West Vancouver’s Ryan Wang has only been playing piano for 18 months but he has already played to millions of people around the world.

The five-year old prodigy performed the piece Variations on a Russian Theme on The Ellen DeGeneres Show Monday, but not before teaching the host some Mandarin.

When she repeated his greeting, “Nee how ma,” Wang replied, “That’s very awesome.”

Wang, who wore a tuxedo for his appearance, said he never gets nervous and enjoys playing in front of large crowds.

“When I was little I loved to play the keyboard,” he said prompting DeGeneres to clarify.

“Oh when you were, little,” she joked.

Wang said math is his favourite subject in school, though it doesn’t seem to present a challenge for the tiny musician.

“It’s just baby math. It’s like eight plus one equals nine,” he said.

When DeGeneres asked how he can memorize such complex musical pieces, Wang said it comes naturally to him.

“It’s just in my memory. I just love it and then sometimes it just goes to my fingers,” he said.

Wang placed second in the American Protégé Competition, earning him the chance to play New York’s famed Carnegie Hall earlier this year. Performances with the Shanghai Symphony and Italy’s Fazioli Hall are on his summer schedule.

B.C. audiences can see Wang for themselves at West Vancouver’s Kay Meek Theatre when he plays with six-year-old Ray Zhang on June 9. Proceeds from the show will go to the Sarah McLachlan School of Music.