Head of Strings is running private marathon to help his hard-up students

Head of Strings is running private marathon to help his hard-up students


norman lebrecht

May 01, 2020

press release:

Royal College of Music Head of Strings, Mark Messenger, is running a marathon to raise money for the RCM Covid-19 Hardship Fund. The fund has been set up by the RCM to provide a critical safety net for students facing financial hardship due to the coronavirus pandemic. The announcement comes on Giving Tuesday, a day of global action for giving in response to Covid-19.

Mark will be running for one hour every day (in accordance with government lockdown rules), aiming to complete the marathon in four days. The challenge will begin on Thursday 7 May, Mark’s birthday, which he shares with composers Tchaikovsky and Brahms. He will be listening to music by the two composers as he prepares for the challenge, which will be his first marathon in two years.

Mark will be raising funds for the RCM’s Covid-19 Hardship Fund Appeal. Many RCM musicians rely on gigs, teaching, performances and other work to cover their living costs and student fees. As a result of Covid-19, most of this work has been cancelled and some students are now facing significant financial hardship. If you would like to donate and support young musicians, please visit Mark’s donation page here.



  • Alexander Tarak says:

    Are you sure that’s not a photo of Ross Kemp?

  • Eileen Vaughan says:

    Good Luck Mark.

  • Edgar Self says:

    A gallant and brave gesture to support students. Correggio, maestro, as wondering La Scala players urged Furtwaengler, seeing him tremble to give birth to a down beat.

    From the photo, Mark looks old enough to know better. I ran my second, and last, marathon at age 50 in 4’15”. Don’t laugh. It was half an hour faster than my first time, which only someone as old, slow, and dumb can do.