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A young prodigy is displaying #BlackExcellence in the realm of music. At only 15-years-old, Ifetayo Ali-Landing will perform alongside the Chicago Sinfonietta orchestra at the city’s Symphony Center in May, Chicago Tonight reported.

According to the news outlet, Ali-Landing started playing music at the age of 3. She began with the violin and then decided to play the cello. Her family’s ties to music run deep. Her great-great-grandmother played the piano and her grandfather played the viola. Her mother, who is a violinist, is the founder of Chicago’s Hyde Park Suzuki Institute; a non-profit organization that promotes music education. Many of her other family members, including her siblings, play instruments as well.

Although Ali-Landing is still at the beginning of her career, her talents have garnered her several accolades. In 2017, she took home the Junior Division First-Place Laureate for her solo performance of “Lalo’s Concerto in D Minor” in Detroit. Ali-Landing says she feels humbled by the opportunity to perform at the Chicago Symphony Center alongside notable Black violinist Melissa White. “It means a lot,” she told Chicago Tonight. “I’ve seen a lot of people perform there and I’ve always wanted to perform there, but now I get a chance to perform there with Melissa White.”

She credits Shostakovich and Mozart as her musical inspirations. Check out her performance at the 2017 Sphinx Competition below.


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#BlackGirlMagic: Teen Cello Prodigy Is Diversifying Classical Music  was originally published on