Ellis Thomas is seventeen years old and lives in Llandudno, North Wales. He began learning the piano at the age of six and in 2012, he was awarded a place to study at the Junior Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester which he attends every Saturday. Ellis is currently in his sixth year at the Junior RNCM, where he studies piano with Manola Hatfield. Whilst studying at the Junior RNCM, Ellis has been the recipient of numerous prizes including the Ian McPherson Prize as well as both the Joan Bamford and Shirley Blakey Prizes for Piano. Ellis had achieved ABRSM grade 8 piano with distinction by the age of twelve and was awarded the Licentiate of the Royal Schools of Music diploma last year. Last April, Ellis was awarded the instrumental First Prize at the national final of the RIBI Young Musician of the Year competition in Edinburgh and has also seen successes at competitions including the Urdd Eisteddfod and the Beethoven Junior Intercollegiate Piano Competition.
Ellis performs frequently around the North-West, including appearances at various prestigious music festivals. Recent performance highlights for Ellis include performing Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini with the Junior RNCM Symphony Orchestra last December, having won their annual concerto competition a year earlier, and performing at a concert in Ulverston alongside Jess Gillam and Sheku Kanneh-Mason. Ellis has also appeared as a concerto soloist with the Welsh Chamber Orchestra and the St John’s Festival Orchestra. He has performed in masterclasses with many distinguished pianists including Richard Ormrod and Einar Steen-Nøkleberg. Ellis is an experienced chamber musician, having performed part of piano duos, trios and quintets at the Junior RNCM. Last summer, he took part in chamber music masterclasses and performances at the British Isles Music Festival.
As a violinist, Ellis has performed with a number of orchestras including the Junior RNCM Symphony orchestra and the National Youth Orchestra of Wales, of which he was co-leader for the orchestra’s 2017 summer tour. Ellis currently attends Ysgol John Bright in Llandudno, where he is studying for A levels in Music, French and Maths. Ellis has received a conditional offer to study music at Downing College, Cambridge next year, following which Ellis hopes to pursue a career as a concert pianist.