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Boy extraordinaire- Meet 14-yr-old Times Now award winner Mangalurean Rhys Concessao

Florine Roche
Daijiworld Media Network - Mangaluru
Pics: Vivek Sequeira

Mangaluru, Jul 20: In 2014 when renowned music director and concert conductor of Indian Origin Zubin Mehta was conferred the Global NRI of the year special jury award instituted by Times Now Channel belonging to the Times of India group, Rhys Concessao was just a 11 year old fervent pianist, Rhys, a UK based NRI, a child prodigy born to Mangalurean parents Nisha and Roshan Concessao, who got scholarship from the top specialist music school of UK, “The Purcell School for Young Musicians” at a young age of 11, is quite elated to follow in the footsteps of his idol Zubin Mehta and win the Global NRI of the year award for Academics in 2017, at a young age of 14. Naturally he is quite thrilled on winning the award and says “I am honoured and privileged to win the Global NRI of the year award, which my idol had won 2014 and I am looking forward for an opportunity to play with him in the near future”.





“Catch them young” the phrase seems to have worked wonders for Rhys who began his musical journey at the tender age of 5. When other children of his age were playing with toys for Rhys piano was the toy which he put to good use. The upshot of this passion has been quite rewarding bringing him into the center stage of international fame. Of course he wears his crown of success with equal ease and his quite poised for his young age. It was quite interesting to watch this 14 year old teenager who still has the childlike smirk on his face when he speaks or even when he squabbles with his younger sibling to play a game on the mobile or watch something on the phone during lunch at the Grand Hyatt in Mumbai, during the recent award ceremony of Global NRI of the year.

Ears for Music

It was Nisha who was instrumental in his initiation into the wonderful world of Piano. Nisha used to take Rhys along with her when she was attending Piano classes as a hobby as Rhys was young and there wasn’t anyone to babysit him. Though he was playing around when she was learning, over a period of time he began to hum everything Nisha was taught. “It was piano teacher Sally Rose who realized that Rhys has ears for music when he began to hum what she was learning and offered to give him lessons. Rhys began to enjoy his classes and also developed a proclivity for classical music. What began as a hobby for me became a passion for Rhys and from then onwards there has been no stopping him from reaching higher goals”, says the proud mother.

His father Roshan plays the perfect role of behind the scene mentor keeping a tab on his schedules as Rhys gets lot of requests to perform which requires extensive travelling and planning of schedules systematically so that there is no clash of dates of performances. Moreover travelling with Rhys is a major responsibility handled by Roshan. Nisha is a working professional and naturally she and Roshan share the responsibility of coping with the responsibility that comes in helping their children pursuing their passion.

Rhys gives a measured response when I asked him in Mumbai where he was present along with his parents and younger brother to receive the award on how he felt winning the Global NRI of the year award. “I understand I am the youngest to win this award and it is a great honour to have won the Times Now NRI of the Year Award 2017. Times Network is available in over 100 countries and in multiple mediums and naturally it provides a larger platform to reach out to people. Being the Music Ambassador of the Lang International Music Foundation this platform helps me to promote western classical music in India and abroad”, says this young achiever without mincing words.

Though just 14, Rhys exhibits maturity beyond his age and looks quite studious about his passion –playing piano and is keen to make it his profession than just a hobby. His passion has made him a child phenomenon winning accolades and recognition, in the process making him an international celebrity. He has participated in several international competitions, music festivals, piano recitals and international music course spread across different continents like America, Europe and Asia. Rhys is also a scholar at the Sir Elton John Scholar at the Royal Academy of Music UK. He has given numerous solo recitals and also plays the drums.

Child Prodigy

Awards and recognitions have been pouring in ever since he made his debut at the age of 8 when he gave a solo performance at the Purcell Room, Southbank Centre, Queen Elizabeth Hall in London, after an intensive International summer music course at The Purcell School. He has also performed at Whitley Hall, Chethams, Manchester, in the presence of prominent pianists. At age 10, he was conferred with the Most Distinguished Pianist Award and the Young Talent Encouragement - Special Mention Award at the IBLA Grand Prize International Competition, Sicily, and Italy and followed it up with EPTA award at the age of 11. At 12, he was selected as the Music Ambassador by the Lang Lang International Music Foundation and performed with International Concert Pianist Lang Lang at the Allianz Junior Music Camp at Teatr Polski in Warsaw, Poland. He has given numerous solo recitals and is also fond of playing the drums. At 13 years he won the 22ndEvangeliaTjiarri International Piano competition, Cyprus category A under 15 years. At 14, he won the Award for Young Musicians, the Robert Lewin Scholarship and followed it up with the Global NRI of the Year 2017 award.

Despite his prodigious talent and commendable achievements this youngster, leads a normal life like any other teenager of his age balancing his academics and music. “I enjoy reading, cycling and listening to music”, he says with an unfeigned smile. He also enjoys little skirmishes with his younger brother Revin who is into learning Violin. As Nisha puts “they often try to defend the supremacy of their respective choice of instruments – Piano vs Violin and both have enough arguments to claim why Piano is better than Violin and vice versa. However, they both know these arguments are just for the sake of arguments”. 8 year old Revin is also moving in the footsteps of his brother and has been showing tremendous potential as a violinist to be watched.

Giving time and attention

Music is something which calls for lot of practice and Rhys follows his ritual religiously. Roshan points out “he doesn’t like to get up from his piano when he practices and most often than not Nisha has a tough time inviting him to the dining table. He is very particular about practicing regularly apart from attending his music classes”. For both Nisha and Roshan the reward for their hard work is in the form of enjoying some mellifluous tunes when both children practice either in their respective rooms or practice together.

Rhys’s favourite pianists at the moment are Daniel Barenboim, Evgeny Kissin, Ingolf Wunder and Lang Lang. He asserts “Láng Lang has this innate personality and charisma to reach out and influence any person from a child to an avid classical music lover. He is very approachable and one can feel extremely comfortable when meeting him personally and even more during his performance. He is doing a wonderful job of inspiring and promoting classical music especially among the younger generation. Daniel Barenboim is a legend and his interpretation of musical pieces is fantastic. Evgeny Kissin has got a style of his own and I had the privilege of meeting him. Both Barenboim and Kissin have a big influence on me when it comes to interpreting a piece. Recently I have been listening to Ingolf Wunder and I absolutely enjoy his interpretation of Chopin. In terms of musicianship, I am greatly inspired by the concerts conducted by Maestro Zubin Metha, as he is one of the few Indian western classical musicians who have risen to greater heights as a conductor. I have also visited A R Rahman's school in Chennai and I feel he is doing a great job of nurturing young talents in India”.

It looks like there is no stopping of Rhys Concessao from achieving greater heights considering the time and attention he gives to perfect his talent. With his passion of playing Piano becoming a profession one can say sky is the limit to this gifted teenager.

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Comment on this article

  • PM Souza, Mangaluru

    Sat, Jul 29 2017

    Very nicely written Florine. All the best Rhys.

    DisAgree Agree [7] Reply Report Abuse

  • Lionel Fernandez, Mangalore

    Sun, Jul 23 2017

    Congratulations Rhys. Great achievement at such a young age.

    DisAgree Agree [10] Reply Report Abuse

  • mannu pereira, kirehully. saklaspur

    Fri, Jul 21 2017

    wish you the very best in sharing your God given talent as a new voice for peace. You are a Global Citizen.

    DisAgree Agree [16] Reply Report Abuse

  • Apolinaris D'Souza, Valencia/Muscat

    Fri, Jul 21 2017

    Many Congratulations Rhys on winning the Times Now NRI of the year Award 2017. You made us all proud. Congratulations to Nisha & Roshan and not forgetting Revin, for grooming Rhys to achieve this goal at this tender age, Keep it up Rhys. Will look forward many more great achievements in your musical filed in the years to come. God Bless You.

    DisAgree Agree [18] Reply Report Abuse

  • Suni Concessao, Mangalore / UK

    Fri, Jul 21 2017

    Congratulations Rhys. You are just fantastic and richly deserve the award. Nisha and Roshan your parents have been a tremendous encouragement for you and yes don't be late for dinner as Nisha says and I have seen it too.
    Thanks Daijiworld for the professionalism in covering this event and the encouragement for Rhys.

    DisAgree Agree [20] Reply Report Abuse

  • May Pinto, Valencia/Bangalore

    Thu, Jul 20 2017

    Hearty Congratulations Rhys on winning the Global NRI year of the year Award!!!

    Your hard work has paid off, may God bless you always. You have made your parents and family proud of your achievements. Good luck in your journey to the future. Well done!

    May Pinto

    DisAgree Agree [17] Reply Report Abuse

  • Max and Jessie Rasquinha, Mangalore, Houston/Dallas, texas

    Thu, Jul 20 2017

    We are indeed proud of you, dear Rhys for your extraordinary talents in Piana that has enabled you to be the Recipient of the Times Award. You have a long journey ahead of you, a journey that will guide you thru the slow and steady process of earning gradual success in your Piano talents. Being in England, you will have greater opportunity to shine and be on the stage much more so that the world will witness your talents and will encourage you to pursue your goals and ambitions further more.

    Wherever you go and whatever you do in pursuit of your Piano talents, always remember, you are from India and you are from Mangalore, and your parents have paved the way for you to move forward thru all their sacrifices and their efforts.

    We wish you best of luck, and we look forward to meeting with you some time, somewhere, in life, meanwhile if we can be of any service please let us know.

    DisAgree Agree [19] Reply Report Abuse

  • Roshan Concessao, Valencia / UK

    Thu, Jul 20 2017

    First and foremost, Florine Roche and Vivek Sequeira deserve the recognition for being so professional in covering the prestigious award ceremony in Mumbai. We were truly honoured to meet you for the first time, interact with you and spend invaluable time with you. We really appreciate the professionalism displayed during interviews, the award program and the fantastic photographic coverage.

    Thank you to all the well wishers of Rhys here on Daijiworld and other mediums. It is a great source of inspiration to be appreciated, approached for performances and recognised in India. Hopefully, we will continue our date into the future to inspire and promote the love of western classical music.

    DisAgree Agree [20] Reply Report Abuse

  • Anil Vernon Dsouza, Valencia , Mangalore

    Thu, Jul 20 2017

    Congrats Rhys on this great feat of yours. God Bless !!
    Roshan congrats to you. Your dedication to groom him is immense.

    DisAgree Agree [21] Reply Report Abuse

  • Goldie, Valencia , Mangalore

    Thu, Jul 20 2017

    Awards after awards, Many congratulations to Rhys and rest of the concessao fly members. God bless

    DisAgree Agree [21] Reply Report Abuse

  • Jessy D'Souza, Mangalore/Bangalore

    Thu, Jul 20 2017

    Congratulations dear Rhys. We are very proud of you. May you reach the greater heights.

    DisAgree Agree [22] Reply Report Abuse

  • Violet Concessao, Mangalore/Valencia

    Thu, Jul 20 2017

    Congratulations Rhys. Great achievement. Proud of you. May God bless you more and more.

    DisAgree Agree [24] Reply Report Abuse

  • Dr.Elvin Concessao, Mangalore / UK

    Thu, Jul 20 2017

    Congratulations Rhys. You have always made us very proud. Keep it going to even greater heights.

    DisAgree Agree [22] Reply Report Abuse

  • Jossey Saldanha, Mumbai

    Thu, Jul 20 2017

    Now Mangalurean's rule the World ...

    DisAgree [2] Agree [31] Reply Report Abuse

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Title : Boy extraordinaire- Meet 14-yr-old Times Now award winner Mangalurean Rhys Concessao


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