An 18-year-old pianist has achieved a diploma which is equivalent in standard to the first year of study for an undergraduate degree. 

Sayuri Okunushi has achieved her Associate of Trinity College London (ATCL) Diploma in piano. 

Trinity Performance Diplomas are the organisation’s most advanced performance awards. They follow on from grade and certificate exams, taking musicians up to a professional standard of performance and musical understanding. 

Sayuri, who is from Tokyo, has been playing the piano since she was three years old. She joined King’s Ely’s International Year 11 programme in 2021, and is now studying A-Levels in Music, Mathematics, and Textiles. 

Sayuri, who is in Year 13, said: “I love playing the piano! I enjoy challenging pieces the most, and I also love playing four hands duet, because I can collaborate with other people, which is fascinating.  

“My most memorable performance on the piano since joining King’s Ely is playing my favourite Mozart piano concerto in Ely Cathedral.” 

Sayuri also plays the cello, and this summer she sat her Grade 7 examination.  

Like several King’s Ely students, Sayuri attends the prestigious Royal College of Music Junior Department every Saturday to help further enhance her skills on the piano. 

Sayuri said: “I came from Japan to not only learn English, but to also study real music in the UK. I am involved in lots of music activities at school, such as piano trio, orchestra, and string orchestra. 

“I also study A-Level Music and I am planning to study music at a conservatoire or university. 

“I have played the piano for 15 years, but it has mostly been about the performance, so I would like to study music much more deeply, such as its history and theory.”