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Wrexham's teenage 'Beethoven' wins prestigious piano competition for second year running

Published date: 05 January 2017 |
Published by: Staff reporter
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A TEENAGE piano player spoke of his surprise after winning a prestigious music competition for the second year running.

Elias Ackerley, from Coedpoeth, was not sure he was entitled to play competitively in the Beethoven Piano Competition at Chetham’s School of Music in Manchester – where he studies – as he won the previous event in December 2015 at the age of 14.

But not only did he make it through to the final stages of the competition in December 2016, his entry – a whole Beethoven sonata – wowed judges so much he was declared the winner once again.

Video and images by Craig Colville / NWN Media

Elias, now aged 15, said: “It felt a bit weird – I didn’t expect it at all. I remembered winning the first time and I did want to win again but it was a bit of a surprise, I didn’t think I was competing.

“It was a new piece I learned. I’d never played it in a concert or a competition before. I was satisfied with it even if I hadn’t competed.”

Dad Paul Ackerley, minister of Coedpoeth Evangelical Church, attended the competition with his wife Myung Kyu to support their son – who began his lessons at the age of four and a half when the family lived in Daegu, South Korea.

Mr Ackerley, who has another son named Christopher, said: “It was nerve racking and exciting.

“We were delighted and thankful he won but Elias has been dedicated to playing the piano.”

Elias, who is to perform a concert at Chetham’s School of Music on January 20, hopes to build a career in music, ideally as a concert pianist.

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