Taylor Bredberg is an ardent fan of the indie band Grizzly Bear and the TV series "Lost," an amateur filmmaker and a doodler of figures that bring to mind Tim Burton's kinetic grostesques.
But if those interests make him a pretty normal teenager, Bredberg's eight-year relationship with the piano may have made him a little more unusual: He is a kid with the attention span of an anesthesiologist, the persistence and discipline of an Olympic athlete and the emotional range of an artist.
"Piano has shaped me, yeah," says Bredberg, who began taking lessons after his family discovered him, at 7, plinking out on his own the pieces his older sister was learning in lessons. "In terms of discipline and creativity, I'd have been a much different person if I hadn't played piano."
Once a week, Bredberg studies the instrument at the elite Colburn School for Performing Arts in Los Angeles. And he practices for several hours a day, favoring pieces by the Russian composers who are his favorites: Rachmaninoff, Prokofiev, Shostakovich and Stravinsky. When he feels more delicate, he favors Debussy.