The Scholarship

The Mendelssohn Scholarship Foundation was established in 1848.

In the Trust Deed and Regulations dated 1st August 1871 it says:

‘WHEREAS in the month of July 1848 it was proposed to found certain Scholarships in honour of the memory of Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy to be called Mendelssohn Scholarships for the education of Musical Students of both sexes and a committee was formed to carry out the proposal and to raise the necessary Funds which Committee consisted of the following gentlemen that is to say : Sir George Smart, the said Sir Julius Benedict (then Mr Benedict), the said Sir William Sterndale Bennett (then Mr Bennett), the said John Hullah, C.E.Horsley, James William Davison, Henry Fothergill, Chorley Edward Buxton (Treasurer) and Charles Klingemann (Secretary)’.

A performance of Mendelssohn’s Oratorio Elijah was given on
15 December 1848 at Exeter Hall, London. The Committee managed the concert with the ‘gratuitous assistance of Madame Jenny Lind Goldschmidt (then Mademoiselle Jenny Lind), and other distinguished artists and amateurs and under the conduct also gratuitous of the said Julius Benedict which resulted in a balance after payment of all expenses of £933 12s 7d‘.

These funds were invested and by January 1865 amounted to £1,500.

In July 1856 the Committee elected Arthur Seymour Sullivan, then of Her Majesty’s Chapel Royal, London, as the first scholar. He remained a scholar until 1860. Charles Swinnerton Heap of Birmingham was elected scholar in January 1865 and remained for about two and a half years. William Shakespeare of Croydon, Surrey, a student of the Royal Academy of Music, London, was elected in April 1871.

A full list of scholars can be found on a separate page.

The Mendelssohn Scholarship Foundation is indebted to
The Mendelssohn Society
The Hinrichsen Foundation
The Performing Right Society
The Worshipful Company of Musicians
Messrs Schott & Co Ltd
for their generous contributions to its endowment