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Philharmonia MMSF Instrumental Fellowship Programme

Our long-running programme supports young orchestral musicians at the start of their career.

Photo of the MMSF Instrumental Fellows

The Philharmonia MMSF Instrumental Fellowship Programme (formerly the Martin Musical Scholarship Fund) has given support to young musicians since 1968. Its anonymous founder and subsequent donors and supporters over the years have provided funding to enable exceptionally talented instrumental students to bridge the difficult gap between full-time study and professional status.

“The Fellows have wonderful mentors from the Orchestra and receive regular coaching from them, with an emphasis on orchestral repertoire. This has given us the chance to gain in-depth knowledge on orchestral music, beyond the more soloist-oriented focus of typical instrument teaching.”

Yaroslava Trofymchuk, Cello Fellow 2016-18 and current member of the Philharmonia Orchestra

About the programme

The Philharmonia MMSF Instrumental Fellowship Programme is an extensive training offer for young musicians, supporting those instrumentalists who are specifically seeking an orchestral career and connecting them to the wider life of the Philharmonia and the expertise within its membership.

Applications for 2021/22 Fellowships open in autumn 2020.

To find out more about applying for the Philharmonia MMSF Instrumental Fellowship Programme, please refer to the below guidelines and FAQs page. Alternatively, please email

Upcoming MMSF Instrumental Fellow performances

Information for candidates

We want to invest in talented instrumentalists who are pursuing an orchestral career. In order to be eligible for the Philharmonia MMSF Fellowship Programme, you must be able to demonstrate in your application an interest in an orchestral career, and some experience of working in an orchestral setting.

We want to support artists who have the potential to build a sustainable professional career and you will be asked to describe how the Philharmonia MMSF Fellowship Programme would make a significant difference to you at this particular point in your career. You should consider the impact the Fellowship would make to both your creative development and long term career aims.

The Philharmonia MMSF Fellowship Programme is a one or two year scheme, depending on instrument type. Each round is highly competitive. The panel will review all submitted information and will be asked to consider:

  • Your artistic achievements to date and the impact you are currently making in your studies and work
  • The impact a Fellowship would have for you as a prospective orchestral musician

Application requirements


Applicants must be over the age of 18 and in full or part-time education, or no more than 18 months out of full or part-time education at the point of applying. You will need to be able to demonstrate this clearly on your application form.

As a guide, the programme has been developed with fourth year undergraduate and postgraduate students in mind. We will accept applications from young undergraduates but ALL applicants must be over 18 years old.


The Philharmonia MMSF Instrumental Fellowship Programme is open to applicants of all nationalities. However, if you are from overseas, you will need to demonstrate that you are still in education and will be for the duration of the Fellowship, with a valid visa (if applicable).


Two references must be written specifically for this application, one of which should be from your current teacher. They should ideally contain the following information:

  • How the referee knows the applicant
  • In what context they have got to know them
  • Why the applicant will benefit from being given a place on the Fellowship Programme
  • The applicant’s qualifications for the Programme
  • How the Programme will benefit the applicant’s future development

Two references must have been received by the deadline; otherwise the application will be rejected. The applicants are themselves responsible for ensuring that their application is complete. They should contact their referees in plenty of time to ensure that they are happy to provide a recommendation and are able to do so by the deadline.

Please note

Through this scheme we are unable to consider applications for:

  • Formal courses of study, training or research (including postgraduate degrees)
  • Lessons with your regular teacher
  • Costs associated with participating in competitions or showcases


  • One-off performances, touring or recording costs
  • Instrument or equipment purchase
  • Any costs incurred prior to a grant being offered

How to apply

Applications for the 2021/22 Philharmonia MMSF Fellowships Programme open in autumn 2020.

You must provide two references as part of your application, one of which should be from your current teacher or head of institution. These may uploaded directly to your application or can be sent directly to but must meet the same deadline as the application and be clearly identifiable as your references.

Please note, the Philharmonia will not accept any alternative applications such as CVs or recordings.

If you are selected for audition, you will be asked to pay a registration fee. For the 2020/21 Fellowships, the fee was £20.

The Philharmonia Orchestra is committed to equal opportunities and welcomes the positive impact that difference has in our organisation. We are working to achieve diversity and welcome applications from all sections of the community.

Partners & supporters

The Philharmonia’s MMSF Instrumental Fellowship Programme is generously supported by:

help musicians uk logo

We are also grateful to the following:

The Oliver Green Memorial Trust
Mark James
The Gustav Mahler Society UK
The John E Mortimer Foundation
The Sidney Perry Foundation
Trevor Snoad