OXFORDSHIRE’s answer to Mozart is dazzling audiences in the unlikely setting of Bicester.
Michael Ng, 10, of The Buntings, in Langford Village, has only been playing the piano since he was five, but he has already passed all his music grades.
He passed the final exam, grade eight, with distinction last month – scoring 142 points out of a possible 150.
And last year, when passing his grade seven, Michael received a prize for achieving the best result in the country.
Marian Creaser, from Headington, has been teaching Michael for the past four years and said his ability was exceptional for someone so young.
She said: “I’ve been a piano teacher for a long time and for that age, Michael is quite phenomenal.
“He’s only 10, which makes his achievements remarkable. I have never had a pupil aged 10 reach grade eight.”
Michael has been attending Magdalen College Junior School in Oxford, but will be starting at Aylesbury Grammar School next month.
He lists music among his favourite hobbies, along with maths and playing computer games.
He said: “I really enjoy playing the piano. My favourite piece is Moonlight Sonata by Beethoven, because I love the melodies in it.
“It feels great to have got to the top of the ladder and passed grade eight.”
The young musician showed promise from an early age. He first took an interest in playing the piano after watching his cousin play.
She then taught him a few notes and a few weeks later, Michael was astounding his family with his playing.
His parents Cheri and Vincent asked a family friend, who teaches music, to give Michael his first piano lessons and the young star has been practising for hours each week ever since.
Michael has consistently won prizes at the Oxford Music Festival, held annually to celebrate local talent.
For the past two years, he has won the Ernest Pinnell Award for piano playing in the under-12s category and has also received the Glen Archer Cup for playing as part of an ensemble.
In Bicester, he has performed recitals for senior citizens at Oxfordshire County Council’s resource centre, in Launton Road.
And it’s not just fans in Oxfordshire who appreciate Michael’s music. On his most recent exam script, the examiner wrote at the bottom “astonishing and wonderful playing”.
Ms Creaser said the future was bright for her young pupil.
She said: “The next thing is just to build up his repertoire to really work on some big pieces.
Then he could certainly get into music college if he decided that’s what he wanted to do.
“It’s all made even better by the fact he’s such a lovely boy.”