Five-year-old Vietnamese-American wows judges at U.S. piano contest

By Anh Ngoc   June 22, 2016 | 10:25 am GMT+7

Pocket-piano-prodigy Evan Le has won the top prize at a music contest in Orange County, California.

Evan was the youngest contender to participate in the piano competition, which was held by the Orange County Music Educators Association. The competition was divided into three segments, and Evan competed in the aged 11 and under category.

He chose to perform a Mozart concerto. Evan said he had memorized the piece a long time ago but spent a lot of time refining his technique with his piano teacher before taking part in the contest.

Quoc Le, Evan’s dad, said his son was very eager to compete with other children. However, since Evan is still very young, Le said the family had made sure not to put too much expectation or pressure on him.

“Winning the first prize was a real surprise for us,” Le said. “Evan did his best with all his inherent innocence without any anxiety or pressure.”

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Evan and his winning trophy. Photo by VnExpress/Quoc Le

For winning the competition, Evan was awarded a trophy and $300. He will also be representing Orange County at a competition which will be held mid-July in southern California.

Evan emerged as a piano prodigy in July last year in a contest called VStar Kids for Vietnamese American children. Although Evan had only been learning the piano for a short time, he impressed the judges enough to take third place.

Evan’s teacher said the five-year-old has a natural talent as he can read sheet music, play with both hands and master an entire song by heart in a few days. Evan also composes and plays whatever piece of music comes into his head.

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Evan was the youngest contestant in the competition. Photo by VnExpress/Quoc Le

Many big American entertainment shows such as the Ellen Show and America's Got Talent have expressed their admiration at Evan’s performance and repeatedly asked him onto their shows. However, Evan’s parents said they only select events that are suitable for Evan’s age, ability and personality since they don’t want to pressure him or commercialize their son's passion.

In March, Evan was invited to perform in Little Big Shots - a program for young talents produced by American broadcasting company NBC.

Here is the Youtube video of Evan performing "Asturias", composed by Issac Albeniz.

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