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When This 9-Year-Old Pianist Plays, He Feels The Music

Oscar Paz Suaznabar started playing keyboard by ear when he was just 2. The now 9-year-old pianist has played at Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center.
Oscar Paz Suaznabar started playing keyboard by ear when he was just 2. The now 9-year-old pianist has played at Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center.

When Oscar Paz Suaznabar plays the piano, he does so with feeling.

The Alexandria, Va., resident has played at Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center and on the NPR show From the Top. He is 9 years old.

Oscar started playing his older sister's keyboard by ear when he was just 2. The sorrow he conveys when he plays "The Lark" by Russian composer Mikhail Glinka is drawn from the kind of loss any 9-year-old can understand.

"It reminds of when I lost my pet bunny. I named her Symphony," he tells NPR's Robert Siegel. "And I was really sad, and this reminds me of 'The Lark.' It's a very sad and emotional piece that has ups and downs."

Oscar says when he plays "The Lark" he thinks about Symphony.

"I think about many sad things that happen, like, especially my bunny," he says. "I want to feel the sadness."

Use the audio player above to hear the full interview.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.