3-year-old piano prodigy Barron Cheng blew everyone away with his beautiful rendition of Catherine Rollin’s “Love Theme”. The tyke played with a full orchestra at the Hong Kong City Hall, and showed off a deft touch on the instrument, maintaining a steady groove and nailing the piece note-for-note.
It’s all the more impressive as Barron only began playing piano the year before, at age two! Most kids would be lucky if they could get through “Chopsticks” at that age. “Love Theme” is a piece for the grade five exam by the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music. There are a total of eight levels, with eight being at the level of a consummate professional musician, so to play at grade five at age three is really something. You can watch the performance for yourself below.
The video, which was uploaded by Shirley Lo, has been viewed over one million times. Lo is a concert pianist and young Barron is her student. She said that Barron “has a genuine love for music and an innate gift of perfect pitch”. Perfect pitch is indeed a huge advantage to have as a musician, but the dedication it takes to get to that level of skill in one year is very impressive.
The video was uploaded earlier this year in October, so moving forward no doubt Barron’s skills will only grow with time. Music lovers online were amazed by his playing, adding comments such as “This is one of the most wonderful and beautiful things I have ever seen. This child is destined for greatness” and “I’m so moved – that was beautiful. What a precious incredibly talented sweet little boy.” Another video of Barron shows him playing solo at home, which you can watch below.
The second video is from Barron’s own YouTube channel. His channel only has two uploads so far, although he has already amassed nearly 1000 subscribers. The young musician also brings a positive attitude to his performances, which you can see in his spoken introduction before playing at the Hong Kong City Hall.
Barron introduces himself in Chinese and explains how happy he is to be performing “Love Theme” with the orchestra that day on the big stage. He then gives an adorable peace sign to the camera, complete with an enthusiastic “yeah!” He’s all business when the song starts though, and in a flashy sequined jacket, shows how at ease he is playing in front of the large audience. The Hong Kong City Hall has a seating capacity of 1430, so it’s definitely a big stage for such a little boy.
Barron is in good hands with Shirley Lo as his piano teacher. Lo has quite the resume, and in addition to having a Master’s degree from the University of Cincinnati, she was also a prizewinner in the 2012 Japan-Hong Kong International Music Competition. She also lectures and teaches masterclasses at The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, Hong Kong Music Institute and International Youth Cultural Arts Festival. If you would like to see more from Barron Cheng, you can subscribe to his YouTube channel.