The visit included an interview with the Principal and also enabled the Academy to thank Sir Elton for his generous and continuing scholarship support for 72 students, past and present, several of whom had returned especially to see him.

As the Academy approaches its Bicentenary in 2022 there has been a renewed focus on providing financial support to enable talented students to access world-class training, irrespective of background. In addition to Sir Elton’s scholarships, the Academy has launched a programme of 40 Bicentenary Scholarships to be awarded over the course of five years, following a generous donation of £1.7million in 2018. Bicentenary Scholars benefit from bespoke mentoring, one-to-one lessons and exceptional performance and professional development opportunities, including a professional recording with Linn Records.

The Principal’s Fund contributes to enabling many more talented young musicians to attend the Academy with the financial support they need, up to and including 100% of their fees and living costs.

The Academy’s Principal, Jonathan Freeman-Attwood said: ‘Last year the Academy provided over £4 million to support 70% of our students through merit scholarships and needs-based bursaries. We are absolutely committed to widening access to the outstanding training the Academy offers, and are hugely grateful to all of our current donors, including Sir Elton, without whom this level of financial support wouldn’t be possible.’