This circle was named after Miss Hilda Bor, a pianist of Russian-Jewish descent who studied at the Academy on a scholarship in the early 20th century. Known for her interpretations of Mozart and Chopin, she was a regular on the BBC and played with Griller Quartet, the Amadeus and the Kantrovich Trio. She also worked with Dame Myra Hess to co-ordinate concerts for Londoners during the Blitz and later went on to teach piano to His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales and Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal. The Hilda Bor Circle honours her contributions – as well as those of our legacy pledgers - to British musical life.

At this year’s tea, we were joined by Gabrielle Gale, Museum Curator, and Kathryn Adamson, Librarian, who shared a number of rarely seen items from the Academy archive, including two very special violins by the same maker, Giovanni Battista Guadagnini, a portrait bust of Alfredo Piatti, and a particularly precious original manuscript of The Fairy Queen, marked with Henry Purcell’s own annotations. These items were originally donated to the Academy in a donor’s will and now form an important part of the Academy’s collection.

If you feel inspired to leave a gift to the Academy in your Will, or you would like to find out more about the Hilda Bor Circle, we invite you to contact our Leadership and Legacy Gifts Officer, Bronwyn Mauchline, by emailing