TOPEKA (KSNT) – It’s not often you come across a recognized classical pianist. It’s even less frequent when that classical pianist is 14-years old and when that boy is from Topeka you have a rare find indeed.
A suburban Topeka living room has become a concert hall filled with the sounds of Beethoven and Chopin.
Meet 14-year old Daniel Mangraciano.
“I don’t think of the audience, I just think of the piece and I really get into the character of it.”
At the age of six Daniel took to the piano like a duck to water. Daniel is a third generation pianist and practices 4 to 5 hours every day perfecting his craft.
“He would whip through these piano books and after the first year he had made such progress that you couldn’t hold him back,” said Daniel’s mother Gina Mangraciano.
Despite his age, he’s already won more than 30 awards for his playing. Recently he won the grand prize at the Midwest Chamber Ensemble Concerto competition..
“I get to play with an orchestra. I get to play my Grieg Concerto.”
This summer he was invited to KU’s International Institute for young musicians music academy, where he was given the opportunity to collborate and play amongst his peers.
“When he was in 5th grade he got a standing ovation at the Fine Arts Festival for Cair Paravel. It was the most incredible feeling for him,” said Gina.
Daniel may be a musical prodigy, but this musician has a hidden talent that allows him to step away from the key board while still remaining in the musical spotlight..dancing.
“Its just a good physical exercise for the arts, and I’m still in the arts”
But the piano and the dreams of becoming a concert pianist take center stage…when he is center stage and if you are in the Kansas City area this Sunday evening, Daniel will be performing at the Lutheran Church of Resurrection at 7:30.