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Reasons to Love Toronto 2014: #23. Because We Raise Musical Prodigies

Reasons to Love Toronto 2014: #23. Because We Raise Musical Prodigies
(Image: Joanne Ratajczak)
“I performed at Carnegie Hall and Steinway Hall in New York when I was 9. I was mostly just excited to visit FAO Schwarz.”

Coco Ma (left),
13, Leaside, piano Last fall, she was one of only 12 students chosen to study with piano phenom Lang Lang in Munich. “He’s a really, really cool guy,” she says. Goal: To be as big as Lang Lang.

“I hope to become the best violinist in the world—and very famous. I want to be wealthy so I can help young talent and poor people.”

Mercedes Cheung (centre),
12, Unionville, violin In 2012, she became the youngest artist ever to record Paganini’s 24 Caprices, which she played on her 1775 Josef Guadagnini Cremonensis violin. She nailed the entire two-hour piece in one take. She has a full scholarship to Juilliard. Goal: To be as big as Itzhak Perlman.

“When I was 9, I started messing around on the drum pads on my Casio keyboard. I never listened to the lyrics in music—just the beats.”

Ebony Oshunrinde a.k.a. WondaGurl (right),
17, Brampton, beats At age 16, she produced beats for “Crown,” one of the tracks from Jay-Z’s platinum-selling album Magna Carta Holy Grail, using the music software FL Studio. She’s now making beats for Travis Scott, Drake and Kendrick Lamar. Goal: To be as big as Timbaland.

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