Awards made to emerging musicians for career development opportunities

The Talent Programme recently held the latest and highly competitive round of Career Development Bursaries. As ever to help us assess the many wonderful applications and make funding decisions we employed a panel of experts. 

CBD Alice ZSitting on the panel this time round was Alice Zawadzki, a vocalist, violinist, songwriter and composer who has gained a considerable repute on the creative European music scene (Alice is also Help Musicians UK alumni having received a Postgraduate Award in 2010). Alice was joined by Elspeth Brooke, a composer of acoustic and electro-acoustic music, writing music for concerts collaborating with theatre companies, choreographers and visual artists. Finally, we saw acclaimed conductor Alice Farnham join the panel, who has worked with the world’s leading opera houses and ballet companies, and is also the co-founder of Women Conductors @ Morley which encourages women to enter the conducting profession.

When speaking with Alice Farnham, she said:

"These bursaries can make all the difference to talented young musicians at that most crucial of stage in their career: when they are set to fly, but need just a little financial help to realise their potential and push them to the next level. I was immensely impressed with the diverse range and imagination in their proposed projects.  They really deserve support and encouragement."

CDB BirdworldWe are incredibly excited to award a record 29 bursaries, totalling over £30,000 to an eclectic mix of musicians and projects which range from artists like experimental duo BirdWorld, who will be travelling to Oslo to collaborate with artists ahead of their next album, Phoebe Haines who is attending iSING! International Artists Festival in China, composer Claire McKenzie who will travel to New York Musical Festival where her new work ‘Forest Boy’ is being premiered and folk musician Rachel Walker who will have intensive lessons with award-winning folk fiddle player Rona Wilkie.

We caught up with Rachel Walker, she said: 

CDB 222"I couldn't believe it when I got the notice that I had been successful - it feels great to know that an organisation such as yourselves is backing musicians in their development and that you're supporting us!"

If you are looking to fund an exceptional career development opportunity, the next deadline for our Career Development Bursaries is the 17 June. We are looking for applications from talented artists or groups, working in any genre that are already making an impact in their field and have the potential to build a sustainable professional career. You must be primarily UK based and aged 21 and 35.

Applications can be made online, please make sure you read the guidelines carefully before applying. If you have any questions you can get in touch – [email protected]

Career Development Bursary recipients May 2016: 



Behn Quartet

String quartet

Jamal Aliyev


Nicoletta Favari (Passepartout Duo)


Suzanne Fischer


Alec Frank-Gemmill

French horn

Will Green (Ten Tonne Heart)

Guitar and voice

Phoebe Haines

Mezzo soprano

Bella Hardy

Fiddle player, singer, songwriter, composer

Kerem Hasan


Dani Howard


Erika Mädi Jones


Maria Fiore Mazzarini


Claire McKenzie


Francina Moll Salord


Nathan Moore


Elliott Morris

Guitar and voice

Sam Newbould


Daniel Parkinson


Gregor Riddell


Cello and composer

Alex Roth

Guitarist, composer and producer

Radek Rudnicki (SpaceF!ght)

Composer, electronic performer, producer

Susanne Simma (Ellis Ensemble)


Benjamin Tassie


Lilli Unwin

Singer, composer and songwriter

Rachel Walker


Lawrence Whitehead

Composer, producer and DJ

Matthew Whiteside


Naomi Woo


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