The Trust is currently receiving applications for bursaries towards Postgraduate Study and will be holding live auditions in London on Tuesday 31st March 2020.

About the Trust

The Stephen Bell Charitable Trust is a small Trust whose main area of support is music education. The annual Stephen Bell Charitable Trust bursaries are awarded to string players of exceptional ability and promise who can demonstrate a need for help with funding their first postgraduate degree in the UK.

Awards of up to £3000 may be made to suitable candidates, at the discretion of the Trustees. In exceptional circumstances more substantial awards may be made. The Trustees reserve the right not to make any awards if no suitable candidates present themselves.


The awards are open to violinists, violists, and cellists only.
The applicant must be proposing to study for a Postgraduate qualification at one of the following:

  • Royal Academy of Music
  • Royal College of Music
  • Royal Northern College of Music
  • Guildhall School of Music and Drama
  • Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance
  • Royal Conservatoire of Scotland

Applicants must currently be in their final year of undergraduate study at a UK institution, or may be proposing to return to study after a short break following completion of undergraduate study. (Awards cannot be made for second year or subsequent postgraduate degrees; or for Junior Fellowships, orchestral pathway or similar courses.)

Applicants must have been resident in the UK at least since October 2018.

Notes on the award process

Round 1:  Applicants are required to submit, no later than Friday 31st January 2020:

  • a recent audio recording of your playing (not a video) – by emailing us at and providing a link to an online file sharing platform such as YouTube or Soundcloud. Applicants must clearly state the composer and title of each piece.


  • your completed application form, available below.

Your recording MUST include 2 contrasting works of around 10 minutes in total (free choice of repertoire); however, please note that the same repertoire will be required should you be selected for the Round 2 live audition in on Tuesday 31st March 2020.

Round 2: Candidates selected from Round 1 will be invited by email to a live audition in London on Tuesday 31st March 2020, and will be required to email us a Financial Statement by March 16th 2020 (the form is available below).

Please note that if selected for Round 2 applicants MUST present the same repertoire as they submitted in Round 1. Please bring one copy of your scores for the panel.

Travel expenses

Candidates resident either in Greater Manchester and studying at the RNCM or in Glasgow and studying at the RCS can receive up to £50 towards travel costs for the live audition by sending ticket receipts to the Trust following a Round 2 audition.

Piano accompaniment

There will be no official piano accompanist at the auditions but candidates are strongly encouraged to bring their own accompanist where appropriate. A warm-up room will be available 15 minutes before the audition time.

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Application Forms

We have the application form in both a pdf and an rtf (Rich-Text format). The pdf can either be printed out and filled in by hand (if your handwriting is very clear, and then scanned/emailed) or you use something like pdf-filler (either as a google chrome extension, or on their site).

The rtf version is openable/fillable by many commonly-programs like Word, but formatting will vary, so do your best!

Round 1 Application Form:  PDF versionRTF version

Round 2 Financial Statement: PDF version | RTF version

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