Emily Bear/Official Photo
This. Is. Phenomenal.
Emily Bear is an accomplished pianist and composer. She's composed over 350 pieces for the piano and six albums - including one produced by jazz legend Quincy Jones that hit number 3 on the Billboard Traditional Jazz Chart - and performed at the White House and Carnegie Hall. And she's only twelve years old!
Andrea Bear, Emily's mother, said that the girl showed extraordinary musical talent from the cradle. "As a baby, she would sing back lullabies to me in perfect pitch. By 18 months, she was experimenting constantly at the piano. At just past 2 years, my mother thought it was my [older] son playing. She was composing tangible pieces since she was 3. By the time she was 4, she was having pieces published and distributed by Hal Leonard."
The wunderkind's list of achievements goes on. At the age of 5, she had her concert debut, and one year later, she was invited to play at the White House. Then, at the tender age of 9, Emily made her Carnegie Hall debut, performing her own orchestral composition with a 110-piece orchestra and a 220-voice choir.
Emily's first appearance on the Ellen Show in 2007 (she's only 6 at the time).
Emily Bear, age 11, performing a medley of her own compositions with the Santa Fe Concert Association (December, 2012). Songs include "Plain Old Me," "The Love in Us" and "Journey to My Heart."
My favorites, however, are video clips where Emily is just having fun improvising. Like this one, where she had fun with Makoto Ozone, playing Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue.
But whatever you do, do not call her a prodigy. Earlier today, NPR's David Greene interviewed the gifted musician and her mom Andrea Bear to find out why they avoid labeling Emily a "prodigy." (She also played some on-the-spot music in that interview that's absolutely delightful!)