Recent News


As for so many musicians around the world, the COVID-19 situation has brought its challenges for our DEBUT artists. All live concerts have been cancelled for the foreseeable future. However, the musicians have been using different and imaginative ways of reaching out to their audiences during lockdown. Visit our DEBUT Winners page to hear and see our artists via their individual website links Current & previous winners

The Tillett Trust is continuing to pay sponsorship fees to DEBUT artists for the concerts they would have been performing during this period.  If you would like to make a donation to support our young artists at a time when their incomes have been decimated,  you can do so via our donations page  Donations

14 young musicians selected to audition for 2020 Tillett DEBUT scheme

As we prepare to enter a new year in just a few weeks, so the process of choosing next year’s Tillett DEBUT artists has begun. The Tillett Trust had over 50 applicants for the first round of video auditions and these have now been narrowed down to 14 superb young musicians who we will see in January for the live auditions. See our Tillett DEBUT page for the full list of finalists.

Tillett DEBUT artists light up Wigmore Hall

2019 Tillett DEBUT artists Roberto Ruisi (violin) and Toby White (cello) delighted an enthusiastic audience at the Wigmore Hall on Monday evening. With a varied and imaginative programme including John Ireland’s Cello Sonata and Richard Strauss’s Violin Sonata, the spectators were left wanting more from these two extraordinary young musicians. Pianists Sten Heinoja and Marina Staneva proved excellent partners and we look forward to seeing and hearing a lot more of them all.

Tickets now available for Tillett DEBUT Wigmore Hall concert 21 Oct 2019

Roberto Ruisi (violin) & Sten Heinoja (piano)

Toby White (cello) & Marina Staneva (piano)

  • Debussy – Preludes (arr. violin & piano by Craig White),
  • Enescu – Impromptu Concertant in G flat major for violin & piano
  • Ireland – Sonata in G minor for cello & piano
  • Debussy – Nocturne et scherzo in D major for cello & piano
  • Delius – Romance for cello & piano
  • Moeran – Prelude for cello & piano
  • Strauss – Sonata in E flat major, Op. 18 for violin & piano

Roberto & Toby were selected by audition to join the TILLETT DEBUT programme in Spring 2019.

Tickets and full programme details available on the Wigmore website.

Gîlicel & Brazo delight at Kings Place

Maria Gîlicel and Manu Brazo played the inaugural concert under the new TILLETT DEBUT brand at Kings Place concert hall on Monday evening. They delighted an enthusiastic audience with their performances of works by Beethoven, Bolcom, Milhaud, Franck and Bizet/Borne and ended with a short duet by Shostakovich written for two violins but arranged for this unusual combination of violin and saxophone — “a little gem to end”.

Interview with Maria Gîlicel

Ahead of her concert at Kings Place on Monday 20 May, we asked violinist Maria Gîlicel a few questions…

Who are your biggest musical influences?

I would say my all-time favourite artists are Sergei Rachmaninoff, Patricia Kopatchinskaja, Henryk Szeryng, and several folk musicians from Eastern Europe, among others. However my musical preferences are constantly changing!

Which piece would you like to perform in the future?

I am currently planning on learning Bartok’s Second Violin Concerto over the summer and I am very, very excited about the results that may come out of it!

Which piece are you most looking forward to performing at Kings Place, and why?

Definitely Franck’s Sonata. I have a special place in my heart for this Sonata and it has been evolving with me for the last two years. I love playing it with Alison — she knows this piece backwards and I feel we can really be spontaneous with it whenever we perform it.

How have the performance opportunities offered by the Tillett Trust been important to you?

So far the Tillett Trust concerts have been great and the organisation in general has been amazing! Katie, at the Trust, is so helpful and lovely, and always unbelievably supportive. Being able to experience this level of professionalism whilst still being a student makes me feel very hopeful and excited about my career and about performing new repertoire in new locations.

Click here to find out more about Maria’s concert at Kings Place on 20 May.

Manu Brazo and Maria Gîlicel perform at Kings Place

On 20 May saxophonist Manu Brazo and violinist Maria Gîlicel will perform at Kings Place in a Monday Platform concert. The programme will include works by Beethoven, Bolcom, Milhaud and Franck.

For tickets and further info, click here.

Award winning Spanish saxophonist Manu Brazo, a graduate of the RCM, has appeared on BBC Radio 3 In Tune and on Classic FM, when his performance was described as ‘100% colossal and amazing’. Other performances include appearing with the London Sinfonietta and playing at the Snape Proms in Aldeburgh under Marin Alsop in 2018. Click here to follow Manu on Twitter.




Romanian violinist Maria Gîlicel studied in Madrid before coming to the RCM in London where she is currently studying for her Masters in Performance. She made her orchestral debut at the National Auditorium in Madrid and has since performed at many prestigious venues, including Wigmore Hall and St. John’s Smith Square. Click here to follow Maria on Twitter.