Classical guitar prodigy from Los Altos gets national exposure

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Courtesy of the Hong family
Los Altos resident Preston Hong talks about performing intricate compositions as a young musician this week on NPR's "From the Top."

The NPR show “From the Top” featured classical guitar prodigy Preston Hong this week. Preston, 11, a Los Altos resident, performed among several outstanding young musicians across the country.

Preston, a student at the California Conservatory of Music in Sunnyvale, has been playing guitar since he was 4 years old. He played the Andrew York composition “Sunburst” for his radio performance.

“You know, you are a very young man to be playing such complicated, intricate music at such a high level,” host Peter Dugan said to Preston. “Are there things that are just too difficult because the size of your hands?”

“Well, actually, my hands are pretty big for my age,” Preston replied. “Some (pieces) are harder (to play) because my fingers may not be as strong.”

When he’s not practicing classical guitar, Preston said he likes playing video games, basketball and being involved in Boy Scouts. He credited his father with his success.

“Every day, he sits next to me while I practice, he encourages me to practice better and gives me some tips. … I can’t imagine practicing without him next to me,” Preston said.

To listen to Preston’s performance, you can stream the full episode below - Preston appears about 2 minutes into the program – or visit

Preston is scheduled to perform a virtual concert Dec. 2 with classical guitarist Bokyung Byun. For more information, visit

Watch for a feature story on Preston in an upcoming issue of the Town Crier.


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