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Classical Notes

C is for child prodigy

Posted at 8:14 AM on November 3, 2006 by Rex Levang

From a recent biography of the conductor Fritz Reiner:

Reiner [while teaching at the Curtis Institute] recruited some pupils as teenagers; they included the fifteen-year-old Lukas Foss, who was still in kneepants. Foss recalls: "Reiner handed me a score and opened it to the slow movement. 'What is this'? he asked. I replied: 'Beethoven's Fourth Symphony.' 'OK. I'll accept you to my class,' Reiner said, and then added: 'You think you are too young to learn how to conduct, but you are almost too old.'