The Palm Beach Post – 01/15/12

Yoko at the NortonThe scene maker: Pianist loves support for the arts

By Janis Fontaine
January 16, 2012


WHO SHE IS: Kothari began playing piano at age 4. At age 8, she won the Northern Japan Classical Piano Competition. She continued to win top prizes in Japan, and earned more trophies when she moved to the U.S., including second place in the Bartok-Kabalevsky-Prokofiev International Competition and the Kathleen McGowan Piano Scholarship Award. Most recently, she received an award at the Bradshaw & Buono International Piano Competition in New York. Kothari has performed with the Boca String Quartet, the Lotus Duo (a piano-violin duo), and currently is a member of the Trillium Piano Trio. She and her husband, Dilip Kothari, a classical guitarist, teach music at D&Y Studios in Lake Park. Her next performance is a benefit concert for the Tepeyak Mission on March 3 at St. Ignatius Loyola Cathedral, 9999 N. Military Trail, Palm Beach Gardens.

A few of her favorites:

Favorite fine-dining restaurant?
The Melting Pot. It may take awhile to get through your meal, but the process is so much fun! The cheese fondue and chocolate fondue at the end. It’s not something you do every weekend. It’s more of a special occasion place. You can be there three hours.
The Melting Pot of Palm Beach Gardens, 11811 U.S. 1, Palm Beach Gardens. (561) 624-0020

Favorite theater to see a show?
It has been years since I have seen any shows, but it would be the Kravis Center.
The Kravis Center, 701 Okeechobee Blvd., West Palm Beach. (561) 832-7469;
Favorite place for a quiet dinner?
A small restaurant on the water called the Dockside Grill. It’s a neighborhood restaurant and it’s kind of hidden. You would never expect someplace like that to be there. It’s very cozy. It’s very personal, and it’s not noisy.
The Dockside Sea Grille, 766 Northlake Blvd., Lake Park. Phone: (561) 842-2180

Favorite way to spend a Sunday afternoon?
Playing/practicing the piano. It could be frustrating as well, but it is definitely most fulfilling. It’s probably the most effective way to spend the afternoon. I feel most like myself at the piano.

Favorite restaurant to take out-of-town guests?
Ebisu Japanese Restaurant in Palm Beach Gardens. It is the only Japanese restaurant I go to in this area. I almost always order tuna quesadilla. I think the concept is brilliant. The owner came up with the idea. It’s raw tuna and vegetables in a tortilla.
Ebisu, 7100 Fairway Drive, Palm Beach Gardens. Phone: (561) 622-4495

Favorite boutique or store for browsing or buying?
Pretty much only time I can shop is when I am on vacation since my performing and teaching schedule doesn’t allow me to go out much in my daily life. When I do, Barnes & Noble is one of my favorites.
Barnes & Noble Booksellers, 11380 Legacy Ave., Palm Beach Gardens. Phone: (561) 625-3932

Why you love living in Palm Beach County?
Because here we have a strong community which supports the arts. I feel that there is a culture established by the people who love and appreciate both music and art in this county, which produces the performing opportunities for the artists. If there is no audience, there will be no performances. Having the support from the people is the only way for us (artists) to exist, and it lets us simply be who we are.