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Excluding dubious qualities such as performing under pressure, adverse conditions, etc...it is sight reading I guess. And yet I don't see a virtuoso level at the Royal Conservatory even though sight reading is part of the examination. As far as I can tell, a virtuoso is a whomever the media giants say it is.
A violinist who can play Paganini's Caprices perfectly would qualify as excelling at an instrument yet still is not a virtuoso because that person could have taken a long time to master the work. Apparently, there have never been any virtuoso's who began learning the violin as an adult (> 20 years old) and I'm not sure why. Why cannot an adult be a whiz at sight reading?
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