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Nine-year-old from Whetstone is youngest person to receive degree equivalent diploma
A modern day Mozart has become the youngest person ever to win a university-level music qualification.
Nine-year-old Curtis Elton, of Whetstone, has just been awarded an ATCL by Trinity College London, the equivalent to the first year of a degree, for his piano playing.
Curtis, who studies at Haberdashers’ Aske’s Boy’s School in Butterfly Lane, Elstree, impressed examiners with his 30-minute recital of pieces from Bach, Schubert and Mozart.
His mother Hayley Elton, 40, who is herself a concert pianist, is very happy at her son’s success.
She said: “I’m so proud of him. This is a truly incredible achievement.
“He’s only nine, yet he’s at the level expected of someone more than twice his age.
“I haven’t pressured him at all; you can’t make a child do anything he doesn’t want to do.
“He loved listening to me play when he was a baby, and started playing as soon as he was able.
“He really enjoys playing and loves how fast his fingers go on the keys.”
The pint-sized prodigy shot to fame last year when he was one of the youngest people in the country to pass a Grade Eight exam in piano.
He has since been nominated for a Nickelodeon Fruit Shoot skills award for the best rising star; and asked to take part in master classes at the Royal College of Music with world-renowned conductor Benjamin Zander, who was "blown away" by his talent.
Curtis was very proud and pleased to have gained the diploma.
He said: “I have a gown now made especially for me by Ede and Ravenscroft, who make clothes for the Royal Family, and a certificate too.
“I was very confident and excited during the exam, I wasn’t scared at all.”
The mother and son have just recorded their first album together, which will be released on November 4.
Mrs Elton said: “It’s called Day Dreams and the music on it is lovely, it really fits the title.
“We have always enjoyed playing together and wanted to collaborate on a project together that we’ll be able to remember for years to come.”
Curtis said he was excited about releasing the album.
He added: “I want to be a concert pianist when I grow up.
I want to play for the Royal Family and the Prime Minister can come along too.”
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