William Zhang is just six years old but he has already performed at New York’s famed Carnegie Hall, one of the most prestigious classical music venues in the world.
The Chinese-American piano prodigy from Atlanta earned the ticket to perform at the venue by beating out thousands of applicants in an international music competition this year.
An amateur video of him playing Mozart got him first prize in the American Protégé International Piano and Strings Competition.
Since Mozart is one of his favorite composers along with Bach and Chopin, William performed another piece from the legendary composer flawlessly at the Carnegie Hall, CGTN reports.
“Music brings me happiness and I want to bring the audience happiness,” William was quoted as saying.
According to William’s parents, he always responded to music when he was a toddler.
“Whenever there is music in the house, he jumps and moves so we just feel he loves music,” William’s mother Julie Wang said.
William’s early inclination to music led the parents to buy him a $20,000 piano when he was just two years old.
While the purchase confused the family’s friends, they knew that the instrument would make the boy happy.
However, when Zhang’s parents tried to find lessons for their child at age two or three, they were told that he was too young to learn.
“We feel very frustrated. He can punch the little key and make some beautiful sound and why don’t you teach him. But no, nobody wants to teach him,” Julie shared.
The parents would eventually take up the task of teaching him to play baby songs despite having no previous background in playing the piano themselves.
He was then able to begin his piano lessons at age four and a half. His current routine now includes practice sessions of up to three hours daily.
“It’s like the best team: parents, student, and teacher. We work together,” said Guangyu Zhang, William’s father.
The family received the news via email that William had won the competition back in January.
“I didn’t want to tell them because I wanted to make sure. Did I look at it wrong. So I blew it up on my desktop computer screen and checked. First place. And then I told them. We were just so thrilled. So excited,” Julie said.
At this early stage in his musical journey, William has already made history as among the youngest to perform at the concert venue which has hosted numerous legendary performers such as Frank Sinatra, Ray Charles, Tony Bennett, Billie Holiday, The Beatles, Jon Bon Jovi, Billy Joel, Elton John, and Celine Dion among many others.
“Maybe I want to be an artist, maybe a pianist, or maybe composer or piano teacher,” the young star said, commenting on his future.