Most Talented Kids. Bortnick is in the Guinness World Records book as the youngest solo musician to headline his own concert tour. He also enjoys the distinction as the youngest headliner to play Las Vegas when he was 10.

Source: Jason Kempin / Getty Images

29. Joey Alexander (2003 -)
> Country of origin: Indonesia
> Talent: Pianist

Jazz might not be indigenous to Indonesia, but pianist Joey Alexander took to the music genre early on. Alexander (born Josiah Alexander Sila) is a self-taught musician who got his first keyboard at 6. His dad, who went to college in the United States, passed along his love of jazz to his son by giving him some jazz CDs. By the time he was 8, Alexander was known in Indonesian jazz circles and played with touring jazz great Herbie Hancock. He entered and won a jazz competition in Ukraine when he was 9 years old. Alexander has been nominated for three jazz Grammy awards.

Source: Courtesy of NASA

30. Tanishq Matthew Abraham (2003 -)
> Country of origin: United States
> Talent: Biomedical engineer

At 4 years old, Tanishq Matthew Abraham was one of the youngest members of IQ society Mensa International, where he scored a 99.9 on its IQ test. A year later, Abraham completed math courses from kindergarten to fifth grade in just six months. By the time he was 6, he was taking high school and college classes. In 2018, Abraham, received a bachelor’s degree with honors in biomedical engineering at the University of California-Davis — he was 15.

Source: Hannes Magerstaedt / Getty Images

31. Alma Deutscher (2005 -)
> Country of origin: England
> Talent: Composer

When you are compared to Mozart, that’s saying something. For Alma Deutscher, those comparisons started when she was barely in kindergarten. Deutscher started playing the piano at 2 and the violin at 3. At age 7, she composed a short opera titled “The Sweeper of Dreams,” and she wrote a full opera between the ages of 8 and 12 titled “Cinderella.” Deutscher’s first piano solo album, “From My Book of Melodies,” was released last year. Her Carnegie Hall debut in December 2019 was a sellout.

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