Amazing Child Pianist Pepito Arriola
Pepito Arriola was born in mid-December of 1896. His mother, Josefa Rodriguez Carballeira, was a talented pianist and often played on the home piano.
When Arriola was only two and a half years of age, his mother found him playing a composition she had received from a friend. The child had received no type of instruction, but was able to play pieces he had only heard, and even create original compositions. At such a tender age, the child could not read music or written language.
In December of 1899, just prior to Pepito’s third birthday, he “gave his first public performance to an audience of music critics and musicians.” A few weeks later, he performed his second concert at the Royal Palace of Madrid. He played six original compositions for the King and Queen.
In 1900, Pepito performed before the Psychological Congress in Paris. Dr. Charles Richet, 1913 Nobel Prize winner in Medicine, reported on the boy’s “brilliant” piano playing: “He composed military or funeral marches, waltzes, habaneras, minuets, and played some twenty difficult pieces from memory. A hundred members of the Congress heard and applauded him.”
Additionally, further accounts indicate that the child’s small hands were unable to “stretch more than five notes, yet he appeared to be able to play full octaves (eight notes).” Witnesses stated that “his hands seemed to increase in size during the playing.” A clairvoyant, Rosalie Thompson, said the “child dissolved into the figure of a man while he was at the piano.”
A representative from The Etude magazine (https://scriabin.com/etude/1910/02/the-story-of-pepito-arriola.html) conducted an interview with Pepito Arriola in 1910. He stated that he found Pepito’s piano playing to be “practically flawless.” “He never seems to miss a note in the most complicated and difficult compositions found on the modern concern program. His playing indicates individuality and a deep appreciation of artistic beauty.”
Pepito went on to become a famous pianist and also a master violinist performing and composing compositions – enriching lives - until his death in 1954.
Pye, M. (ed.) and Dalley, K (ed.) Exposed, Uncovered, and Declassified: Ghosts, Spirits, & Hauntings. NJ: New Page Books, 2011.
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