A brief history of Help Musicians’ named awards
Bex Ransom
Creative Programme Officer
3rd February 2020
A brief history of Help Musicians’ named awards

Help Musicians has supported the costs of music education since our founding in 1921. In fact, apart from during the outbreak of World War 2, we have given awards to UK conservatoire students for nearly 100 years. Creative Programme Officer Bex Ransom explains the history behind some of our existing named awards.

After 1945, as funds were limited, the only educational grants Help Musicians made were through the small number of separate Trusts which we managed as sole Trustee. Some of these are still being recognised today through our named awards which we give out through our Postgraduate Awards to recognise those that demonstrate exceptional musical potential during their audition.

These are just a few of our existing named awards:

Myra Hess

The Myra Hess Trust was formed in 1966 by a group of her close friends. During World War 2, Myra started a daily recital series at the National Gallery in London because she felt that the British people were deprived of music. Throughout the Blitz and the bombings of London, the concerts continued every day, Monday to Friday, until 10 August 1946.

The award has been dedicated to outstanding pianists studying at postgraduate level, to reflect the significance of Myra Hess as a pianist.

Ian Fleming

The Ian Fleming Charitable Trust was founded by Ian Fleming in 1972. The Trust’s initial focus was on supporting national charities in the field of support, relief and welfare, and charities involved in research on human diseases. However, following a particularly moving performance of The Magic Flute at the Scottish Opera, the Trust extended its support to include musicians. In 1980 we started administering awards on behalf of the Ian Fleming Charitable Trust and are looking forward to celebrating the 40th anniversary of our involvement later this year.

Sybil Tutton

The Sybil Tutton Charitable Trust was established on 19 January 1988. Sybil set up the Trust using her personal funds to honour exceptionally talented singers studying opera at an advanced level. Past award winners include Alfie Boe and Katherine Broderick.

Manoug Parikian

The Manoug Parikian Award was set up 1995, in the violinist’s memory by a group of his friends and relatives. Since then, an annual award has been made in his name to an outstanding young violinist.

Our most recent named award is the Dick Maidment and Peggy Cooper Award.

Richard Edwin Maidment, known to his friends and colleagues as “Dick”, was a barrister who enjoyed a lifelong affection for opera and the voice. He died in 1997 and in 2001, his sister, Peggy Cooper, approached Help Musicians with the intention of setting up a fund in his memory.

Since 2002, two annual Maidment Scholarships of £5,000 each have been awarded through the Postgraduate Performance Award to young singers at postgraduate level who demonstrate exceptional potential.

Helen Margaret Cooper, generally known as Peggy Cooper, died in 2016, aged 97.  She had a long-standing interest in the arts, and as a young woman she had been a professional dancer. She also greatly enjoyed listening to music. It gave her much pleasure and satisfaction to see the awards in her brother’s memory become successful. On Peggy’s bequest, the scale of the awards was substantially increased and has led to the renaming of this scholarship as The Dick Maidment and Peggy Cooper Award. We look forward to making our first awards with this name through this year’s Postgraduate Awards.

Our 2020 Postgraduate Awards are now open for students studying music performance at UK Conservatoires. The deadline to apply is Monday 3 February at 5pm.

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