Thursday, 28 Aug, 2008 Offbeat
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Boy Nicknamed Little Mozart will Debut at BBC Proms at the Royal Albert Hall

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Though he cannot reach the foot pedals of a grand piano, nine-year-old Marc Yu was nevertheless dubbed Little Mozart for his amazing talent. On Sunday he will debut at the BBC Proms at the Royal Albert Hall in London.

Marc, from California, practices on the piano for 8 hours a day. His first concert Marc made when he was only six, which is the same age that Mozart made his first concert in 1762. It is worth mentioning that only one in 10,000 children have such talent.

The Royal Albert Hall will hear Schubert's Fantasia in F minor, which will be performed by Marc in a duet with Lang Lang, a world famous Chinese pianist.

For the first time Marc touched a piano at a birthday party in Los Angeles. At that time he was only two years old. When kids started singing Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star he slowly approached the piano and began playing the tune. Only six months later he already played Beethoven.

After he made his debut concert at six, Marc won a £25,000 university fellowship. He is the only child in his family and he thanks his mother for developing his rare musical talent. Marc's mother played Beethoven CDs while the child was in her womb.

Mrs Yu said: "What other children learn in eight hours a day he can squeeze into 30 minutes or an hour. This way, he can learn whatever he is interested in at that moment."

Currently Marc practices piano part-time at Colburn Music Conservatory in Los Angeles and once a month flies to his native China for lessons at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music.

Marc said: "I like playing music because it has a lot of different feelings - expressive, sad, excited and happy. I like playing difficult pieces, especially those that my teacher says no to. Practice makes perfect. You don't want a Beethoven piece to sound like something else. That's disrespectful to the composer."

The boy's mother said Marc enjoys playing in the park with his friends and he also shows a great interest in card tricks and such gambling games as poker and blackjack.

Marc worries not only about his legs that cannot reach grand piano pedals, but about the fact that his fingers are not big enough to play Rachmaninov's second and third concertos that he desperately wants to play. It's worth mentioning that the two compositions require a full 8-note spread across the piano keys.

Source: DailyMail

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