A TEENAGER from Stow has become of the youngest ever finalists of Scotland’s national music school’s highly prestigious Directors’ Recital Prize 2018.

Fraser Mason, at only 15, was selected to compete for the coveted title at St Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral, Edinburgh.

Although the highly-talented Fraser was edged out by fellow-pianist Salvador Sanchez from Spain, it was still a remarkable achievement to have reached the last four.

As well as the 18-year-old winner from Alicante and Fraser, the other finalists were 17-year-old violinist Emma Baird from Prestwick and 18-year-old Blackburn pianist William Fielding.

The four senior finalist soloists competed before a distinguished panel of judges for the 18th annual award - James Cook, Director of St Mary’s School, Bill Chandler, Director of Artistic Planning and Engagement and Duncan Ferguson, Lecturer in Strings and Chamber Music Co-ordinator, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

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."

Fraser began to play piano at the age of seven and arrived at 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.

In the future Fraser hopes to continue to study the piano abroad or study maths at Oxford or Cambridge.