About the Trust

We regret that the Trust is not able to receive applications for bursaries towards Postgraduate Study at present and will not be holding live auditions in 2019.

We hope to announce further details here in October 2019 

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

Awards will not be made for second or subsequent postgraduate degrees, or for Junior Fellowships, orchestral pathway or similar courses.

Applicants may be in their final year of undergraduate study, their first year of postgraduate study or proposing to return to study after a break.

In the event of a high number of Round 1 applicants, preference may be given to those who do not already hold substantial fees scholarships from their proposed institution.

Applicants must have been resident in the UK at least since October 2017.

Previous award winners are welcome to apply. They should submit the completed application form but do not need to submit recordings for Round 1 unless they wish to do so, and may or may not be invited to the Round 2 auditions at the panel’s discretion. Previous applicants who have not been given awards are also welcome to re-apply and must complete the application form AND include the two recordings required for Round 1.

Notes on the award process

Round 1:  Applicants should submit:

  • audio recordings – NOT VIDEO – (by 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.
  • a completed application form emailed to sbellcharitabletrust@gmail.com. Please note that the PDF application form available here is a fillable PDF. Clicking inside each field will give you a cursor and you can then type your answer.

The recordings should include 2 contrasting works of around 10 minutes in total (free choice of repertoire). Please note that the same repertoire will be required should you be selected for a Round 2 audition.

Round 2: Candidates selected from Round 1 will be invited by email to a live audition in London on Tuesday 13th March 2018.

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. 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 the audition.

Piano accompaniment

There will be no official piano accompanist at the auditions. Candidates are encouraged to bring their own accompanist where appropriate. We are prepared to help with finding pianists and to that end encourage applicants who are selected for a Round 2 audition to let us know the name of their pianist if they have one, or to let us know if they need help in finding a pianist – hopefully we can encourage some pianist-sharing! However we cannot GUARANTEE to find a pianist for you.  A warm-up room will be available 15 minutes before the audition time.


The decision of the audition panel and Trustees is final. It will not be possible to receive feedback on applications or auditions as the Trust is small and operated by those who give their time without remuneration. The results of the auditions will be communicated to applicants by email within one month of the audition date.

Applicants should notify the Trust if, after being offered a bursary by the Trust, they find that they are no longer planning to study at one of the required colleges.

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!

2018-19 Application Form (pdf)

2018-19 Application Form (rtf)