RDS Music Bursary
At €15,000 the RDS Music Bursary is one of the largest single bursaries on offer to a young musician in Europe. Open to vocalists and instrumentalists, the Bursary aims to assist a young professional musician develop their career through further study at home or abroad or for the purchase of a musical instrument.
The goal of the RDS Arts work programme is to provide a platform that supports the transition from student to emerging artist; encouraging the pursuit of a career in visual arts, crafts or music. Awarded on an annual basis since 2003, the RDS Music Bursary is open to winners of selected senior competitions in the ESB Feis Ceoil who are attending or have completed a third level music degree or are studying at similar level with a recognised teacher in Ireland or abroad.
The qualifying Feis Ceoil competitions in 2017 are: the Morris Grant Bursary (Piano), Gervase Elwes Cup (Vocal), Mc Cullough Cup (Woodwind), Senior Brass Recital (Brass) and the Aileen Gore Cup (Strings). The winners of these competitions should view the RDS Music Bursary rules, before completing a detailed online application form. They will then attend an interview with the judging panel in the RDS on April 20, 2017. A short performance will be required on the day as part of the judging process. The judging panel will be chaired by RTÉ's John O'Kane. The other members of the panel are: Seamus Crimmins, Madeleine Staunton, Annette Cleary and Philip Dodd.
In addition to the €15,000 Bursary, the winner is offered a solo engagement with the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra during the 2017/18 season and an additional engagement with Irish Heritage – a voluntary arts organisation established in London in 1974 to promote young Irish classical musicians and composers in Great Britain.
Thanks to the generous support of Tom and Ann Jago, 2017 will see the introduction of the RDS Jago Award, a second award of €5,000 to be awarded by the judging panel. The winner of this new award will be offered offered either a professional performance opportunity with one of RTÉ's performing groups or a studio recital broadcast opportunity with RTÉ lyric fm.
Former winners of the RDS Music Bursary have the chance to be selected for a new Performance Award which has been created thanks to the support of Michael and Loret O'Brien. The RDS Collins Memorial Performance is in association with the Lismore Opera Festival. A previous RDS Music Bursary Winner will be selected annually by the Artistic Director of Lismore Opera, and will be given a performance opportunity at the Lismore Opera Festival which takes place in June in Lismore, Co. Waterford. The first recipient will be violinist Patrick Rafter (2015 RDS Music Bursary winner) who will give a recital in St. Carthage's Cathedral on Sunday, June 4 in Lismore during the Festival.
Also supported by the O'Brien's, each candidate that is called for interview will receive a stipend which will cover any travel and performance related costs associated with attending the interview on April 20.
The 2016 RDS Music Bursary winner was Soprano Aoife Gibney from Dublin (pictured above). A recipient of a first class honours degree in Music from DIT Conservatory of Music and Drama with Patricia MacMahon (vocal teacher) and Mairead Hurley (repetiteur), Aoife qualified for the Bursary by winning the Gervase Elwes Cup in the 2016 Feis Ceoil.
Previous RDS Music Bursary winners
For further information please contact:
RDS Arts Programme Manager
Tel: +353 (0) 1 240 7255