The Palm Beach Post – 04/14/00

Local pianist excels in competition

April 14, 2000

YokoShe’s entered piano competitions before, but last weekend at the Bartok-Kabalevsky-Prokofiev International Piano Competition in Radford, Va., Yoko Sata Kothari did it her way.

"I was more relaxed. I was myself, I played for myself," said Kothari, who lives in Lake Park. "I didn’t play for the judges. I said whatever happens, happens; if they don’t like me, that’s OK."

Her interpretations of Bela Bartok’s Out of Doors and Dimitri Kablevsky’s Sonata No. 1, Opus 6, nevertheless, got the judges’ attention. She came home with second place and a $1,200 prize.

Yoko, who was born in Tokyo and studied at the Harid Conservatory, plays often in Palm Beach County. She and her husband, Dilip Kothari, a native of India and a classical guitarist, teach music at D&D Studios in lake Park. But she has bigger plans – a CD out this summer and a competition in New York in October.