Shaker Heights teen piano prodigy heading to Costa Rica festival

14-year-old piano prodigy heading to Costa Rica

SHAKER HTS - Meet John Phillips.

He's a 14-year-old from Shaker Heights with a special skill set.

His extraordinary talent as a pianist and composer landed him a trip to Costa Rica on July 8. 

"It's a great opportunity," John says. "I think it shows that I'm changing in my musical career."

John has been playing the piano for just over 7 years. He practices once or twice a week, about two hours a day. He studied at the Cleveland Music Settlement for about 5 years, and now at the Cleveland Institute of Music.

John's father Greggory never played an instrument but thought his son might be a good candidate. "He fell in love with the piano and has been developing at an exponential rate since then."

And now, that talent has given him the chance to play at the Costa Rica Piano Festival, performing one of Mozart's concertos. He'll be accompanied by a full orchestra. 

"It will be harder than what I've done in the past," John says.

But his teacher, Gerardo Teissonniere, is confident in the teen's ability to perform well, telling WKYC's Brandon Simmons: "It will be a glorious night when he goes on stage and performs this great music."

And all that great music? John plays from memory!

"It's not too hard to memorize, it just hearing that and being able to pour your memory out onto the keyboard.," he says.

© 2017 WKYC-TV


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