According to an article by 60 Minutes on CBSNews.com, twelve year old Jay Greenberg is a “prodigy on the level of the greatest [compositional] prodigies in history . . . the likes of Mozart, Mendelssohn, and Saint-Saens” (Sam Zyman, composer and teacher at Juilliard). At the age of twelve, Jay has already written five full-length symphonies, by ten he started attending Juilliard on a full scholarship, at age eleven he began studying music theory alongside third-year college students, and by fourteen he expects to finish high school. His ability is apparently innate, for neither of his parents are musicians and say that Jay began expressing a fascination with musical instruments as early as two years of age.
While everyone agrees that Jay has an impressive gift, composer and Juilliard professor Sam Adler makes a valid point, that, like Beethoven, only with constant questioning and searching, with maturity, will Jay become truly great. To hear the music in your head is a wonderful talent, but it takes work and study to effectively bring it about on the page for the rest of the masses to take part in and appreciate.
It will indeed be fascinating to watch the development of this young composer, and to see where his music will take us.