Eight-year-old Turkish piano prodigy gains success across globe
Having learned how to read and write at the age of four and play the piano at six, an eight-year-old boy from the southeastern province of Gaziantep has gained success at international piano contests across the world over the last two years.
Hamit Erdem Özpolat came first at Germany’s Musical Fireworks Contest, Sempre Music in New York, Harmony of Talents in Ukraine and South Florida International Piano Festival in the U.S. and came third at Spain’s Starts at Tenerife contest.
He also won the “Best Mozart Performance” award in the International Mozart Competition in Georgia.
“I imitate Martha Argerich and Lang Lang and want to become a world-renowned pianist,” Özpolat said.
“Even dreaming of this makes me happy,” he added.
His piano teacher, Renata Popovych Çavdar, said Hamit was a natural and a gifted boy.
“He’s a gifted one. He has an absolute musical ear. We have advanced a lot in the last two years,” Çavdar said.
“He can hear every note. He does not mix up a note with another. Even I do not have this talent,” she added.
His mother, Kiraz Kübra Özpolat, told state-run Anadolu Agency they encouraged him to start taking piano lessons to complement his normal studies at school.
“He was literate at the age of four. We thought he’d be bored at school, so, we took him to piano lessons to add to him busy in his thinking. Within a short time, he participated in contests.”
Saying that her son makes the family proud, she said, “We do not have anybody in the family playing any instrument, even as a hobby. He is our first.”
“Every time his results are out, we’re very excited and the house is filled with a festive mood,” his mother said.