Victoria Young, 11

Pianist

Her story: At age 5, Victoria began formal piano instruction. At age 8, she played a repertoire typically reserved for adults. Today, as a Jack Kent Cooke Young Artist, she’s among the nation’s best young classical musicians. She has won the Rosalyn Tureck International Bach Competition in New York City, earning the opportunity to play at Lincoln Center last year. She has won the American Association for Development of the Gifted and Talented’s Passion of Music competition, which earned her the chance to play at Carnegie Hall the past two Aprils. Most recently, she earned an honorable mention in a Louisiana-based competition where she competed against students as old as 18. She has been selected to audition in January in Salt Lake City for the Gina Bachauer International Piano Foundation Competition.

School: Bob Miller Middle School, seventh grade

Extras: She was one of four artists invited to go to Oklahoma to perform on National Public Radio’s From the Top in September. The straight-A student volunteers at two senior centers each month, where she plays pieces from some of her favorite composers, including Bach and Chopin, for the residents. “It’s something fun for me to do, and it feels really nice to be able to entertain them,” she says.

What she’ll be doing in 10 years: Victoria wants to be a professional pianist and composer. In the meantime, she hopes to attend either The Juilliard School in New York City or the Curtis Institute in Philadelphia.

What they’re saying about her: “When I auditioned her, I saw she had perfect pitch and could identify any key on the piano,” says her instructor Damaris Alvarez. “I had to give her more difficult material than the other students her age because the pieces that the average child could learn in four to six months, she could learn in three weeks.” After Victoria won the 2011 College of Southern Nevada Piano Concerto competition, judge Martha Sparks commented that she had “such vitality and strength and sense of continuity! Wonderful sense of depth and sense of balance.”

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