International music competition opens with a five-year-old’s perfect performance.

Long, thin, agile fingers may be the desire of every serious pianist—but as this little boy proves, they’re not necessary to interpret a Mozart composition at the level of a professional musician.

5-year-old Alberto Cartuccia Cingolani sits on a piano bench that is raised to its highest height so that his fingers fall comfortably on the keys. His feet, clad in running shoes, dangle high off the floor.

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And yet the sound that comes out of the instrument when Alberto presses on the keys—it’s as if the small child is one with the piano.

Those short, chubby fingers look like the baby hands of any child his age; but that’s only until he starts moving them. With grace and ease, the boy covers the whole keyboard, all 88 keys at his beck and call.

An Incredible Viral Moment

When a video of Alberto playing at an international music competition was posted on Twitter and Facebook, it quickly went viral with over 200,000 reactions, 15,000 comments, and nearly 6 million views. Commenters likened Alberto to the musician whose composition he was playing and called him a prodigy. 

At an age when most kids are struggling to learn the names of the notes and even how to sit at the piano and place their fingers on the keyboard, this young man is interpreting compositions that that only the best mature musicians ever attempt. He comes by his love for music honestly, more specifically, from a musical family who started Alberto’s training at the piano at just three years old. Both of the boy’s parents graduated from conservatories of music.

Alessia Cingolani, Alberto’s mother, said the boy started showing serious interest in the piano during the first Covid lockdown. It gave them the time to explore music together. “I was always at home,” she explained, “so we started playing with a small keyboard, in order to do something stimulating.”

At the time, the boy practiced for a modest ten minutes a day, which is the usual recommendation for young beginners. Even with such short periods of practice, his parents quickly became aware of their son’s natural talent. Alberto still doesn’t read musical notation well, but he has perfect pitch, a rare ability to identify a note without a reference note to compare it to. Only 0.01% of people have it.

His mother said, “He takes his position on the keyboard and repeats the pieces. He is very instinctive.”

His Future Is Extremely Bright

The 10th International Musical Competition in Penne, Italy, was not the first competition the boy has participated in. Even though he’s only been playing for a couple years, he’s already won seven piano competitions. 

But it was there in Penne that he stunned audiences with his interpretation of Mozart’s Piano Sonata No. 16 in C Major, causing people to compare him to the prolific composer. Indeed, Mozart was a child prodigy who started playing when he was three years old and started performing when he was five years old, just like Alberto.

Some of Alberto’s best performances can be found on his father Simone Cingolani’s YouTube channel. The little maestro is often seen performing in a button-down shirt, sweater vest, jeans and running shoes. Watching him, it’s exciting to think about where his musical talent will lead him, if properly nurtured. We’re expecting to hear great things!

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