MMSF Instrumental Fellowships: Piano Fellowships

The Philharmonia Orchestra’s Piano Fellowship Programme is designed to support the development of talented pianists at the beginning of their career.

Previous MMSF award winner Alison Balsom © Denis Bald

Previous MMSF award winner Freddy Kempf

Applications for 2020/21 season Piano Fellowships are now open. The deadline for applications is 5pm on Friday 7 February 2020. To apply, please complete an online application form here.

For more information please email

Three Piano Fellowships are available and consist of:

  • An annual grant towards their studies.
  • Performance opportunities through recital platforms and other Philharmonia Emerging Artists events.

For those pianists who are interested in exploring a career as an orchestral pianist, we have developed additional content for one out of the three Fellows to participate in a programme of activity to support this area of their practise. This will include:

  • The opportunity to sit in on relevant rehearsals with Philharmonia orchestral pianists observing the role of the orchestral pianist. 
  • Careers advice
  • Mock auditions and feedback afterwards
  • Coaching prior to auditions

The programme has been designed not only to support their musical development, but also to provide them with an awareness of how an orchestra runs and their role within it. 


We want to support artists who have the potential to build a sustainable professional career and you will be asked to describe how the Philharmonia MMSF Fellowship Programme would make a significant difference to you at this particular point in your career. You should consider the impact the Fellowship would make to both your creative development and long term career aims.

The Philharmonia MMSF Piano Fellowship Programme is an annual scheme. Each round is likely to be highly competitive. The panel will review all submitted information and will be asked to consider:

  • Your artistic achievements to date and the impact you are currently making in your studies and work
  • The impact a Fellowship would have for you
  • If you are interested in being considered for the additional content around the role of the orchestral pianist, please outline what experience you have to date in this area and why you would like to benefit from this opportunity.



Applicants must be over the age of 18 and in full or part-time education, or no more than 18 months out of full or part-time education at point of applying. You will need to be able to demonstrate this clearly on your application form.



The Philharmonia MMSF Fellowship Programme is open to applicants of all nationalities. However, if you are from overseas, you will need to demonstrate that you are still in education and will be for the duration of the Fellowship with a valid visa (if applicable).



Two references must be written specifically for this application, including one from your current teacher. They should ideally contain the following information:

  • How the referee knows the applicant
  • In what context they have got to know them
  • Why the applicant will benefit from being given a place on the Fellowship Programme
  • The applicant’s qualifications for the Programme
  • How the Programme will benefit the applicant’s future development

Two references must have been received by the deadline; otherwise the application will be rejected. The applicants are themselves responsible for ensuring that their application is complete. They should contact their referees in plenty of time to ensure that they are happy to provide a recommendation and are able to do so by the deadline.


Applications for 2020/21 season Piano Fellowships are now open. The deadline for applications is 5pm on Friday 7 February 2020. To apply, please complete an online application form here.

You must provide two references as part of your application, one of which should be from your current teacher or head of institution. These may be uploaded to the online application system or sent directly to, but must meet the same deadline as the application and be clearly identifiable as your references. 

Please note, the Philharmonia will not accept any alternative applications such as CVs or recordings.

If you are selected for audition, you will be asked to pay a registration fee of £20.

The Philharmonia Orchestra is committed to equal opportunities and welcomes the positive impact that difference has in our organisation. We are working to achieve diversity and welcome applications from all sections of the community.


First round auditions will be screened.

If invited to audition, you will be sent all of the relevant information about what to prepare. Candidates who would like to be considered for the orchestral Fellowship will be asked to prepare set orchestral excerpts.

We are unable to provide feedback for unsuccessful candidates following the first round auditions.