Four-year-old piano prodigy can’t become Carnegie Hall’s youngest performer because she’s too young to get the shot
A four-year-old piano prodigy can’t perform at Carnegie Hall – because she’s too young to get the COVID shot.
At the age of three, Brigitte Xie became the youngest winner of a music competition and landed a place to play the piano at this prestigious venue.
Unfortunately, all performers are currently required to be vaccinated against COVID-19, and preschooler Brigitte is too young to get hers, so she was forced to retire.
While mom Nicole Sun, 32, is sad for her daughter, she knows her priorities right now are elsewhere.
Nicole, from Ridgefield, Connecticut, US, said: “She doesn’t know much to be honest – I tell her ‘yeah baby, you won the award’ and she was like ‘okay, can we go to the disney store now? ‘”
A pianist herself, Nicole wanted her only daughter to pick up the instrument and took the opportunity to introduce it to her while she was in confinement last year to entertain her.
“She tried to play, but it wasn’t really playing the piano, just playing the piano,” she said.
The mother started teaching her a little on her own, then aged three, but enlisted the help of online lessons from Felicia Feng Zhang of All Talent Academy.
The little musician learned more in six months than most in a year of schooling, quickly learned to read sheet music and sight read classical pieces.
Eventually, she began taking in-person classes with Felicia in Greenwich, Connecticut, who noticed her talent and urged her to compete.
Accountant Nicole said: “Before the media approached me, I thought she was just one of the normal students.
“I remember the first time I heard her play the first track at Felicia’s studio, I felt really moved.
“I didn’t know at that young age that she could follow directions and play the songs.”
Brigitte passed her Royal College of Music Level 1 exam before her 4th birthday in May with a First Class score of 86.
She only practices 45 minutes a day and has half an hour of class per week, but neither Nicole nor her father Tao Xie, 33, have to harass her because she will wander on her own.
Nicole said, “Recently we have a song from an easy book called ‘Down By the Bay’ and she learned this song in kindergarten, so she loves to play this one, she loves to sing too.”
She won the Elite National Music Competition last December, and then in March of this year, she won first place at the American Protégé International Competition.
The latter competition awarded him an invitation to perform at the world-famous Carnegie Hall concert hall in November.
The toddler wanted to play Mozart and would have potentially been the youngest to ever perform on the New York scene.
Unfortunately, due to the requirement that all performers be vaccinated against COVID-19, her performance has to be postponed until 2022, as Brigitte is too young to be vaccinated.
Her proud mum said: “She doesn’t even know what Carnegie Hall is but I tell her ‘you’re going to perform in front of a lot of people” and she seemed excited because she loves to act.
“She doesn’t really know what to do in the future
“As a parent, I’m always open to everything, I don’t tell her she has to be a pianist, I’m always open and all she wants is good.”