Thursday 28 June 2018

Salvador Sanchez wins Directors' Recital Prize


An eighteen year old student pianist from Alicante, Spain has won the school’s highly prestigious Directors’ Recital Prize for 2018. 

Salvador Sanchez, a S6 pupil, was declared the winner of the 18th annual competition following a closely contested final with three other senior soloists.  The other finalists were Emma Baird (violin) aged 17 from Prestwick, Fraser Mason (piano) aged 15 from Stow, Scottish Borders and William Fielding (piano) aged 18 from Blackburn, England.

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 Music School, Bill Chandler, Director of Artistic Planning and Engagement at the RSNO and Duncan Ferguson, Lecturer in Strings and Chamber Music Co-ordinator, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

Salvador played Scarlatti Sonata in D Minor K141, Britten ‘Night Piece’ and Chopin Ballade No.1 in G Minor Op.23.  Following the announcement, he said:
“It has been such an honour winning 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.”

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”

“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”.

Salvador has been at St Mary’s Music School since September 2016 and started playing piano at the age of nine. He had lessons from well-known pianists in Valencia and Barcelona and in 2014, Salvador was awarded the second prize at the ‘XXV11 National Piano Competition’ in Toledo.  In 2017, Salvador was awarded the first prize in the Isobel Dunlop Composition competition for his string quartet ‘Black Rhapsody’ and he has performed recitals as a soloist around Spain. He is currently studying piano with Margaret Wakeford and composition with Tom David Wilson. 

Emma Baird studies violin at St Mary’s Music School and Junior Conservatoire, RCS. She plays in several chamber ensembles, symphony orchestras and enjoys giving regular solo and group performances across the UK. Emma has appeared as concerto soloist with numerous orchestras and ensembles and has won many top prizes at the Glasgow, Edinburgh and Ayrshire music festivals, most notably the Ailie Cullen  award for ‘the most outstanding performance of the Glasgow Festival’ and the Edinburgh Competition Festival Concerto Competition.

Fraser Mason is from Stow in the Scottish Borders. He 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.

William Fielding has been studying at St Mary’s Music School since he was sixteen. During this time, he has explored solo repertoire and chamber music as a member of the Strathearn Piano Trio with fellow pupils, Brìona and Finn Mannion. He has received masterclasses from Martin Roscoe, Joanna MacGregor and Mohammed Shams and has performed in venues such as The Queen’s Hall (Edinburgh), St Mary’s Cathedral, Blackburn Cathedral, Leeds Town Hall and The Barbican.

Read all our latest news


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 >