Young Warwick pianist joins elite group of musicians

James Ellis
James Ellis

A Warwick pianist has become one of the youngest Fellows of the Royal Schools of Music (FRSM) after earning a prestigious FRSM Diploma last week at the age of 17.

James Ellis, a former pupil at Warwick School, recited extensive compositions by Bach, Beethoven and Grainger as part of his exam to become a Fellow, and also wrote an essay on Beethoven’s Sonata No. 31, Opus 110.

His achievement puts him among a very select group of musicians, as there are less than 100 pianists with FRSM accreditation in the world.

Lindsay Ellis, James’s father, said: “I was extremely proud that he had managed to achieve what he did - it’s what he’s always wanted to do.”

James started playing piano as a five-year-old at his grandmother’s house, when he decided to sit at the piano and started playing it of his own accord.

His parents encouraged him to carry on playing, and James quickly developed a passion for the instrument.

During his time at school, James was an intelligent student, but his real talent lay in playing the piano which he focused on more than anything else.

James’s skill and enthusiasm for the piano meant the family took the decision to move away from Warwick to Manchester in order for him to attend Chetham’s School of Music in 2009.

Although this might have been a risky move for many families, James’s mother, Olivia Ellis, said the decision was an easy one, adding: “He was devoted to piano playing.”

He is currently studying three A Levels, having already obtained an A Level in music with 100 per cent in every module.

James would like to pursue a career in the music industry, although he is still undecided as to exactly what path he wants to take.