Alma Deutscher

Hey I wonder what you think of her Music and about her in general.

I am kind of fascinated and delighted. Can it be that the secret behind her are solely her parents and education or is she really some kind of exceptionally genius?

And if you have a bit more time here is a docu about her and composing her opera „Cinderella“.

Really interesting how she corrects the orchestra on details and seems to be in her absolute natural element.

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  • She is very gifted, of that there is no doubt. My hope is that she leaves the compositional shackles of classicism behind her and finds the 20th and 21st century because she might well contribute greatly to the canon of works.

    I also believe that a spell in a top conservatory will be of great benefit for her because many of here peers will be similarly gifted which might be of benefit to her in several ways, especially as a reality check after all the adulation. 

    Although she has remarkable talent, at present her music is derivative and could be written by many many students and professionals. However, it is precisely because of her gift that I feel she should be encouraged to search for her unique voice with careful, delicate encouragement and guidance from academia otherwise it would be a waste imo...I mean, why do what even lesser gifted composers can do?

  • „My hope is that she leaves the compositional shackles of classicism behind her and finds the 20th and 21st century“
    Taking in account what she says in the video I think she would disagree with you on that in her current mindset.

    I think there is a danger she develops a narcissistic personality with all the early hype she is experiencing. There is not an inch of self doubt in her talks.
    Then again she is only a child. But an eloquent one! She seems to have the heart and naivete of a child mixed with the the intelligence of a smart adult.

    If you told me her slow movement of the piano concerto is the work of a young Rachmaninoff I would probably believe it.

    Looking forward to follow how it all develops.
  • The fact that she has been adored by adults who think any compound harmony above a dominant 7th is dissonant is disconcerting. It could and I stress the word 'could', hinder any development in her as she limits herself to pleasing her adoring audience who think music deteriorated after the mid 19th C and I agree too Timo that narcissism in bloated form could also be a possibility - that is why I suggested a conservatory, where every other kid is a potential genius, or a t the very least, able to pastiche Mozart et al. in an equally convincing manner. It could level her out if she gets that way. I wonder if media/management pressure will also be playing a role in stymieing her creativity. None of us liked "ugly music" at the beginning, but as one progresses, curiosity (an essential trait surely?) can be quite liberating. Despite what she says, it'll be interesting to see how she turns out over the years - undoubtedly rich at the very least. All speculation of course at this stage.

    All said though, I wish her well and even if she travels her own path (perhaps the best course), she may yet develop into a major composer, she certainly has the ability.

  • At her stage of development, I don't think there's a problem with pastiching other music, and I agree with you all about a conservatory potentially being useful.  I wonder if she's taking lessons with anyone?  Studying with someone who is supportive but also shows her other possibilities in music could be useful.  In any case, taking time to slowly figure out what one's own compositional language is can take years, and that's something we are all continuously developing, yes?  It is interesting though... I did start out writing things that sounded vaguely like various types of pastiche for a number of years, and quite a few people I know started out that way too.  

    Having other people around her who are also interested in music, and interested in different types of music so that she would be exposed to different sorts of things, free from immediate judgment, would be good for her.  I can see that she's based in England– perhaps one of the London conservatoires' junior departments could be good for her?  This is, again, speaking from personal experience, but I'm very thankful to have that in my initial early development as a composer.  There was, in particular, a class with other young composers, where we would show each other what we had been working on that week.  Some of the people in this class were instrumentalists, and we'd try to play each other's music.  Also, being in that sort of environment is healthy for the ego, since you see some amazingly talented people in that sort of situation.  

  • Talented, yes.  Genius, no.  The world might be surprised at the number of young kids who can do just what Alma does.  I usually have 4 or 5 in my studio who can easily turn 4 notes into Mozart, or compose just like Chopin or Rachmaninoff.  Those aren't the ones I get most excited about.  A genius, in my mind, is one who connects the dots in a different way and comes up with something new and exciting. 

    About the worst thing that can happen to one of these very talented, bordering on genius kids, is for the adult world to ooo and aaah and make them think they are the most gifted person on earth.  That video where she improvises Mozart on 4 notes gives me the shudders - because of how the adult is reacting.

    If I have 4 or 5 students at this level each year, then think how many kids like this there are all over the world!   Their parents and I work very hard to connect them with others like themselves, to never use the word genius when describing them, to let them be regular kids while they are writing music, to encourage them to listen, listen, listen - to all periods of music.  Even then, they can get stuck in copy-cat mode, especially if people are drooling over it.  Original music does not have to be ugly.

    Here's a piece by a 10 year old that I considered original.  By the way, it was his first composition and it won a national composition prize:



    The sound file is pretty awful, created from raw Finale with no adjustments for sound, but you can hear that it's not Mozart.  Or Chopin.  Or Rachmaninoff.  It is based on ideas from Messiaen, which the 10 year old took to like a duck to water.  He's now composer in residence for a performance group in Manhattan, after attending Juilliard pre-college.

    Here's an original sounding violin piece from an 8 year old:



    These are the kids I get excited about, not the ones who channel composers we've heard a million times.  Some of the kids who started as Classical/Romantic copy cats really did progress and learn and branch out to create original, beautiful music.  We (me, their parents, the community) treated them as if they were normal, which in this studio they are. 

    I wish Alma the best, but I do hope she finds a voice that is hers and I also hope the adults will chill out and stop treating her like a once-in-a-lifetime phenomenon.  That's simply not true.

  • "It is based on ideas from Messiaen, which the 10 year old took to like a duck to water."

    Shame on you Julie for teaching kids that "ugly music" ....  :-) I am going to report you to the dissonance police.

  • Ha, Mike!   I will take my punishment in stride, when the dissonance police get here.  Maybe I'll play them this polytonal piece, with one hand in Eb and the other in E natural, and the voice moving easily from one to the other.  To me, it doesn't get any more beautiful than this!!!  By the way, that same award-winning 10 year old played the piano part to this by ear during his first lesson after hearing it one time.  I had practiced quite a bit to get the two keys mastered ....

  • I too was stuck, as Dave had mentioned, by the fact that Alma changed one of the notes, B to a Bb - and leveled the harmonic field - (and we all know Mozart loved Gminor:) - w/o mentioning her trickery - and her willingness to 'play in' to her unwitting and captive audience…  Because she is obviously talented, I hope this ego mindset isn't too hardened already, as it has the potential of blinding herself to her inner voice..

  • „The world might be surprised at the number of young kids who can do just what Alma does. I usually have 4 or 5 in my studio who can easily turn 4 notes into Mozart, or compose just like Chopin or Rachmaninoff. “

    I don’t know about the world but I certainly am!

    You mean they can compose in a certain style or in the mastery of this certain style? Because I still think that it is a huge difference to be able to do a mediocre copy or to make a copy that is on par with or near the greatness of the original.

  • I see it akin to a talented visual artist who can render whatever they see onto paper (I happen to live with one).  The serious artistic question quickly then becomes not *how* to do it but *what* is it the artist is trying to express.  As we know, the world is littered with technically astounding drawings of the most banal of subjects.  All the gifts of technique are moot if the subject of the work is not new or interesting.

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