In December, the spotlight shone on a remarkable young talent when 9-year-old violinist Sora Lavorgna graced the finals of the French TV talent show ‘Prodiges.’ This competition, judged by acclaimed cellist Gautier Capuçon, alongside a star opera singer and dancer, seeks to unearth the most promising young talents across three categories: singing, instrumental performance, and dance. These prodigies deliver awe-inspiring performances set to the backdrop of classical masterpieces.
For her final performance, Sora, a young French-Japanese violinist, delivered a spellbinding rendition of contemporary classical composer Max Richter’s reinterpretation of Vivaldi’s ‘Summer’ from ‘The Four Seasons.’ This composition, ‘Summer 1,’ is a showcase of intricate ostinato and soaring solo violin lines, making it the perfect choice for a high-stakes competition finale. Sora’s performance was nothing short of stunning, characterized by a warm vibrato, impeccable tone, and extraordinary musicianship—a testament to her talent despite her young age.
During the competition, which featured Sora’s rendition of the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto, Capuçon praised her, saying, “You impressed us, you show incredible concentration and determination for your nine years.”
‘Prodiges’ introduces 15 virtuosos aged nine to 16, each accompanied by the Divertimento orchestra, conducted by Zahia Ziouani. The judging panel comprises three prominent figures from the music world: Capuçon, prima ballerina and choreographer Marie-Claude Pietragalla, and soprano Julie Fuchs.
In this ninth season of ‘Prodiges,’ hosted by Faustine Bollaert, the coveted trophy was awarded to 12-year-old ballet dancer Sacha, who also received a study grant of 10,000 euros. Pietragalla praised Sacha, saying, “You are dance-incarnate, you make me want to go dancing. You are beautiful, radiant, you have beautiful footwork, I would like to follow you.”
Sora, who, at nine, was the youngest contestant in the competition, began her violin journey at the age of four at the Cannes Conservatory. During the show, she revealed her rigorous practice routine of two hours a day and her previous victory at the prestigious Arthur Grumiaux International Violin Competition in Belgium.
The future looks bright for this exceptional young talent, and we eagerly anticipate her next achievements.
‘Prodiges’ not only brings classical music to the forefront of French television but also acts as a launchpad for future stars and lucrative recording contracts. An example of this is violin and cello sensation Camille Berthollet, the 2014 ‘Prodiges’ winner, whose debut album on Warner Classics achieved gold status in under two months. Since then, she has released six string duo albums alongside her sister, Julie Berthollet.