Mayor Boris promises better musical futures

Mayor Boris promises better musical futures


norman lebrecht

December 12, 2011

The fund set up by London’s Mayor for disadvantaged children with musical ambitions is disbursing its first £400,000 ($650,000) in scholarships to 100 kids aged between 7 and 11.

There’s a big fundraiser on Wednesday with pianist Stephen Hough, clarinetist Julian Bliss and guitarist Miloš Karadagli?, and beatboxer Shlomo is offering to share his special skills with talented youngsters in need of tempo adjustment. I might send him a couple of conductors.


Sent on behalf of the Mayor’s Fund for Young Musicians
The Mayor’s Fund for Young Musicians (MFYM) has announced awards worth £400,000 to support thousands of talented young musicians from across London.
From January 100 children will receive funding in the first round of the Mayor’s Music Scholarships programme. The scholarships have been awarded to children aged 7-11 who show outstanding potential and commitment to learning an instrument but whose families struggle to pay for lessons. They will benefit from weekly tuition, membership of ensembles, performance opportunities and a dedicated mentor. Scholars will also take part in special events with MFYM patrons, including trumpet virtuoso Alison Balsom and beat-boxer Shlomo.
In addition, MFYM is awarding £100,000 to fund six Music Partnerships. Thousands of 7-18 year-olds will get inspirational opportunities to learn and perform with London’s top professional musicians. The six partnerships will bring together 19 borough music services, six professional music groups including London’s world-class orchestras, and music college students.
Launched earlier this year, MFYM has been working with London’s 32 borough music services, plus their local schools and partners, to identify these talented children. From January there will be approximately three scholars in every borough. This figure will increase year on year.
“Thanks to the enormous generosity of individuals and businesses around London, every single Mayor’s music scholar will receive up to four-years of intensive musical learning. These are the most talented students who would have to stop learning without our support. By 2016 we hope to be funding up to 1,000 young scholars,” said MFYM Chief Executive Ginny Greenwood.
Every music scholar will receive approximately four hours of music tuition a week in addition to that provided within the curriculum. They will have access to instruments, small group tuition during the school day and after school, attendance at Saturday morning music centres and the opportunity to perform in as well as attend concerts.
“We are very grateful to the individuals and companies that are already sponsoring a scholar. Their money will transform the life chances of these young people. However we still need more if we are to make a lasting difference to London’s social and cultural life. In return for an annual commitment of £1,000, we provide each benefactor with their scholar’s name, age and instrument, a group photograph, regular reports and an invitation to special concerts, so that they are truly involved in the child’s musical development. I like to think of them as Musical Godparent,” said Ms Greenwood.
MYFM is seeking to raise up to £1million and this Wednesday (14 December) is hosting a special fundraising gala concert at Kings Place, with pianist Stephen Hough, clarinetist Julian Bliss and guitarist Miloš Karadagli?. Other fundraising events are planned for 2012.
The Mayor of London Boris Johnson, who is MFYM’s Founder Patron, could not be more delighted:  “Huge congratulations to The Mayor’s Fund for Young Musicians for a brilliant start to their programme. We know that learning a musical instrument can have a powerful impact on a child’s life, helping in their social, emotional and academic development. Sadly, too many families in London cannot afford to pay for music lessons, even for very talented children. By investing in these scholarships and partnerships programmes, the fund will be enriching the lives of thousands of children and also make sure London remains the top city in the world for all kinds of music. I wish these talented young people every success”.
Case study:
Emmanuel from Tottenham is 11 years old.  He has been playing the violin for 2 years and according to his teacher Vicky Miller is “the most talented musician I have come across in many years.  He always practises after his lessons and will try extra repertoire in his book without prompting”.  West Green Primary head teacher Vivette Sewell was thrilled to receive a call from Ginny Greenwood giving her the good news. ‘Wow! Amazing!’ she said. “For financial reasons, Emmanuel has not been able to continue this term. He says he misses the violin desperately and wants to play again, this is just fantastic.”
For further information about the fund visit the website:
The Mayor’s Fund for Young Musicians is hosting a special fundraising gala concert at Kings Place this Wednesday 14 December, with pianist Stephen Hough, clarinetist Julian Bliss and guitarist Miloš Karadagli?. Tickets cost £55 for the concert only and £95 for the concert followed by a reception with wine and bowl food. Tickets are on sale at or via the Kings Place box office – 020 7520 1490.
The official awards celebration will be held at City Hall on Friday 27 January.
Scholarship analysis:
Number of boys 49. Number of girls 51 
10-11 year olds 55%, 8-9 year olds 40%, 7 year olds 5%
Strings 50%, Brass 25%, Woodwind 20%, Percussion 5%
SCHOLARSHIPS: see attached  
PARTNERSHIPS – boroughs and partners: 
Harrow, Barnet, Ealing, Enfield, Bollywood Big Brass Band
Hounslow, Kingston, Philharmonia Orchestra, Rose Theatre
Lambeth, Southwark, Lewisham, Greenwich, London Philharmonic Orchestra
Redbridge, Waltham Forest, London Symphony Orchestra
Wandsworth, Merton, Camden, Islington, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment
Westminster, Kensington & Chelsea, Hammersmith & Fulham, Royal College of Music, London Sinfonietta
Patrons:  Alison Balsom, Sir Mark Elder,  Sir Vernon Ellis,  Raymond Gubbay CBE , Jools Holland OBE,  Stephen Hough COMMA Steven Isserlis CBE,  Julian Joseph, Soweto Kinch,  Lord Lloyd-Webber, Rachel Portman OBE, Shlomo,  Sir John Tusa
For further information please contact Ginny Greenwood – 020 7983 4943