Welsh pianist Ellis Thomas is rapidly establishing a reputation as a versatile and thoughtful pianist and chamber musician. Acclaimed as a ‘sincere and committed’ musician, offering performances ‘with real understanding’ (Julian Jacobson), Ellis is equally at-home with core repertoire as with contemporary and lesser-known works.
Ellis has already performed extensively at venues around the UK, including at LSO St Luke’s and St. James’ Piccadilly, and is regularly invited to perform at music festivals around England and Wales. In recent years he has performed abroad, including in Spain, Germany and Italy, and has also seen his performances and interviews broadcast on BBC Radio Wales, BBC Cymru, and S4C television.
Ellis works frequently as a collaborative pianist, and regularly performs as part of several chamber groups and ensembles. He is currently a collaborative pianist and faculty member for the International Music Academy of Solsona in Catalonia, Spain, where he works with the students of the cello classes. He regularly performs with cellist Gerard Flotats, and together they are currently performing the complete cycle of Beethoven’s works for cello and piano at venues in England and Wales.
Ellis has been awarded prizes at competitions including the 2021 Düsseldorf Robert Schumann International Piano Competition and has won first prizes at the Wales International Piano Festival, Gregynog Young Musician and the RIBI National Young Musician, and the Wales National Eisteddfod, amongst others. He has been fortunate to have received masterclasses and lessons with professors such as Boris Berman, Till Felner, Péter Nagy, Vladimir Tropp, Peter Donohoe, and Steven Osborne.
Ellis is interested in exploring new connections between music and other arts; he recently worked with artist Appau Junior Boakye-Yiadom for an exhibition for Kettle’s Yard Gallery (Cambridge), providing improvisations for a series of short films.
Ellis graduated from the University of Cambridge in 2022 with First-Class Honours, where he achieved the highest mark in a final recital performance. Prior to this, Ellis studied at the Royal Northern College of Music’s Junior department for six years under Manola Hatfield. He is currently pursuing postgraduate studies at the Royal Academy of Music, where he is studying under Tessa Nicholson. His studies are generously supported by a scholarship from the Academy, as well as the Countess of Munster Musical Trust, the Kathleen Trust, Talent Unlimited, and the Michael James Music Trust.