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Next lesson for Simone Porter, 17: solo debut with L.A. Philharmonic
Next lesson for Simone Porter, 17: solo debut with L.A. Philharmonic

Don't call her a prodigy. Seventeen-year-old Simone Porter will make her solo debut with the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl on Sept. 4, but she doesn't think she's preternaturally gifted. "The word 'prodigy' brings to mind some kid who just came into the world with all the tools they need to have a successful career and be amazing at whatever their craft is," says the dark-eyed Seattle native, smiling brightly. "I don't think it ever happens like that." The term ignores two important factors, Porter says: the unflagging support and efforts of parents, teachers and other musicians as well as her own dedication and...