Science Cannot Explain This 12-Year-Old Prodigy's Musical Talent

November 6, 2017

Alma Deutscher prodigy
Alma Deutscher

Alma Deutscher has been playing piano and violin since she was just 3 years old. She wrote her first opera at age 10.

For her, making music seems as natural as breathing.

"We cannot explain what you are about to hear," 60 Minutes correspondent Scott Pelley says. "Science doesn't know enough about the brain to make sense of Alma. Alma Deutscher is an accomplished British composer in the classical style. She is a virtuoso on the piano and the violin. And she is 12 years old. She's different from other prodigies we have known, because at the age of ten she wrote an opera, which demands comprehensive mastery; not just how to play the piano, but, what is the range of the oboe? What can a cellist play? We don't know how she understands it all. It seems that Alma was born that way."

(Watch a short clip of the interview with Alma below)

For her concerts, Alma writes all the notes for all the instruments.

"It's really very normal to me to go around -- walk around and having melodies popping into my head," she tells Pelley. "It's the most normal thing in the world. For me, it's strange to walk around and not to have melodies popping into my head."

People are comparing Alma to Mozart, who also had an opera premiere at the age of 11. Though Alma is honored to be compared to the Austrian composer, she prefers "to be the first Alma than to be the second Mozart."

Towards the end of the interview, Pelley asks Alma what she has learned about life at such a young age?

"Well, I know that that life is not always beautiful," she replied. "That there's also ugliness in the world. That's why I, I've learned, that I want to write beautiful music because I want to make the world a better place."

(Watch Alma create music from four random notes pulled out of a hat)

Watch the full 60 Minutes episode on CBS News.

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