Born With no Fingers, Self-Taught Teenager Becomes Piano Prodigy

It’s impossible not to be impressed by 16-year-old Alexey Romanov’s talent for playing the piano. The teen effortlessly tickles the ivory keys to play everything, from popular movie scores to classical compositions. Then, you realize that the Russian teen is playing without any fingers, and your jaw pretty much drops to the floor.

The teenager has been playing the instrument for less than three years and already performed in concert halls and on TV, proving that natural talent can’t be held back by a handicap. Alexey has always enjoyed the piano music of Mozart and Vivaldi, but didn’t take up the instrument until a friend helped him find different notes on the keys. He learned basic songs almost immediately, and was soon playing everyday, teaching himself and playing along to movie soundtracks.


Alexey does have prosthetic hands but never uses them when he plays the piano, because he says they’re uncomfortable for moving around the keys.

The teen hasn’t had an easy life: in addition to being born without hands, he has only one leg and spent much of his young life in an orphanage for boys. At age 12 though, Alexey was adopted by Vladimir and Luisa Levachkovye, who embraced his musical talent by buying him a synthesizer and encouraging him to do musical performances. It was one of those performances, with the Primavera Chamber Orchestra, that led the teenager to receive an invitation to join a music school in Moscow.

Alexey admits that while he loves playing piano, he gets stressed out during performances, and was incredibly nervous about his first televised performance on the Russian show Guests From Tomorrow. “During the concert, I was shaking from the tension,” said Alexey. “I can’t even remember what was happening. I walked on to the stage, sat down and started playing. I felt my knees shaking. Then I realized that I was doing well, it’s as if the melody started flowing by itself.”

The teen might be shy about performing on television, but has an unbelievable and inspiring talent he obviously isn’t letting go to waste.

Let’s all take a cue from him next time we hit a roadblock in life and the word “can’t” pops in our mind… Because if a teenager with no fingers can play Mozart, anything is possible.


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