The Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM) has been awarded over £400,000 to support exceptional young musicians from the Leverhulme Trust’s Arts Scholarship programme.

The grant, totalling £411,000, follows 30 years of support from the Leverhulme Trust – one of the UK’s largest providers of grants and scholarships for research and education – and will aid talented musicians at junior, undergraduate and postgraduate levels for three years from September 2016.

Professor Linda Merrick, RNCM Principal, said: ‘We are delighted to receive this major grant from the Leverhulme Trust, which will support outstanding RNCM and Junior RNCM students.  The College prides itself of offering world-class tuition and performance opportunities to young musicians of all ages, and it is thanks to the support of organisations such as this that we are able to attract and nurture such incredible talent.’

Located in the heart of Manchester, the RNCM is a leading international conservatoire with a reputation for attracting talented students, teachers, conductors and composers from all over the world. In recent years, the Leverhulme Trust has funded scholarships for a number of the College’s top students who are now building exciting careers both in the UK and internationally. These include award-winning Russian cellist Mikhail Nemtsov, Solo First Chair of the Mozarteum Orchestra, Salzburg; Australian vocalist Helen Sherman, a leading mezzo-soprano who has performed principal roles with leading opera companies worldwide; and the multiple prize-winning Heath Quartet, fast becoming one of the UK’s leading string ensembles. Current students supported by the Trust include Russian postgraduate pianist Alexander Panfilov, winner of the 2015 Hastings International Piano Competition.

Alongside scholarships for talented performers, the grant will also support the College’s aspiring music education professionals through the establishment of the RNCM Engage Mentorships. RNCM Engage is the College’s learning and participation programme and the training ground for students in creative and professional practice. These new awards will help outstanding undergraduates who show promise as music mentors, providing opportunities for training and placements within the RNCM’s outreach projects.