Thursday 20 June 2019

18 year old Marie-Sophie wins Directors' Recital Prize


Eighteen year old Swiss-Ukrainian violinist Marie-Sophie Baumgartner has won this year's highly prestigious Directors’ Recital Prize 2019.

Marie-Sophie Baumgartner, was declared the winner of the 19th annual competition following a closely contested final with three other senior soloists. The other finalists were Finn Mannion, cellist, age 17 from Crieff in Perthshire; Fraser Mason, pianist, age 16 from the Scottish Borders and Sofia Ros-González, accordionist, age 16 from Santander in Spain.

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 Jo Buckley, Chief Executive of the Dunedin Consort;  Sheila Colvin O.B.E., formerly with the Edinburgh International Festival and the Aldeburgh Foundation and on the boards of the Scottish Ensemble, ECAT and St Mary's Music School and Maureen Morrison, Managing Director of Stringers London and Edinburgh. Ex Scottish Chamber Orchestra.

Directors' Recital Prize 2019 Judging Panel and finalists

From left to right, Sofia-Ros Gonzales, Fraser Mason, Finn Mannion, Sheila Colvin,  Marie-Sophie Baumgartner, Jo Buckley, Maureen Morrison

Marie-Sophie played Camille Saint-Saëns (1835–1921), Havanaise in E Major and Eugène Ysaÿe (1858–1931), Sonata No. 4 in E minor, Mvt ‘Allemande’

 Marie-Sophie said:

 “I am extremely happy and grateful to have had the opportunity to perform in the final of this competition. It was a privilege to perform alongside three such exceptional musicians and to connect through my music with such a wonderful and supportive audience and to enjoy my time on stage.

The competition marks the end of two phenomenal years at St Mary’s Music School and I’m really grateful for all the opportunities that have been given to me here, allowing me to develop and flourish as a musician and as an individual.”

 Dr Kenneth Taylor, Headteacher 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 Marie-Sophie on her well-deserved win which is a reflection of her talent and dedication to music.

The prize is donated annually by the school’s board of directors and provides pupils with experience of public solo performance in a competition situation. For aspiring professional musicians, audiences are vital and I thank everyone who attended to listen and support the four young finalists”.

Swiss-Ukrainian violin student Marie-Sophie Baumgartner is currently in her last year at St Mary’s Music School and studies violin with Professor Andrea Gajic and harpsichord with Dr. John Kitchen. Previously she studied at the Zakhar Bron School of Music with Nadezhda Korshakova. She regularly plays in chamber music groups and orchestras and attends various summer music festivals such as Gstaad Yehudi Menuhin Festival, Verbier Festival and masterclasses. Alongside her passion for music, Marie-Sophie enjoys learning new languages, cooking and travelling. As well as being offered a full international scholarship to study at the Royal Academy of Musicin London, she has also been offered a place at the Haute Ecole de Musique de Lausanne in Switzerlandand will continue her studies there from September 2019 studying with Svetlana Makarova.

The other finalists were:

Finn Mannion

Finn Mannion with accompanist Fraser Mason

Scottish-Irish cellist, 17 year old Finn Mannion, studies with Ruth Beauchamp at St Mary’s Music School, where he was awarded a government-aided place in 2012, aged 10. Finn has won both the Junior and Intermediate Recital Prizes. He was a solo recital prizewinner in the Edinburgh Competition Festival too, winning the Gray Gold Medal in 2015, the Winifred Gavine Gold Medal in 2017 and, with the Strathearn Piano Trio, the Horace Fellowes Gold Medal for chamber music.

A regular member of the National Youth Orchestra of Scotland, Finn was principal cello of both the Junior and Senior Orchestras in 2015 and 2017 respectively. Finn has gained further musical inspiration after receiving tuition from other internationally renowned cellists including: Troels Svane, Peter Hörr, Hannah Roberts, Clive Greensmith, Peter Bruns, Jo Cole, Philip Higham, Alice Neary, Chris Hoyle, Martin Storey and Su-a Lee. This year, Finn is delighted to be one of four recipients of the prestigious Julius Isserlis Scholarship from the Royal Philharmonic Society. Finn plays an old English cello made by Locket Hill in c. 1790.

Sofia Ros

Sofia-Ros GonzalesSofía Ros was born in the Canary Islands (Spain) in 2002. She started playing accordion at the age of six with her teacher and composer Gorka Hermosa, at the Jesús de Monasterio Conservatoire of Santander, Spain. When she was 13, she finished her accordion professional studies and was accepted for a place at St. Mary’s Music School. She is currently an accordion student of Djordje Gajic and studies violin with Ruth Crouch.

Sofia has won a number of national solo competitions in Spain and Scotland such as the Arrasate Accordion Competition 2012 (under 13) and 2019 (under 18) and she has received some international awards such as 3rd prize at the International Accordion Competition ‘Citta Castefidardo 2011’, Italy (under 12) and Klingenthal, Germany 2014 (under 12). Sofia has also won the Intermediate Recital Price (IRP) 2017 at St Marys Music School and she has performed with the orchestra at the Edinburgh Competition Festival Concerto final 2019. She has also received masterclasses from accordion professors such as Mika Väyrynen, Frédéric Deschamps, Zorica Karakutovska, Iñaki Alberdi, Lyudmila Vasilievna and Mie Miki.

Fraser Mason

Fraser MasonFraser Mason is 16 years old and is from Stow in  the Scottish Borders. He started to play piano at the age of seven and came to St Mary’s Music School when he was 10. He currently studies piano with Richard Beauchamp. He has participated in a number of masterclasses and was lucky enough to get a lesson with Yuja Wang after a concert and lessons with Steven Osborne (alumnus of St Mary’s Music School) on a piano course. As well as his passion for music, he also enjoys maths, sciences, and playing tennis and table tennis. In the future he hopes to study either maths at Cambridge or continue to study piano abroad. He is passionate about his maths and is studying for the British Maths Olympiads.



Read all our latest news


25 June 2019

Second SCO String Academy announced

We are delighted to be running a second SCO String Academy in partnership with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra over five weeks in the Autumn. 

Read More >


24 June 2019

Masterclass with Adam Walker, Principal Flute, London Symphony Orchestra announced.

We are delighted to announce a free public masterclass with Adam Walker, Principal Flute with the LSO, "At the forefront of a new generation of soloists". 

Read More >

Momo and Matilda with violins 300

24 June 2019

A Loan with Resonance

Former pupil Edmund Coxon brings special gift  in the form of a violin made by Neil Ertz to join its 'Edinburgh Brother'.

Read More >


21 June 2019

Winners of Junior and Intermediate Recital Prizes announced

Ben(S1), percussion and Oceane (S3), violin, are declared winners of this year's Junior and Intermediate Recital Prizes. 

Read More >


20 June 2019

18 year old Marie-Sophie wins Directors' Recital Prize

Eighteen year old Swiss-Ukrainian violinist Marie-Sophie Baumgartner has won this year's highly prestigious Directors’ Recital Prize 2019. 

Read More >


7 June 2019

World-renowned percussionist Colin Currie shares his expertise in free masterclass

In a free masterclass delivered in partnership by St Mary's Music School and the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, seven young musicians from four schools learnt tips on technique and stagecraft in front of a spellbound audience. 

Read More >


6 June 2019

40 years of Saturday Music Classes - Connecting with children and families through a love of music.

2019 marks the 40th anniversary of our Saturday Music Classes. In this interview with Eleanor Parker, Saturday Music Class Coordinator, we find out what makes SMC so special. 

Read More >


17 May 2019

Our latest film celebrates the arrival of a new Steinway as part of the School's ongoing investment plan

The film, which features alumnus Steven Osborne, vividly demonstrates the joy of learning music and the personal development of talented young pianists.

Read More >


15 May 2019

St Mary’s Music School Cello Pupil wins 2019 RPS Julius Isserlis Scholar Award

Finn Mannion, a seventeen year old cellist from Crieff is the youngest of four musicians to be awarded the prestigious 2019 Royal Philharmonic Society (RHS) Julius Isserlis Scholarship.  

Read More >


7 May 2019

The Portfolio Pianist

The Portfolio Pianist – a fabulous line up of exceptional musicians share their advice on collaborative pianism and Edinburgh welcomes the esteemed Pascal Rogé to the stage.

Read More >


23 April 2019

Alumni spotlight - Adam Crighton, bass trombonist (Class of 2014).

Former pupil Adam Crighton has recently graduated from Guildhall winning The Armourers and Brasiers Prize for Brass. He is currently playing in the orchestra for Trevor Nunn's five star revival of Fiddler on the Roof at the Playhouse Theatre in the West End.

Read More >


18 April 2019

Deadline approaches for Piano Summer School

As the deadline for applications to the residential Piano Summer School approaches on May 20th 2019, pianists aged 13 to 19 are encouraged to apply. 

Read More >

spring concert 300

17 April 2019

A packed house for the Spring Concert

The whole school came together in the beautiful surroundings of St Mary's Episcopal Cathedral for a concert of two halves, split between 'A Portrait of Purcell' and Saint-Saëns Violin Concerto No 3 in B minor, Op 61.

Read More >


11 April 2019

Countdown to The Portfolio Pianist - 18th April 2019

Only a week to go to The Portfolio Pianist, a superlative day of concerts and talks featuring Pascal Rogé, Iain Burnside, Roderick Williams OBE, Steven Osborne, the Alan Benzie Trio, Simon Smith and Susan Tomes.

Read More >


22 March 2019

A superlative evening to celebrate the arrival of the new Steinway

The evening of 28th February was a special moment in the history of St Mary’s Music School when staff, pupils, donors, alumni and friends gathered to celebrate the addition of the new Steinway Model B piano to the School’s fleet of instruments.

Read More >


19 March 2019

A weekend snapshot of life at St Mary's Music School

From performing at the Royal National College of Music Chamber Music Festival to our Choristers recording a CD with Delphian Records - it has been a busy weekend for St Mary's Music School pupils. 

Read More >


14 March 2019

LSO celebrate Haitink at 90 with two former pupils Carol Ella and Malcolm Johnston

St Mary's Music School alumni celebrate 'Haitink at 90' as part of the London Symphony Orchestra at the Barbican, London. 

Read More >


14 February 2019

'On Being a Musician' - latest film released

In the fourth in a series of popular short films, Scotland’s national music school pupils share what music means to them.

Read More >


11 February 2019

Winner of Lord Clyde Concerto Competition Announced

After superb performances by 18 students, the prestigious Lord Clyde Memorial Prize Concerto Competition drew to a close on Friday.

Read More >


30 January 2019

Francois Leleux Masterclass

World renowned oboist and conductor, François Leleux captivated pupils and guests with a two hour masterclass. 

Read More >


24 January 2019

A superb start to the Spring term

The Spring term began with two high profile performances - one at Scottish Parliament and the other at St Andrew's and St George's in Edinbugh. 

Read More >


22 January 2019

Flagship gift for Scotland’s national music school

A very special gift arrives from Germany as a  new Steinway Model B joins the St Mary's Music School fleet. 

Read More >


5 December 2018

SCO String Academy

The SCO String Academy, in partnership with St Mary’s Music School, is a new free opportunity for musicians, taking place over a series of three Sunday afternoons.

Read More >


26 November 2018

Whatever the Season

New animated film set to Vivaldi's Largo from The Four Seasons

Read More >


22 November 2018

Guitar day with world renowned guitarist Craig Ogden

We are delighted to be holding the first St Mary's Music School Guitar Day with guitarist Craig Ogden.

Read More >


21 November 2018

Be a Chorister Day

We welcome Primary pupils who enjoy singing for a special opportunity to participate alongside the award-winning Choristers of St Mary's Episcopal Cathedral.

Read More >


24 October 2018

Debussy Festival at St Cecilia's

Staff member James Willshire will curate a mini-festival celebrating Debussy on 1st & 2nd December.

Read More >


1 October 2018

Head of Jazz wins Double Bass prize

Andrew Robb, Head of Jazz, wins at the European Society of Bassists 2018

Read More >


17 September 2018

The Note campaign is launched

The Note campaign calls for everyone to support the plan for the school's move to the old Royal High School.

Read More >


5 September 2018

Anonymous artist leaves gift to the School

The school has received the gift of a paper sculpture from Edinburgh’s Anonymous Sculptor.

Read More >


21 August 2018

Helen Macleod 1980 - 2018

Obituary: Helen Macleod, harp player, former pupil and former instrumental teacher

Read More >


14 August 2018

‘Moving movie’ supports the Perfect Harmony campaign

Watch our short film about bringing together two of Scotland’s national treasures in Perfect Harmony.

Read More >


28 June 2018

Salvador Sanchez wins Directors' Recital Prize

Eighteen year old pianist from Spain wins following a closely contested competition.

Read More >


20 June 2018

Nicola Benedetti and Steven Isserlis feature in new film.

The film showcases two musically gifted youngsters who have studied at St Mary’s Music School.

Read More >


13 June 2018

The Minute Waltz: Take a Minute       

Take a Minute to show support for St Mary’s Music School

Read More >


7 June 2018

Juniors in June - the Castles Series

Junior Instrumentalists play at the Palace of Holyrood House

Read More >


21 May 2018

Edinburgh Masterclass Series 2018: Violin Masterclass

Renowned violinist Renaud Capuçon delivered an exceptional masterclass for pupils and guests

Read More >


18 May 2018

James Willshire plays at the Edinburgh Society of Musicans

Keyboard staff member, James Willshire, gave a recital of Litolff, Debussy and Liszt

Read More >


15 May 2018

Scottish Awards for New Music                

Will Conway receives a Scottish Award for New Music for The Last Island, recorded by the Hebrides Ensemble

Read More >


14 May 2018

Steven Osborne Piano Recital in the Chapel

Vice-President Steven Osborne plays Berg op.1 and Prokofiev 7th Sonata

Read More >


12 May 2018

Rachmaninov Etudes-tableaux, played by Steven Osborne

Hyperion release of Rachmaninov Etudes-tableaux played by Steven Osborne due shortly

Read More >


5 May 2018

Simon Smith Lunchtime Concert      

Simon Smith played Stuart Macrae's Piano Sonata for pupils and staff.

Read More >


1 May 2018

The Minute Waltz: Animated film by Domenica More Gordon

New short animated film in support of the proposed move by the school to the former Royal High School building.

Read More >


30 April 2018

Young musicians participate in annual Nigel Murray Masterclass

One hundred and fifty young musicians attended the Masterclass given by the Fitzwilliam String Quartet.

Read More >


24 March 2018

MacMillan's Stabat Mater to be streamed live from Rome

MacMillan's Stabat Mater to be streamed live from Rome

Read More >


22 March 2018

Rachmaninov at the Edinburgh Society of Musicians

On Wednesday 21st March, the Keyboard Department put on a programme of Rachmaninov

Read More >


11 February 2018

Winterplay: Young Musicians' Showcase

Outstanding students from St Mary’s Music School performed an hour’s programme of chamber music.

Read More >


9 January 2018

Sir James MacMillan shares composing expertise.

Leading Scottish composer Sir James MacMillan shares his composing expertise in a new film.

Read More >


1 December 2017

Pupils Bring Advice of Famous Composer to Life

Pupils have brought the advice of a famous composer to life in a series of four short films.

Read More >


15 December 2015

Royal High School Preservation Trust unveils plans for iconic Thomas Hamilton building

The Trust hopes to move St Mary’s Music School into the historic Thomas Hamilton building on Calton Hill

Read More >


26 November 2015

Statement: Royal High School Proposed Move

Statement from William Gray Muir and Dr Kenneth Taylor in light of the City of Edinburgh’s decision to reject plans for a hotel on the Calton Hill site.

Read More >


2 November 2015

Royal High School Preservation Trust statement

Royal High School Preservation Trust makes statement of intent to Edinburgh Council

Read More >