Royal Academy of Music announces new Bicentenary Scholarships and a creative partnership with Linn Records

-Posted on 18.10.2018

The Principal of the Royal Academy of Music, Professor Jonathan Freeman-Attwood CBE, announces today the creation of 40 Bicentenary scholarships and a new partnership with Linn Records, a label with a strong commitment to emerging artists.

A generous benefactor, who wishes to remain anonymous, has committed to donate up to £1.7 million to fund 40 students to study at the Academy over the next five years. This is the largest donation for scholarships ever received by the Academy. Four Bicentenary Scholars have been chosen for the 2018-19 academic year: Anna Geniushene (piano), Claudia Lucia Lamanna (harp), Emily Nebel (violin) and Yoanna Prodanova (cello). Applicants for the Advanced Diploma will be considered for the six Bicentenary Scholarships available for the 2019-20 academic year.

Following completion of an undergraduate degree, and in most cases also a postgraduate degree, a select number of applicants will be chosen each year to be Bicentenary Scholars offering a final year of exceptional preparation for their professional careers. Carefully monitored under the overall direction of the Principal, an intensive bespoke one-year programme will be devised for each student. Students will be mentored by an Academy professor and receive one-to-one lessons throughout the year as well as exceptional performance and professional development opportunities.

The Bicentenary Scholarships are accompanied by an ambitious and innovative creative partnership with the world-renowned independent recording label Linn Records. From September 2018, Linn will be providing industry-level experience to the Academy’s Bicentenary Scholars, as well as offering consultancy on the evolving technological and business aspects of high-level recording within the Academy’s professional development strategy. The initial outcome will be a series of recordings with students on the scheme which will be made available to the public worldwide via a number of high-quality digital platforms.

Over the past five years, Linn and the Academy have worked together in producing exceptional recordings of some of the world’s most talented young performers, notably in a series of recordings under Academy members of staff Trevor Pinnock CBE and the late Oliver Knussen CBE, and most recently with Reinhold Friedrich in a Gabrieli collaboration with the Juilliard School in New York.

The Academy’s Principal, Jonathan Freeman-Attwood, said: ‘We are extremely grateful for this generous donation which will help nurture some of the most talented young musicians from all over the world, and, along with the new partnership with Linn, give them an opportunity to bridge conservatoire and professional life.

‘Our ongoing relationship with Linn reflects a collaborative ideal of exposing the very best young musicians to the unique artistic challenges and opportunities of the studio within an educational context. The production values of Linn are second to none and that means the results are especially exciting for these young musicians, who deserve to sound as good as they are. The Royal Academy of Music is a household name for training some of the world's greatest artists and this new initiative reinforces our commitment to providing the best possible experience for students as we move towards our Bicentenary in 2022.’

Bicentenary Scholarship recipient Anna Geniushene said: ‘I’m so grateful for this opportunity to spend an additional year fine tuning all the work I’ve done so far, and to leave with a professional recording. This is the chance of a lifetime to begin curating my own career.’

For more information about the Advanced Diploma, please visit

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