3-year-old kid conducts Beethoven’s Fifth impressively and, well, acts 3


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The conductor as tyrannical eminence grise of the classical music world seems to be quickly becoming a thing of the past. Enter the young, fun-loving maestro with an infectious smile who makes classical music fun again.

But just how young is young? While Gustavo Dudamel, 29, is the informal poster boy of youthful baton beating, he appears positively ancient compared to ‘Jonathan,’ who has become a YouTube star for conducting Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony at the age of 3.


In this video, little Jonathan conducts along to a recording of the fourth movement of the Fifth Symphony. Far from being a random arm-flailer, the tyke seems to know the difference between forte and piano, allegro and andante. At one point in the video, Jonathan picks his nose; being a consummate professional, he does not stop conducting to carry out the icky task.

NPR’s Thomas Huizenga points out that little John’s conducting style is similar to that of maestro Kristian Alexander conducting Canada’s Kindred Spirits Orchestra of Markham, Ontario.

Little Jonathan is also a budding violinist. The person who posted his conducting video on YouTube has also uploaded a number of clips showing Jonathan, who is now 4 years old, playing classical pieces on the violin.

-- David Ng