Photos by Decca / Dana van leeuwen

It is reportedly the most played instrument in the world, an ideal introduction to the joy of music-making for elementary school students. Those who are handed a recorder (probably a plastic one) find that they can play simple tunes almost immediately. Many are inspired to move on to other instruments. But what if they continued to develop their recorder technique?

Seventeen-year-old Lucie Horsch (from the Netherlands) did just that and now she’s been called “the latest big thing in recorder playing.” The daughter of two professional cellists, she started playing the recorder when she five. Her parents thought it would be a step on the way to a “real” instrument, probably a string instrument, but for Lucie the recorder is quite real and she performs both baroque and contemporary repertoire.

Horsch made her U.S. debut with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra in March, 2017. Her debut recording was praised by BBC Music Magazine as “a disc to buy, and display in years to come as the start of a distinguished career.”

If you’d like to hear how accomplished she was at the age of nine, check out this televised performance from Amsterdam:

And here she is more recently: