Manchester Camerata – one of the UK’s most successful and innovative chamber orchestras renowned for its pioneering nature and its exceptionally diverse body of work – is today August 24th delighted to spearhead the launch of its inaugural Camerata 360° Ruth Sutton Fellowship.

Created with the generous support of The Ruth Sutton Trust for Music – this vital new, year-long and paid training programme will directly address the need for recent music graduates to be given more learning opportunities within an industry under increasing threat of arts funding cuts.

Commencing in October 2023, Camerata 360° Ruth Sutton Fellowship will offer five recently graduating northern based musicians, in either composition or orchestral strings, hands-on work experience and training across all of its community, outreach, performance and creative endeavours. This will offer an essential and broader insight into the workings of orchestral life and subsequently help enable and develop burgeoning music careers both in and outside of the concert platform.

As a world-renowned orchestra and organisation – Manchester Camerata places equal importance on performing as it does on its community outreach programmes. From performing in front of thousands at Glastonbury or collaborating with electronic and classical music artists from around the globe, to working in schools and care homes across Greater Manchester. It is also hugely dedicated to its role as an industry leader in the field of music and dementia, having secured NHS funding to develop its ground-breaking Music In Mind programme and been invited to share best practice in its dementia programme to the National Symphony Orchestra Taiwan later this year. It is therefore uniquely placed to be able to show newly graduating musicians just how broad a musical career can be and how much all of its world-class, year-round musical activity from community to concerts can really enhance lives and deliver positive change.

Through full immersion and hands-on experience across all of its departments throughout the year as part of the Fellowship, from vital performance opportunities, community work engagement with schools, care home and music cafes, to marketing, finance, management, and leadership experience – Manchester Camerata will help to up-skill and develop these new musicians. It will arm them with a greater understanding of the music world, the workings of an orchestra including and beyond performance, an ability to contribute to different styles of music and more established personal connections with working musicians. Fellows will also have the opportunity to be involved in the Orchestra’s Think Tank events and gain exclusive insight into research and development work with Manchester University with whom the Camerata work closely to continue its internationally acclaimed work in the field of music and dementia.

The Camerata 360° Ruth Sutton Fellowship has been specifically designed for newly graduating Northern based musicians – i.e. those who have graduated in the last two years and who are in or near Manchester, the Pendle area, Liverpool, Bolton, Leeds, Sheffield, Bradford, Huddersfield, Newcastle, Sunderland, or Middlesbrough. One of the key aims of the Fellowship is that fellows can continue their careers in the north and join Manchester Camerata’s talented pool of freelance performers and practitioners.

A bespoke year-long programme will be designed for each individual fellow to develop a holistic understanding of Manchester Camerata as well as develop their own unique career pathway. Each fellow will also be mentored by one of the Camerata’s freelance musicians who will offer 1-2-1 time throughout the year and share their own first-hand knowledge and experience of the breadth and depth of Manchester Camerata’s annual programme. They will also be able to share and offer vital tips on how to sustain a career in this often challenging and ever-changing profession.

Samantha McShane, Creative Director of Manchester Camerata, comments: “As an orchestra we believe that music is for everyone and in the significant power music can have to empower and enhance lives across all our platforms from performance to community. We are therefore thrilled to launch this vital Fellowship and open up and share the breadth of our work to new music professionals. We recognise that artists can become compartmentalised as their careers develop, focusing on performance, teaching or community. But as an organisation who creates and offers work opportunities in all these areas and places equal value upon them – we are very excited to offer our Northern based Fellows the chance to experience all these areas for themselves. They too can then learn, create, develop and grow as music professionals in ways they may not get elsewhere or have thought possible. We are incredibly thankful to the Ruth Sutton Trust for Music who share our vision for this programme and who we look forward to working with throughout the year.”

Jane Farnworth, daughter of Ruth Sutton, on behalf of the family comments: 

“My mother Ruth was a very fine concert pianist in her earlier years and her love for music remained a passion throughout her life. In 2012, she founded the Pendle Young Musicians Bursary (PYMB) to give the young musicians of Pendle, a chance of gaining substantial funding to help them continue their musical studies. Ruth also developed a very close relationship with the Manchester Camerata, with both parties having immense respect for each other’s work. We are delighted to be founding the Manchester Camerata 360° Ruth Sutton Fellowship. This is a wonderful tribute to Ruth and her passion for helping young musicians. I know she would have been absolutely honoured and excited at what lies ahead.” 

The application form and more information on the process is available via the website:

The Deadline for applying is 23.59 on 11 September 2023.