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Classical 101

Gavin George Beginning to Fill Rachmaninoff's...Hands

Gavin George with Classical 101's Boyce Lancaster
Nick Houser
/
WOSU
Thirteen-year-old pianist Gavin George (right) with Classical 101's Boyce Lancaster during a visit to the station on Oct. 7, 2015.

When you first meet Gavin George, he seems like any other 12-year-old boy.  He loves soccer, building things with Legos, and playing with his brother, Max.  

Oh, he also loves playing Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Chopin, and occasionally improvising a little tune of his own.

Gavin performed Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 1 with the Westerville Symphony Orchestra this past weekend.

Since he and I last spoke, Gavin has experienced a growth spurt and is now being scouted by Thad Matta and the Ohio State basketball Buckeyes.

OK...not really.  He is, however, finding that he is not only taller, his hands have gotten bigger.

Some of us struggle to remember what we need to pick up at the grocery. Gavin seems to devour music he's learning like a sponge.

Gavin George Beginning to Fill Rachmaninoff's...Hands
Once he gets a piece of music under his fingers, it's locked in.

Some pianists I have seen seem to go into something of a zen state after they sit at the keyboard, almost as though they are "downloading" the score.  How does time away from a work affect the interpretive aspect of a piece he is preparing to perform?

Gavin George Beginning to Fill Rachmaninoff's...Hands
Reviving a piece after a long period

Some musicians are comfortable improvising, while others are not.  At the end of the day, improv is one of the ways Gavin likes to relax.

Gavin George Beginning to Fill Rachmaninoff's...Hands
Gavin returns to the piano for recreation and relaxation

It is an immense pleasure to watch someone from our community in the early stages of their career.  It is even more exciting to be around someone who is so excited about the music he plays, that he can't wait to share it with as many people, and other creatures, as possible.

Though his recent Rachmaninoff performance with the Westerville Symphony is not available at present, you can see him perform Mendelssohn and much more on his YouTube channel here.

To learn more about this amazing musician, go to his website gavingeorge.com.