Piano prodigy to raise funds for autistic kids

by GAN PEI LING © The Star 17 August 2017

Charitable move: Ticket sales from Andrew’s concert will go towards raising funds for autistic children and buying a piano for his former primary school.

SERDANG: An award-winning 12-year-old music prodigy is dedicating his first solo piano concert on Sept 2 towards raising funds for autistic children and buying a piano for his former primary school.

Andrew Kuik Jie En started learning the piano at the age of seven.

He won first prize in the children’s category at the 2013 Abing­ton (Oxfordshire) Music Festival in Britain when he was eight.

Since then, he has won several prestigious piano competitions in the country, including the Steinway and Sons Youth Piano Competition (Category 2, for contestants aged 11 to 14) and the Kingsburg Inter­national Piano Competition (Inter­mediate Category) Excellent Gold Award last year.

Half of the ticket sales for his recital – priced at RM40 for each ticket – will be donated to the National Autism Society of Malaysia (Nasom).

“I learnt about autism through a play (adapted from British author Mark Haddon’s mystery novel The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time) in drama class in school and I sympathise with them,” said Andrew, who enrolled in the Nexus International School in Putrajaya last year on a scholarship.

He has also met autistic children and learnt the challenges of communicating with them.

The organiser of the Steinway and Sons Youth Piano Competition, Bentley Music, will be hosting Andrew’s hour-long recital at the Bentley Music Academy in Mutiara Damansara, Petaling Jaya, from 3pm to 4pm.

Andrew said they had raised about RM18,000 for Nasom and RM40,000 to buy a baby grand piano for his alma mater, SJK (C) Shin Cheng (Harcroft).

“I want to buy a new piano for the school because the existing one is very old and sounds off,” he added.

Andrew has been practising five hours a day for the past two months to give his best at the recital.

He will be playing eight classical pieces from composers such as Bach and Chopin.

To buy tickets to his recital, call Madam Chua at 010-286 6809.

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