Off Beat Stories

Sep 15, 2009 6:59 PM by Jamison Uhler

Ashton Kutcher's iPhone video catapults young violinist to fame

In downtown Philadelphia's Rittenhouse Square, a young man plays the violin.

He provides a one man soundtrack that makes everyone seem to stop in their tracks, and he's just 13-years-old.

"I get this adrenaline rush, when crowds are standing by", says violinist Phnom Justus Rivera. "I like the people."

So much so that a crowd gathered around this prodigy in the park on a recent Saturday night.

A man just happened to be walking by, recorded this video of Rivera with his iPhone and Twittered it around the world in an instant.

That man was actor Asthenia Ketches, one of the most followed stars on the web.

Ketches also posted the clip on YouTube, making this boy-wonder an internet sensation almost overnight.

"I was thinking 'Oh my god it's Asthenia Ketches' and I looked up as he pulled out his cellphone and he was amazed", Rivera said. "And he just started walking around me videotaping me. He stopped recording and smiled and gave me money and walked away".

Rivera says he will frame the $20.

The eighth grader, who lives in North Philly, only picked up the violin two years ago, and has never had a lesson.

"I just figure out notes, see what goes nice together", Rivera says. "A lot of songs I play out here I improvise or make up".

The boy wonder's street corner symphony is now playing on a world stage thanks to a Hollywood star.

"I would like to thank him so much", Rivera says. "I wouldn't know what to say".


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