A gifted young pianist with emotional issues is in competition with other young talents for a scholarship in a prestigious private musical academy.



(screenplay), (based on characters by)

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Jane Wymark ...
Simon Sharpe
Katherine Press ...
Francesca Sharpe
Zoe Stock
Janet Dibley ...
Miriam Fielding
Constance Fielding
Sir Michael Fielding
Orlando Guest
Richard Fleeshman ...
Benedict Marsh


Teen-aged Zoe Stock, a brilliant pianist, is attending a music school run by the Fielding family when she believes she sees a woman drown herself in the river, having left her baby on the bank. When the police arrive there is nothing to support her claim but Barnaby recalls that a mystery woman died in identical circumstances eighteen years earlier. Her body was found by Catholic priest Father Gregory, outside whose church an attempt is made to kill Zoe. A lucrative prize awaits the young musician adjudged the best by the Fieldings and it is assumed that another student is responsible. Written by don @ minifie-1

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery





Release Date:

6 October 2010 (UK)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs




Aspect Ratio:

16:9 widescreen
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Did You Know?


Andrew Ball, the music consultant for "Master Class", took a First in Music at Queen's College, Oxford. He is a professor at the Royal College of Music and was made a Fellow in 2006. See more »


[first lines]
Dawn Stock: I'm sorry to bother you, but how many students make it through to the next round?
Joyce Barnaby: It's usually a dozen for the winter school, and then three are chosen for the master class.
Dawn Stock: Thank you.
[to daughter]
Dawn Stock: Good luck, darling.
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Composed by Richard Wagner
[Played on piano by Sir Michael Fielding]
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User Reviews

Sophisticated Clever Episode
1 June 2016 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

After so many recent disappointments, this was an outstanding mystery. I think that for once, Barnaby and his family aren't center stage. A strange series of events have taken place involving a piano school where the master can make or break a career. A pretty young woman is a classical virtuoso and is the favorite to take the prize. But there is something strange going on among the people that are intimately involved in the studio. This young woman is very fragile and her competitors begin to play mind games with her, including their parents. One day she sees (or thinks she sees) a woman with a baby drown. The police are brought in, but no body can be found. The conclusion to this episode is striking and well conceived. My faith is being restored.

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