Researchers have attributed many different characteristics to musical geniuses. These individuals seem to have innate talent without formal musical training, which includes the ability to learn music by merely listening. They often capably play a number of different instruments and many exhibit various eccentricities. Despite interference, musical prodigies also remain driven to play and/or to compose music. When wondering how to develop musical talents, practice and persistence are key when considering some of the most famous musical geniuses of all time.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Born in Salzburg, Austria in 1756, the child prodigy was studying piano and violin at the age of 4. Two short years later, he was already composing minuets and other musical pieces. He also toured with his sister and father. At 12 years of age, Mozart composed three operas, six symphonies and approximately 100 other pieces of music. His extravagant lifestyle created a great financial burden, which drove him to compose with obsession. One of his most famous operas included “The Marriage of Figaro,” a comedy that poked fun of the aristocracy. He died in poverty at the age of 35.
Ludwig van Beethoven
Born in 1770 in Bonn, Germany to a family of musicians, Beethoven remains renowned as one of the greatest composers in history. He began playing piano during childhood and displayed a gift for music. His father was determined that his son would be the next Mozart. He performed for audiences by the age of 7. At the age of 23, his hearing problems began, which caused depression and suicidal ideations. His hearing loss progressed. In 1808, he composed his now famous 5th Symphony.” Two years later, Beethoven was completely deaf. However, he continued composing and playing the piano until 1826, one year short of his death.
Johann Sebastian Bach
Bach was born to family of musicians in Eisenach, Germany in 1685. He learned the violin at an early age under the instruction of his father. At the age of 10, his father died. Johann and a younger brother went to live with an older brother who introduced him to the keyboard. He also began composing. He was considered by many a virtuoso by the age of 20. Though not considered a great composer during his lifetime; Bach composed his unfinished “Art of Fugue” while going blind. He did not gain recognition until late in the 18th century. Bach eventually became renowned as one of the greatest Baroque composers that ever lived.
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Tchaikovsky was born in 1840 in Votkins, Russia. At his insistence he began formal education at the tender age of 4 ½. He began piano lessons at the age of 5, and in three years time, was reading music as expertly as his teacher. However, musical talent was not considered valuable in Russia. His father then sent him to various educational institutions to concentrate on academic and technical training. Tchaikovsky continued his musical training wherever he found an opportunity. Before the age of 30, Tchaikovsky was composing operas. Some of his most famous works include the “1812 Overture,” “Romeo and Juliet,” “The Nutcracker” and “Swan Lake.”