Like many 12-year-olds, Alexander Vivero likes to play with his friends online, watch movies, and read. He’s currently almost finished with the Star Wars TV series The Mandalorian.
However, in one way, he’s pretty different: the middle-school student is busy rehearsing a Beethoven piano sonata to perform at Carnegie Hall.
The Guadalajara native will play at the fabled musical venue after winning an award in the American Protégé International Music Talent Competition.
Alexander won first place in the competition’s school students category for entrants 12 and under.
“I’m really happy because I never expected it,” he told the newspaper Excélsior. “I’m excited because it means my teacher … and I are doing well.”Alexander Vivero plays Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata.
Alexander’s music teacher, Joel N. Juan Qui of the University of Guadalajara, posted an enthusiastic message on his Facebook page on Friday with an image of the award letter the teen prodigy received from American Protégé, saying, “Study mijito [my son]! Next stop, NY, Carnegie Hall!”
Not yet a teenager and still with a bedroom full of stuffed animals, the young pianist already has an impressive list of accomplishments under his belt.
He became a recognized composer at just 6 years old when he was selected by Yamaha México to perform a piece he had written for piano, La ardilla saltarina (The Jumping Squirrel) at the Roberto Cantoral Cultural Center in Mexico City.
He has already composed several pieces in his short life, one of which, El Circo (The Circus), was performed on March 3 by the Chamber Orchestra of Zapopan, for which he is currently composing yet another work. In October, he won an award in the Grand Prize Virtuoso International Music Competition in Bonn, Germany.
He also plays several instruments besides the piano, including the violin, cello, drums, and saxophone. And music isn’t even his only area of excellence: he’s also a polyglot, speaking English, French and German, and he’s currently studying Italian.
Asked if he thought his early accomplishments in music meant he’s had to sacrifice his childhood, Alexander rebuffed the idea, saying he’s passionate about music and is studying how to play several instruments because he has ambitions to be an orchestra conductor.
“I think music should be included in school [curriculum] so that kids can get involved in culture,” he said.
But he also likes other “normal” childhood activities, he said.
“I also like to play chess, ride my bike, play with my dog and watch TV,” he said. “I don’t sacrifice anything for music because when I do it, I enjoy it; my passion is what I like to do most.”