arts 06.26.07

Two Prodigies

The pressures of being a prodigy and the desire for a normal life are the themes of the movie Vitus, which opens here this Friday. The kid (named Vitus) starts reading encyclopedias at age five, has preternatural hearing, and seems born to play the piano. Parental pressure to do that creates a bond between Vitus and his grandfather, played by Bruno Ganz. Unburdening himself of his talents becomes the game. Vitus is played by two actors — Teo Gheorghiu is the 12-year-old version. Mr. Gheorghiu knows something about prodigies, having won his first piano competition when he was 12.

Seriously, who gets discovered at a Siberian jazz festival? Sounds like a punchline. But is true. And Eldar was only nine. The now-20-year-old pianist has just released "re-imagination," his third album. This guy is so good, we could hardly believe our ears. Hear for yourself.

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