At 16 years old, Alexey Romanov has become a celebrated pianist across Russia. Born with no fingers, his growing love for classical music motivated him to start learning piano. In two years of diligent practice, Romanov improved his skills and has caught the attention of his country and beyond. From The Guardian:

In February he performed with Kazan’s respected La Primavera chamber orchestra, which led to an invitation to join a music school in the capital.

The orchestra’s chief conductor also invited Romanov to participate in the television programme Guests from Tomorrow, where he performed River Flows in You, a composition written by South Korean pianist Lee Ru-ma for Twilight.

“During the [TV] concert I was shaking from the tension. I can’t even remember what was happening,” reflected Romanov.

“I walked on to the stage, sat down and started playing. I felt my knees shaking. Then I realised that I was doing well, it’s as if the melody started flowing by itself.”

He explained how hard it was for him to learn the music early on, and how worried he was about trembling when he had to speak in front of a large audience.

Romanov, modest to the point of being shy, seemed embarrassed when it was suggested that his story provides inspiration for young musicians and the wider public.

Next: The Present, Emily’s Oz, more pianos, and more classical music.

via Kottke.

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