Wednesday 23 February 2022

London Music Fund celebrating ten years of supporting young musicians across the captital

London Music Fund scholars in a workshop
London Music Fund scholars in a workshop

The London Music Fund (LMF) is 10 years old and is celebrating tonight (23 February 2022) with a gala concert at the Queen Elizabeth Hall. The event features award-winning saxophonist and broadcaster YolanDa Brown, and includes a performance of A Celebration by Oscar-winning composer, Rachel Portman OBE, originally commissioned by the charity for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee River Pageant, and young musicians from across the capital will be coming together to showcase their talent and achievements thanks to the LMF's support.

In 2021, the LMF was the winner of the Outstanding Musical Initiative at the Music & Drama Education Awards. It was established in 2011 as an independent charity, with the Mayor of London as patron, to help provide young people from low income families with music education and to enable children in under-served communities to access high-quality music education. Since its founding, the LMF has supported more than 10,000 aspiring young musicians, awarded more than 600 scholarships and helped more than 50 collaborations with professional arts organisations.

One of the soloists at the gala will be Ignacy Stefanowicz. Now aged 18, and a violinist from Hounslow, Ignacy began playing the violin at the age of 7 and received a LMF Scholarship through Hounslow Music Service in 2012. In 2014 he was awarded a scholarship to study at the Yehudi Menuhin School. Other LMF alumni playing in the gala include Eva Serksnaite and Zaki Osahn, both of whom will be playing in the wind ensemble. Eva is an 18-year-old bassoonist from Sutton who her first year as an undergraduate at the Royal College of Music having begun her LMF Scholarship in 2012, going on gain a scholarship at the Purcell School where she came Head Girl. Zaki is 17-year-old clarinettist from Hounslow and he is studying at the Purcell School.

The opening work at the gala will be performed by an ensemble made up of the LMF's new scholars, including Asma, a 9-year-old trumpeter from the Tri-Borough Music Hub. Asma learned the basics of playing the trumpet entirely online, prior to in-person lessons returning due to the pandemic. Playing the trumpet has been a huge comfort to Asma during the past difficult couple of years.

The finale of the concert features the Celebration Ensemble, made up of Scholars from every cohort over the last ten year, representing every London borough. This ensemble includes Bishop, a 12-year-old drummer from Ealing. Bishop started his Scholarship in 2019 and he has superb technical ability and can play very challenging pieces. In 2020 he won the Christmas video competition with a brilliant rendition of Mariah Carey’s All I want for Christmas is you.

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