New video: English composer child, 8, tours the US talk shows

New video: English composer child, 8, tours the US talk shows


norman lebrecht

November 05, 2013

Alma Deutscher, child of an Israeli language scholar and living in Dorking, has written her first opera. She is signed to a major UK talent agency.

alma deutscher

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  • Simon says:

    Is she the daughter of Guy Deutscher? He wrote some excellent books on how languages develop and change, highly recommendable (and understandable) not only for scholars, but for any interested reader.

  • Una says:

    Hardly ‘English’? I would say British, like myself, as neither of my parents were either born in Britain or English!!

    Thanks Simon for the tip off about Guy Deutscher. Sounds a very interesting read, and I’ll go and find it.

  • Tim Benjamin says:

    Well it’s good “for an 8 year old” in a kind of pseudo-early-Mozart way. However I don’t think it really compares to the claimed early Mozart (even discounting his dad’s best efforts).

    Sorry to be a grumpy old git but she does rather remind me of James (now Lauren) Harries. I hope all this early exposure doesn’t cause her the same difficulties that Harries and his/her family suffered. Or, to top it all, an ignominous appearance on Celebrity Big Brother (s/he was on the latest series).

    The false endings to the Rondo were quite fun though, kind of what Dudley Moore might have done to Mozart maybe, and I am surprised (and disappointed!) that the presenters of the TV programme weren’t taken in, to suddenly blurt out some inanity to cover “dead air” while Alma carried on with another false ending 🙂

    • Martin says:

      Sorry for not being nice, but I prefer her pseudo-Mozart Rondo over your website’s video of your Emily or some other pieces of yours, which I heared in radio broadcasts.

      And no, I’m not saying I like her Rondo, but then I’m not that into Mozart anyway. Neighter am I suggesting you should end up in a Big Brother container.

      There are too many composers anyway, maybe we should do Composer’s Hunger Games 😛 The winner will be forced to write a requiem for all the losers. If the public doesn’t like the requiem, he’ll be shot too.

      Ok, I’m done – keep on composing, both, Alma and you 🙂

  • Mikey says:

    It’s no wonder living composers are having such a struggle getting performed. Between the implied “if it ain’t avant-garde, it’s garbage” and “if it wasn’t written by a cute 8yr old”, there’s not much room for those who’ve devoted their lives to the study of composition.

    I guess it’s time to resort to cheap Mozart pastiche.

  • David Boxwell says:

    Better story: “Opera by 8 year-old directed by 7 year-old.”

  • Not again…when will we stop being obsessed with such young talents and let them grow up first before throwing into the madness of fame and having it all? She already has a big head (“I’m not small, I’m big!”) and obviously has such a small knowledge of repertoire (of course, as she is only 8) that she thinks her music is not just a copy Mozart. Please, bring her home, let her have a real childhood and continue to learn and grow, and I’ll be glad to hear what she is doing 10-15 years from now, although my guess is she will be burned out by then and be frequenting a counselor.

    • Martin says:

      Come on Keane, I supported your Mozart style piano concerto commission. You’re a new Mozart too – although as one can well hear, with a bit more life experience 🙂

      Hope I have saved the MP3s of your concerto on my external hard drive as my other notebook has ended it’s life. Will go and search for that music right now as I actually quiet like the piece.

      • Thanks, Martin. I’m glad you like my piece, but that is something completely different. There is nothing wrong with a young composer writing and copying the style of a composer they love (which is not at all what I did in my piano concerto). That is a natural stage the development of a composer, and it is wonderful that she is doing it so well. What I am against is this exploitation of a young prodigy which time and time again has messed up the lives of these people (do I even need to list examples?) I was never a prodigy, and will never be a top level pianist. My bad imitations of Chopin I wrote when I was a teenager and nearly no one heard them (thank goodness) and never will again. Her imitation Mozart will now live on forever on a commercial label for her to be embarrassed about when she is older and more mature, if she survives that long.

        • Tim Benjamin says:

          My bad imitations at not much more than that age were of Elgar and Vaughan Williams … a few years later they were of (twelve-note era) Schoenberg. Glad that what remains of them are safely tucked away in my attic now and were not aired for all to laugh at on Wogan etc. Clearly my imitations are still bad but hopefully less obviously identifiable! (The earliest on my site and the first I am comfortable with anyone hearing, even Martin, hah, was written when I was 16: “Antagony” if you’re interested)

        • Martin says:

          I have found your concerto on my external hard drive and it’s indeed much less “mozarty” than I thought it was.

          My memory has probably been misinfluenced by a recent modern take on a Mozart piano concerto which Timothy Andres has reconstructed into something more modern:

        • Martin says:

          Aaah, you even uploaded the concerto to Youtube. Good move. Deserves more views though!

  • Alan Penner says:

    Here comes the dog and pony show!

  • I’d suggest Jackie Evancho for one of the leads, but isn’t she getting on a bit by now?

  • MarieTherese says:

    She’s a cute 8 year old with more ability in solfege than US conservatory students 3 times her age! She obviously loves music and that should be encouraged, not picked apart by catty “critics”. And Mikey, the “cheap Mozart pastiche” crack was beneath you- just because she hasn’t had a “lifetime” to devote to composition, as of yet, doesn’t mean that what she is doing doesn’t have merit. At least it doesn’t offend the ear, unlike some very recent nasty opera which recently had a world premier.