Mayor of London launches £2m fund for young musicians

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Talented youngsters to be given the opportunity to continue their musical studies

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Mayor of London Boris Johnson has unveiled a project to enable talented young musicians from disadvantaged backgrounds to pursue music.

Four hundred school children aged 7-11 will be awarded four-year scholarships to cover tuition, mentoring, performance and the cost of an instrument. On top of this, 10,000 primary school children will be given the chance to work with professional musicians.

The Mayor of London’s Fund for Young Musicians, as the initiative is called, aims to raise £2m of private sector cash by March next year. Johnsons’ scheme builds on the existing ‘first access’ to music project which gives primary school children the chance to learn an instrument. Once children leave for secondary school, however, many cannot afford to continue.

One of the patrons of the project, double bass player Chi-chi Nwanoku said: ‘At last a chance for young people with a curiosity for music to really have an opportunity to try their hand and realise a creativity previously reserved for others more financially fortunate than themselves.’ Other patrons include pianist Stephen Hough, cellist Steven Isserlis and trumpeter Alison Balsom.

Elizabeth Davis