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Last Updated: Sunday, 18 April, 2004, 11:03 GMT 12:03 UK
College place for piano prodigy
Vidas Vaitkevicius
Vidas said he wants to be better than Elton John
A nine-year-old piano prodigy has been offered a place at the prestigious Royal College of Music in London.

Vidas Vaitkevicius was born in Lithuania but his parents moved to Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, six years ago to help their son's education.

Now Vidas has secured a place at the London college after a short audition while his own piano teacher is entering him for grade eight piano exams.

All Vidas needs to take up his place in London is a bursary.

His father, Drasutis Vaitkevicius, 31, said he knew his son was gifted at the age of two - when he started miming playing the piano.

Vidas started having lessons and three months later he was taking his first exams.

The family then decided a move to England would help Vidas' education and they now live in a council flat in Great Yarmouth.

Drasutis Vaitkevicius
Drasutis Vaitkevicius said at two he knew his son was talented
Mr Vaitkevicius, who works on the off-shore gas platforms, said the sacrifice of leaving his home country was paying off.

"It was a big risk but it was well worth it," he said.

"Someone told us our child should get a better education and we should go somewhere else because he has got something."

Vidas' piano teacher agrees.

Sara Swift, 28, said: "In all the years I have been teaching I have never seen someone as gifted as Vidas."

He still enjoys all the other distractions which other nine year old boys enjoy - Manchester United and PlayStation are just two of them.

He said of his inspiration: "I was watching him (Elton John) play and I said I wanted to be better than him."

Vidas is hoping to join the college's junior section in September.


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