Billy Childs was born in Los Angeles. Having demonstrated an aptitude for piano as early as age six, Childs developed rapidly, and at age sixteen entered the Community School of the Performing Arts, a preparatory music program sponsored by the University of Southern California, studying theory with Marienne Uszler and piano with John Weisenfluh. In 1975, he entered USC as a composition major, graduating four years later with a bachelor of music in composition under the tutelage of Robert Linn.
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