Stow student finalist in Scottish Music School prize

The finalists at the St Mary's Music School Directors' Recital Prize 2018.  From left to right:  Will Fielding, Emma Baird, Fraser Mason and Salvador Sanchez.
The finalists at the St Mary's Music School Directors' Recital Prize 2018. From left to right: Will Fielding, Emma Baird, Fraser Mason and Salvador Sanchez.

Scotland’s national music school’s highly prestigious Directors’ Recital Prize has been won by an eighteen-year-old pianist from Alicante, Spain.

Salvador Sanchez, a S6 pupil, was declared the winner of the 18th annual competition following a closely contested final with three other senior soloists from St Mary’s Music School, Edinburgh, Scotland’s national music school.

Salvador played Scarletti Sonata in D Minor K141, Britten ‘Night Piece’ and Chopin Ballade No.1 in G Minor Op.23.

Salvador said: “It has been such an honour wining the Director’s Recital Prize. I could not believe it when I heard my name being announced, especially after hearing such a high standard of performances from my fellow competitors.”

The other finalists were Emma Baird (violin) aged 17 who hails from Prestwick, Fraser Mason (piano) aged 15 from Stow, Scottish Borders and William Fielding (piano) aged 18 from Blackburn, England.

Fraser began to play piano at the age of seven and came to St Mary’s Music School when he was ten. He has participated in some masterclasses and was fortunate enough to get a lesson with Yuja Wang after a concert and lessons with Steven Osborne (a former pupil at St Mary’s Music School).

In the future Fraser hopes to continue to study the piano abroad or study maths at Oxford or Cambridge.

The four senior finalist soloists competed before a distinguished panel of judges for the award which took place at St Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral, Edinburgh.

This year’s judges were James Cook, Director of St Mary’s School, Bill Chandler, Director of Artistic Planning and Engagement and Duncan Ferguson, Lecturer in Strings and Chamber Music Co-ordinator, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

Dr Kenneth Taylor, Headteacher at St Mary’s Music School, said: “This year we had 25 entries for the Directors’ Recital Prize and I would like to congratulate all pupils on their performances. The very high standard we witnessed is a tribute to the hard work, enthusiasm and musicianship of our pupils, their teachers and accompanists.

“I congratulate Salvador on his well-deserved win which is a reflection of his talent and dedication to music.”