A GIFTED teenager from Llandudno aiming to become a top concert pianist is to be one of the stars at a music festival.

This is the third year Ellis Thomas, 18, will be performing at the week-long Beaumaris Festival from May 21 to May 28 with Ellis appearing on Saturday, May 25, from 11am to noon at Canolfan Beaumaris.

It follows the Ysgol John Bright pupil winning Young Musician of the Year and £3,000 prize at the prestigious Gregynog Festival.

His programme at the popular Anglesey festival will include works by Rachmaninov, Brahms, Schumann and Debussy and he will also be preparing for his A-levels in Music, French and Maths and is bound for Downing College, Cambridge, in the autumn.

It’s a reward for a dedication to music that began under his music teacher grandmother Marion Horley’s tuition at the age of five and sees him practice for five hours every day, starting at 6.30 each morning.

Ellis, from Penrhyn Bay, said: “When I was about five I used to go to her house every day after finishing school and she would play music with me.

“I started piano lessons at six with a local teacher and then at 12 I started going to the junior Royal Northern College of Music at Manchester every Saturday but up to then I hadn’t really thought about music as a career.

“I’ve always loved classical music though I’ve done a bit of jazz as well and I play the saxophone and the violin but the piano is my favourite. I would like to become a concert pianist but it’s very competitive and difficult.

“I think that having a Cambridge degree will open a lot more doors and give me more opportunities to do things.”

Ysgol John Bright deputy head Hywel Parry, who is also a music teacher, said: “Ellis is remarkable, one of a kind. I doubt I will see another one like him in another 20 years of teaching. He is the first from Ysgol John Bright to study music at Cambridge since 2011 and he is also really good at supporting the school.”

Ellis also won the national final of the Rotary Young Musician of the Year competition in Edinburgh last year and has also chalked up successes at the Urdd Eisteddfod and the Beethoven Junior Intercollegiate Piano Competition.

He recently performed at a concert in Ulverston alongside saxophonist Jess Gillam, currently riding high at number one in the classical music charts, and cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason.

Other highlights of the festival include the London Chamber Ensemble, a Welsh hymn-singing festival, a poetry reading from former National Poet of Wales Gillian Clarke and a concert of ranging from opera to musicals by American singers Karen Coker Merrit (soprano) and James Hall (tenor). Further details on http://www.beaumarisfestival.org