Mira-Bhayandar: In what can be termed as a proud moment for the twin-city and the country, a 14-year-old teenager from Mira Road bagged the third spot in the recently held annual David Hicken International Piano Competition-2023 in Bangkok.
A standard IXth student of RBK School in Mira Road, Yuvraj Kokkili not only bagged the third spot in the open challenge but was also the youngest participant amongst twenty much older finalists from across the world in the challenging category (C-Category).
The competition was held under the aegis of the International Classical Music (ICM) competition at the Yamaha Music Hall in Bangkok, Thailand on October 21 this year. While Yuvraj Kokkili won third place for his exciting performance of Incantation, the first and second spots were bagged by Renaud-Adrian Le Dévéhat (Canada) and Rainer Lippert from Germany, respectively.
Participants were evaluated based on criteria like stylistic awareness, technical ability, musicality, sound maturity and general presentation.
An ardent fan of David Hicken, who is a well-known English composer, pianist and organist, Yuvraj learnt about the competition organised by him and sent a video of one of his performances. Hicken apparently spotted the talent in the performance of the young budding artist and extended a formal invitation to him to participate in the competition.
Competition date coincided with Yuvraj's semester examinations
Since the date of the competition coincided with the semester examinations, the school management stepped in and allowed him to appear for two subjects in a single day to facilitate his musical journey to Thailand. Notably, Yuvraj, despite being overburdened with the pressure of his studies and his participation in the upcoming overseas event, managed to pass the examinations with flying colours. Apart from achieving international recognition by bagging the prize at this tender age, Yuvraj also got an opportunity to be part of a three-hour training session imparted by experts from across the world. Besides, he now has direct access to his idol-David Hicken, for guidance.
Yuvraj was inclined to play piano from the age of four and was initially mentored by his father, Kumar Kokkili, who is a pianist himself. Later he joined a Juhu-based music academy before enrolling with the prestigious London College of Music Examinations (LCME) to achieve his piano goals through professional qualifications from early learning level and clear graded exams to achieve graduation in performances.