Sunday Prodigy #2: Li Jie (13) Plays Paganini’s ‘Caprice No. 24’

(We first published this three years ago, but it is certainly relevant to our Sunday Prodigy series.)


There’s nothing like a little Paganini to make you feel completely inadequate as a guitarist. Especially when it’s the daunting Caprice No. 24, originally written for solo violin, played a by a 13-year-old. In this case, it’s a (slightly grainy) mid-1990s performance by the Chinese prodigy Li Jie (now in her late 30s), who began her guitar studies with the great teacher Chen Zhi when she was just 11. This isn’t flawless, but its still pretty incredible.  —Blair Jackson