The Raphael Sommer Music Scholarship Trust

The scholarship was established in 2002 in memory of Raphael Sommer by his mother Alice Herz-Sommer and his widow Geneviève Sommer.

Auditions are held every year and the Foundation awards scholarships of £1,000 to highly talented young cellists. Junior awards of lesser amounts are also sometimes given.

The focus is in the field of chamber music performance, which can be of critical importance to developing musicians, and where opportunities for advanced performance coaching and experience are generally rather limited after students leave teaching institutions.



  • These auditions are open to cellists only
  • Candidates should be aged 16 to 20 at the time of auditions
  • Candidates should have already achieved a significant level of playing (i.e., Grade 8 minimum), won scholarships or awards, and be preparing to enter one of the major music colleges in the UK or abroad (or already be a student of such an institution)


Rules and Procedures

  • The audition process is in two stages

        Round 1 - Submit an application form and a letter of recommendation from a current teacher

        Round 2 - Live audition

  • Candidates selected from Round 1 will be invited to prepare two contrasting pieces (i.e., a movement of a concerto and a contrasting piece such as a Bach movement from a suite)
  • Total playing time should not exceed 15 minutes
  • There is a submission fee of £30 to be paid via PayPal for candidates selected to participate in Round 2
  • If you are selected to Round 2 and are unable to attend, we regret that we cannot refund your submission fee
  • The Raphael Sommer Music Scholarship Trust will provide a pianist for the live auditions, but candidates may bring their own accompanist if they wish
  • A rehearsal with the pianist before the audition is possible, but the candidate must organise directly with the pianist and be responsible for any associated costs
  • The jury’s decisions are final, and the jury reserves the right to withhold awards



The scholarship is currently CLOSED. Please check this website in the spring of 2020 for more information.


Past Recipients

  • Andrei Gocan (Rumanian violinist), 2003/2004
  • Leonie Adam (British), 2004/2005 & 2005/2006
  • Neta Shani (Israeli), 2006/2007
  • Jacob Shaw (British), 2007/2008
  • Zara Hudson (Anglo-Polish), 2008/2009
  • George Paca (Rumanian), 2009/2010
  • Florence Petit (French), 2010/2011
  • Josh Salter (British), 2011/2012
  • Juliette Giovacchini (French), 2012/2013
  • Aoife Burke (Irish), 2012/2013
  • Shun-ichiro Katsura (Japanese), 2012/2013 - Junior Award
  • David Williamson (British), 2013/2014
  • Sheku Kanneh-Mason (British), 2013/2014 - Junior Award
  • Adele Xiang (Australian), 2014/2015
  • Ragnar Jónsson (Icelandic), 2014/2015 
  • Akito Goto (Japanese), 2015/2016
  • Waynne Woo Seok Kwon (Australian), 2015/2016 - Junior Award
  • Eliza Carew (British), 2016/2017 
  • Ben Tarlton (British), 2016/2017
  • Henry Hargreaves (British), 2016/2017 - Junior Award
  • Willard Carter (British), 2017/2018
  • Silvestrs Juris Kalninš (Latvian), 2018/2019
  • Samuel Ng (Malaysian), 2018/2019
  • Anna Garde (French), 2019/2020
  • Joseph Pritchard (British), 2019/2020



Geneviève Teulières Sommer (Chair)
Arto Noras
Yan-Pascal Tortelier
David Sommer
Ariel Sommer

Scholarship news

This year's Auditions were held on 29 June in London. See our Scholarship page for more details.

If you would like to help us financially you can Donate directly from our Fundraising page

The Trust organised a concert ‘Remembering Raphael Sommer - Ten Years On’ at the South Bank in London on 17 October 2011 

The Raphael Sommer Music Scholarship Trust also organises other regular events in the UK and France.


Raphael Sommer concerts