Felix Hell, the world's youngest organ superstar. Well, the German wunderkind was the youngest, anyway, becoming a liturgical organist at the age of 8, concertizing at 9, and going on to win awards and accolades around the world. I mean, when the great Dr. Frederick Swann, president of the American Guild of Organists, declares you “one of the major talents of the century” and you're, like, 12 — where do you go from there? On to Juilliard and the Curtis Institute, of course, on full tuition scholarship. At 20, with nothing better to do, Hell performed the entire organ oeuvre of J.S. Bach, reducing The American Organist to practically blubbering fan worship. “Felix Hell sets standards that many established and honored older players would struggle to equal,” declared that venerable publication. You can judge for yourself at UCLA Live's Felix Hell in Recital when the pixie-ish Hell, now a ripe old 23, makes his Royce Hall debut in a can-you-top-this program that includes Bach's Prelude and Fugue in D-Major, BWV 532; Barber's Adagio for Strings; and, no, he's not kidding, Beethoven's Symphony No.5, C-Minor, op. 67. Oh, and by the way, in German, “hell” means “light.”
Sun., Nov. 15, 7 p.m., 2009
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