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Photo credit: www.bhfestival.sk

The history commemorated quite a few child prodigies, that left an important mark in human history and set the standards for the future human development. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, J.S.Bach, Ludwig van Beethoven, Felix Mendelssohn, Jasha Heifetz, are a few names in the world of music that never got shined over in the course of history.

One generally accepted heuristic for identifying prodigies is the following: a prodigy is someone who, by the age of roughly 11, displays expert proficiency or a profound grasp of the fundamentals in a field usually only undertaken by adults.

Today, there are many stories of prodigy children – nine years old who graduate at a university, seven year olds who play at the famous Carnegie hall etc. And here is a story about Teo Gertler and Ryan Martin Bradshaw – a violinist and a pianist, both child prodigies with Slovakian roots.

Teo Gertler - a violin virtuoso

Teo started playing at the age three and a half. Today he plays on a violin on an instrument appropriate for someone of his age – ¾ size violin made in 1853 by Jean Baptiste Vuillaume. He spends four hours a day practicing. Despite the high expectations placed on him, his parents make sure that Teo is able to remain a child.

He is a student of Ľudovit Rajter Music School in Bratislava and he also studies in the class in Budapest, Hungary. Teo recently turned 11 but he already has numerous awards from major international competitions. Teo has been awarded a first prize at the International Competition of Bohdan Warchal „Talents for Europe“, a second prize at the Grumiaux Competition in Brussels, Belgium and also at the International Violin Competition of Jaroslav Kocian in Usti nad Orlici, Czech republic. Teo is also a first prize winner of the 5th Zathureczky violin competition as well as of the 2nd Feher Ilona competition in Budapest, Hungary. In 2016 at the age of 8 he won the second prize in the 17th International Competition of  Young Violinists „Nutcracker“ in Moscow. And his biggest achievement came in 2018 – the Grand Prix award at the XIV. International Competition of Young Violinists in Honour of Karol Lipinski and Henryk Wieniawski in Lublin, Poland in the junior category (under age 17).

Teo is getting his skills in numerous masterclasses with world renowned professors and virtuosos. His approach, energy, interpretation and passion for music is extraordinary and inspiring. And this prodigy attitude towards learning his master skill already took him on some of the worlds biggest stages in Russia, Switzerland, Denmark, Czech Republic, Hungary to perform solo. He also played Budapest Festival Orchestra, the Philharmonic Orchestra Brno, Slovak Sinfonietta, Hungarian Radio Symphonic Orchestra and West Bohemian Symphonic Orchestra.

In 2016 and 2018 Teo has been awarded by the mayor of Bratislava with the proze “Talented Youth” and in 2017 the Head of the Old Town granted him the award “Old Town Talent”.

The Slovakian child prodigy plays the most difficult violin concertos by heart and receives rave reviews. Why he does it? As he stated “happiness comes from music, and living without music would be very hard”. Today Teo is already well known among the professional musicians, he became Europes sweetheart, and he is the promised best violin player to be in Europe.

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Photo credit: personal archive

Ryan Martin Bradshaw - inherited his talent from Shakespeare himself

Ryan was born in Austria to an Australian father and a Slovak mother. He plays piano and violin, and in school, his favourite subject is mathematics. Although his parents are not artistically oriented, his exceptional talent seems to be inherited from his ancestors. His fathers family roots belong to the family of one of the world most famous writters William Shakespeare. Ryan inherited a Slovak temperament from his mum’s side of the family. The Slovak temperament in combination with his undoubted talent, make him a world known pianist.

Ryan started to play at the age of five, after his school teacher realised he had an amazing fascination in numbers and math. His exceptional talent and highly developed photo memory made his observing of playing so precise, that he learned to play without even knowing the notes and the music theory.

Ryan already won some prestigious awards: three in 2016 and two 1st prizes at international piano competitions, in 2017. He also won the “Exceptional Young Talent Prize” in Salzburg

He attends one of the world’s most prestigious art schools in Vienna  the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna. Today Ryan Martin Bradshaw says he would love to be a concert pianist, but is also interested in composing and improvising. Ryan key to success lies in believing that the main focus is not on the technics of playing the instrument but playing it with his heart. And that there is no such need to practice much, but to practice right.

Besides being a musical genius Ryan, like the other boys of his age, likes to play sports. Ryan is probably the only Slovak who is a laureate of twelve international piano competitions at his age. Here are some of his greatest acchievements: 1st place at the Béla Bartók Piano Competition in Graz, Austria in 2017, in 2018 2018 he won the 3rd place at the Franz Liszt Piano Competition in Weimar, Germany and 2nd place at the Piano International Competition in Enschede, Netherlands.

By: Ajda Borak