Ten-Year-Old Prodigy Plays Carnegie Hall

Evening News Nov. 21, 2009 - Bill Whitaker story on Marc Yu, child prodigy and concert pianist.
Everyone knows it takes years of practice and a very mature talent to reach Carnegie Hall. Everyone, that is, except a young pianist from California and the music lovers who can't hear enough, reports CBS News Correspondent Bill Whitaker.

Marc Yu is just a 10 year old who loves toy pigs. But this little kid has big dreams to match his outsized talent.

"Of course I still want to be a concert pianist and I wish I can play with important orchestras," Yu said.

We first introduced you to Marc one year ago: a piano prodigy from the suburbs of Los Angeles, who could barely reach the pedals and had to stretch his tiny hands to span the notes. But even at the tender age of nine he was going places.

To London's renowned Royal Albert Hall to be exact, where last year he performed with his idol, Chinese concert pianist, Lang Lang.

"It was really exciting. It's every musician's dream," Yu said.

It's a dream he's had since age three when he told his mother he wanted to be a concert pianist.

"My technique is much better than one year ago," the ten year old said. "And now both of my hands can reach an octave."

He's reaching rarified atmosphere too: Carnegie Hall; his name on the marquee with his idol, Lang Lang. He's dreamed of playing there most of his life.

"It's like looking at the moon and how am I going to get there? And the answer is always what my mother said, 'practice,'" Yu explained.

So for the last year it's been practice, practice, practice and this week one last practice on the stage at Carnegie Hall before the crowds flocked in. And on this night, practice made perfect.

So what happens when you reach your goal at so young an age? Well, who says you can't do it again?

"I would love to come back to Carnegie Hall alone some day," Yu said. "And I think I will."