The Countess of Munster Musical Trust
The Trust was founded in 1958 by the Countess of Munster, who devoted her life to music and who was herself a pianist of considerable talent. With the assistance of a group of friends and noted musical figures, legal formalities were executed in December 1958 and the Countess of Munster Musical Trust was established, thus putting onto an enduring basis her desire to help young musicians achieve their full potential towards securing careers as performers. Lady Munsters generous endowment, from which the Trusts annual income is derived, currently provides assistance to young musicians amounting to around£200,000 each year.
It is a matter of great satisfaction that Lady Munster was able to watch her Trusts steady growth from its inception in 1958 until its coming of age in 1979. During these years she took a keen interest in all its activities, regularly attending meetings and audition days and actively following the careers of its beneficiaries. Lady Munster died in November 1979, but her Trust has continued to flourish as a permanent memorial to a great musical benefactress.
The Trust can look back over its history sure in the knowledge that it has helped many young musicians to achieve their potential. It is certain that future beneficiaries will be increasingly appreciative of this help, especially in view of the ever-growing competition within the musical profession. It may be said that the Trust has contributed substantially to a rise in the general standard of musicianship, which has been evident over the past few decades. It can look to the future well aware that the need, recognised by Lady Munster and for which the Trust was originally conceived, still exists and confident that it is well-equipped to meet those needs.
The Trustees are assured by many of the musicians, whose advanced training was assisted through the Trusts awards, of their awareness of the tremendous debt they owe to the generosity and inspiration of Hilary, Countess of Munster.[top]
The Trust provides financial assistance towards the musical education of individual students and the Trustees are prepared to consider applications from young student singers, instrumentalists and composers, of British or British Commonwealth nationality.
In the main, the income of the Trust is used to support the cost of studies and/or maintenance of outstanding postgraduate or post-diploma students who merit further training at home or abroad. Awards are made for one year at a time, but are renewable, for a second year. They are based on ability and individual need and are made to selected applicants after interview and audition.
Each year the Trust is able to offer a small number of interest-free loans, to former beneficiaries who are on the threshold of their careers, to help with the purchase of musical instruments. This is in recognition of the problem which faces so many young musicians who, following their years of studentship, have no capital resources to equip themselves with the quality of instrument vital to the advancement of their careers. [top]
A third and highly successful facet of the Trusts work, since 1976, has been the growth of its Recital Scheme which seeks to help some of its most outstanding beneficiaries to become known to a wider musical public. This is done by offering sponsorship to a number of young artists each year at selected music clubs, choral and orchestral societies and festivals around the country. Its popularity with all the young artists and the clubs is well-established and provides a very important link between studenthood and the profession. [top]