Child prodigy accepts new SMARTlab-RITSEC Genius Scholarship Award 2008

Pictured: Prof Goodman with Marc Yu and Dr Hisham El Sherif, benefactor.
Pictured: Marc Yu presented with MACICbox sculpted music box by Toby Borland.

Nine-year-old renowned piano virtuoso Marc Yu gave a special concert on Friday 29th August to celebrate his acceptance of the first ever Genius Scholarship Award, a new annual prize established by SMARTlab in partnership with RITSEC, the Middle East’s leading centre for technology and innovation. This important new award, inspired by a milestone meeting at the World Summit of Innovation and Enterprise, aims to honour and encourage creative genius in all its forms and, in particular, to develop young talent. Professor Goodman has been appointed Head of the Award’s Judging and Mentorship Panel and will mentor Marc over the coming year.

Marc performed works by Chopin and Rimsky-Korsakov at St Mary-le-Bow Church in London. After the recital he was presented with an engraved vase, created by sculptor Toby Borland of MAGIClab, by Professor Lizbeth Goodman, Director of SMARTlab, and Dr Hisham El Sharif, RITSEC Director and benefactor.

Professor Goodman said: “Marc is truly a ‘born genius’ – he began playing aged two and can now perform over forty classical pieces from memory, with enormous energy and skill…The Genius Scholarship Award has been created to honour exactly this kind of talent, and to encourage young gifted people like Marc to become ambassadors for creative expression all over the world.”

Marc’s SMARTlab recital was filmed by Channel 4 for a forthcoming series on extraordinarily talented children. He followed it with a performance alongside celebrated pianist Lang Lang at the Proms, and a visit to MAGIC, SMARTlab’s Multimedia and Games Innovation Centre, where he was presented with an interactive music box built by MAGICbox’s resident artist/engineer Toby Borland.

Marc, who lives in Los Angeles, said: “Winning this scholarship will help me to continue to train as a pianist and my goal is to promote classical music and peaceful ways of living to young people around the world.”

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