The Trust is grateful for the skill and goodwill of our Trustees, who give so generously and freely of their time and effort.  In some years, the Trust has made as many as 100 grants at a cost of £250,000 and Hilary Munster’s help continues to be invaluable in these times when education and training have to be paid for privately.

The Trust has a distinguished panel of trustees, which comprises specialists in all musical disciplines, representatives of conservatoires and a small group of informed non-professionals.  This broad base of expertise ensures a balanced and knowledgeable group of adjudicators, which places the Trust in a unique position to identify the most likely candidates to succeed in the professional world.

Mr. Charles Alexander – Chairman

BA (Hon) Oxon

Sir Richard Armstrong


Professor George Caird


Miss Imogen Cooper

CBE, Hon DMus (Exon), Hon RAM

Dame Anne Evans

DBE, Hon DMus (Kent), FRWCMD

Mr. John Fraser

BMus (Hons), ARCM

Professor Jonathan Freeman-Attwood


Mr. Roger Gray

MA, DipMus, AM

Miss Elaine Padmore

OBE, MA, BMus, LTCL, HonDMus (B'ham), Hon FTCL, Hon ARAM

Mr. Antony Pay

MA (Cantab), FGSM, Hon RAM

Mr. Simon Purcell


Dame Janet Ritterman


Mr. Alasdair Tait


Miss Louise Williams


The Founding Trustees

Apart from Lady Munster who herself sat on the panel of Trustees until her death in 1979, the first Trustees included friends of Lady Munster, from the worlds of finance and music. They were:-

Gerald Coke, CBE – 1958-1979
Founder of the Trust and its first Chairman. Chairman of the Glyndebourne Arts Trust and of the Governors of King Edward’s School, Witley, his directorships included Rio Tinto –Zinc and the Royal Academy of Music. All these appointments were of considerable significance to the Trust. Other directorships included S.G. Warburg & Co. and the Royal Opera House. He was a serious collector of Handel memorabilia, which is now housed in the Foundling Museum in Bloomsbury. He retired as Chairman of the Trust in 1978 but remained a Trustee until the following February.

Leopold de Rothschild, CBE – 1958-2005

Replaced Gerald Coke as Chairman in 1978. His appointments included Chairman of the Council of the Royal College of Music, of the English Chamber Orchestra and the Bach Choir. His directorships included the National Museum of Science and Industry, Sadler’s Wells (now English National Opera), the Glyndebourne Arts Trust, the Bank of England and his family’s bank, N.M. Rothschild & Sons Ltd.

These two men, who devoted so much time and energy to the Trust and to the young artists who benefitted therefrom, have been the major influences in the Trust’s history; both from the financial work, both possessed of a great and enduring love of music.

Sir Thomas Armstrong – 1958-1975
Educated at Keble College, Oxford, and at the Royal College of Music, he became organist at Christ Church, Oxford, from 1935-1955, and Principal of the Royal Academy of Music from 1955. He gave valuable support to Gerald Coke and Hilary Munster in setting up the Trust. He retired as a trustee in 1975.

Sir Malcolm Sargent – 1958-1967
Eminent conductor and close friend of Hilary Munster; he was Chief Conductor of the Proms from 1948 until his death in 1967 and of the BBC Symphony Orchestra from 1950-1957. He championed Gilbert & Sullivan opera and contemporary British composers. His debonair appearance and fondness for the social life belied his skill as a musician. Despite his busy schedule, he was a regular and valuable attendee at Trust meetings.

Flora Neilsen – 1960-1977
Mezzo Soprano, whose real name was Sybil Crawley, and who was a close friend of Hilary Munster. She specialised in Lieder and gave invaluable advice on assessing vocal candidates.

 These founding Trustees were later joined by:-

Sir Keith Falkner 1962-1975
Sir George Christie, CH 1967-2007
Raymond Leppard, CBE 1968-1977
Sir Anthony Lewis 1968-1982
The Hon. Mrs. David Erskine 1975-1998
Sir David Willcocks, CBE, MC 1975-1994
Dame Janet Baker 1976-2008
Sir Charles Groves 1976-1992
Joseph Cooper 1977-1980
Jacqueline du Pré 1979-1980
Jack Brymer, OBE 1980-1995
Anne Cantacuzino 1980-2000
Jean Stewart 1980-1981
Bernard Richards 1981-1996
Primrose Arnander 1985-2017
Sir David Lumsden 1985-1994
Michael Gough Matthews 1985-1994
Sir John Manduell, CBE 1989-2004
Dr. Jane Glover, CBE 1993-2014
Dame Janet Ritterman 1994-present
Ian Horsbrugh 1994-2002
Philip Jones, CBE 1995-2000
Hugh Bean, CBE 1997-2003
The Viscount Chandos 1999-2015
Antony Pay 2000-present
Louise Williams 2001-present
Nicholas Berwin
(succeeded Leopold de Rothschild as Chairman in 2006)
John Wallace, OBE 2002-2008
Imogen Cooper, CBE 2005-present
Peter Cropper 2006-2015
Elaine Padmore, OBE 2006-present
Professor George Caird 2007-present
John Fraser 2007-present
Dame Anne Evans 2009-present
Professor Jonathan Freeman-Attwood,CBE 2009-present
Simon Purcell 2013-present
Sir Richard Armstrong, CBE 2014-present
Roger Gray 2015-present
Charles Alexander
(succeeded Nicholas Berwin as Chairman in 2015)
Alasdair Tait 2018-present