The donation from Alex and Elena Gerko will provide financial support, mentorship and career support for burgeoning music graduates

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© Mark Allan

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The London Symphony Orchestra (LSO) has launched LSO Conservatoire Scholarships, a new three-year programme for exceptional musicians to support their postgraduate study at the world’s leading conservatoires.

The LSO Conservatoire Scholarships provide financial support and mentoring to talented postgraduate instrumentalists facing financial barriers, ensuring that recipients can focus fully on their studies during this critical time in their education.

The scheme is made possible by a generous donation by Alex and Elena Gerko who seeded the idea of the scholarships. Alex Gerko is the founder of leading algorithmic trading company XTX Markets.

’During the initial stages of the pandemic, they threw us a lifeline by being the first to make a substantial donation to our Always Playing Appeal and again last year to our Recovery Fund,’ said Kathryn McDowell, Managing Director of the LSO, thanking Alex and Elena Gerko for their gift. ’This latest gift demonstrates a commitment on behalf of Alex and Elena to maintaining the highest standards of musicianship in the next generation, providing opportunity and support, absolutely in keeping with the LSO’s core beliefs. 

’This new scheme sits alongside LSO String Experience, Orchestral Artistry, and LSO Pathways and will be a terrific opportunity for ten talented musicians in the final period of their formal music education. We are hugely grateful to Alex and Elena Gerko for their generosity and helping us make this happen.’ 

Many young musicians face barriers to entering the profession, including high tuition and maintenance costs. A long-term aim of this programme is to increase the accessibility of postgraduate study for musicians from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Each year the LSO will award ten new individuals with scholarship support of £15,000 per academic year to contribute to living and maintenance costs while studying. The LSO will provide professional development opportunities, including a combination of mentoring and coaching sessions, side-by-side rehearsal and performance opportunities with the full Orchestra, and ongoing career advice.

The programme is open to postgraduate instrumentalists of any age or nationality who are facing financial barriers, have been awarded a scholarship place for a postgraduate course at one of the leading 10 conservatoires in the world focused on classical study of an orchestra instrument and have previously studied at undergraduate level at a UK conservatoire or university.

More information can be found here:

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