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Gilbert & Eileen Edgar and Anthony Saltmarsh PAF

Eleanor Kornas
Gilbert & Eileen Edgar and Anthony Saltmarsh Piano Accompaniment Fellows receive a bursary in the region of £15,000. Holders of this award are considered members of the team of junior fellows and will be expected to participate fully in RCM life.

All junior and accompaniment fellows hold a unique position at the Royal College of Music. They are expected to develop musical and communication skills by undertaking further intensive study, working with other students internally and doing all they can to raise the profile of the RCM externally. All fellows work in close contact with the Creative Careers Centre, the RCM’s centre for professional skills and publicity services.

The application deadline has passed

Applications for 2018-19 fellowships closed on Monday 5 February 2018. Applications for 2019-20 fellowships will open in autumn 2018. 

Current Gilbert & Eileen Edgar and Anthony Saltmarsh Piano Accompaniment Fellowship

Eleanor Kornas, piano

Eleanor currently works as one of three Piano Accompaniment Fellows at the Royal College of Music, accompanying students for their concerts, competitions and exams. Alongside this part-time position Eleanor is also a member of the London Philharmonic Orchestra’s Foyle Future Firsts Development Programme, where she will be working and performing with members of the London Philharmonic Orchestra for the September-July concert season; the programme will culminate in a performance at one of London’s major venues in the summer.

Eleanor combines these regular commitments with other professional engagements. Upcoming highlights include concerts at St James, Piccadilly, and at the Royal Albert Hall’s Elgar Room with one of her regular duo partners, the violinist Emma Purslow. Together, Emma and Eleanor are known as the ‘Dovedale Duo’ due to their shared roots in the Peak District. They have recently performed at Cividale del Fruili’s Music Festival in Italy and as New Generation Artists at Stift Music Festival in Holland.

Eleanor began her piano and violin studies at the age of five. At nine years old Eleanor accepted a place to study at Chetham’s School of Music and five years later she also began organ studies. Whilst at Chetham’s, Eleanor won the school’s Beethoven, Yamaha and Concerto Competitions. In her final year, she performed Scriabin’s Piano Concerto with the school’s Symphony Orchestra and performed as a soloist at Leeds International Music Festival. In that year she was also the recipient of the school’s Dennis Midwood Prize for Piano and an EMI Sound Foundation Award.

Eleanor went on to study Academic Music at Trinity College, Cambridge, also working as an Organ Scholar in the college chapel. At the end of her first year, Eleanor won the Donald Wort Prize for academia from the Faculty of Music and became a Senior Scholar of Trinity College. In addition to her academic work, Eleanor was a pianist on a number of schemes including the Pembroke Lieder Scheme (for singer-pianist duos), the Instrumental Award Scheme (for chamber music) and the Royal Academy of Music-University of Cambridge Collaboration Scheme (which provided Eleanor with piano lessons at the Academy).

As an Organ Scholar, Eleanor played for (and occasionally directed) three choral evensongs per week. She accompanied Trinity College Choir on tours to Germany, Canada, Switzerland and America, and for three recordings released by Hyperion; discs of music by Kenneth Leighton, Eriks Ešenvalds and Herbert Howells. The latter was awarded Recording of the Year by the Australian classical-music magazine, ‘Limelight’, and all discs were nominated for Gramophone Awards.

Eleanor left Cambridge with a First Class Bachelor of Arts (Hons.) Degree and having been the first female Organ Scholar of Trinity College, she was awarded the Forbes-Dunlop Grant by the Women’s Careers Foundation. This enabled her to accept a Junior Fellowship in Piano Accompaniment at the Royal College of Music. Eleanor then worked in Manchester for one year as a Staff Accompanist at Chetham’s School of Music before returning to London to take up her current positions.


The Gilbert & Eileen Edgar and Anthony Saltmars Piano Accompaniment Fellow receive a tax-free bursary for which they carry out activities including musical work specifically designed to improve and widen their skill sets. Their commitments include being involved in RCM activities, including receiving guidance and informal tuition, and practice time on pianos provided by the RCM. Bursaries are intended to supplement, not replace, contributions from applicants' own resources.

At the beginning of the academic year written approval must be obtained from the Projects Manager for their individual plan of study and involvement at the RCM. Bursaries are paid only after this approval has been confirmed. Funds are then normally made available on a termly basis, subject to satisfactory progress.


Applicants from outside the EU should note that they are required to indicate on their application what evidence they can show to prove their right to be in the UK for 2018/19.

The Gilbert & Eileen Edgar and Anthony Saltmarsh Piano Accompaniment Fellow is responsible for arranging their own lessons and other tuition. Tuition may include lessons with RCM professors or those not directly associated with us. Fellows are also responsible for planning their own work routines and monitoring their effectiveness. Funds may also be used for tuition in related areas of study, such as coaching on other areas of repertoire, language study, related instruments and costs associated with starting out in the profession. 

The Gilbert & Eileen Edgar and Anthony Saltmarsh Piano Accompaniment Fellow is required to accompany one-to-one lessons, faculty classes, examinations and others as agreed with their relevant Head of Faculty. Accompaniment is likely to be in the region of 540 hours over the year, primarily during the RCM’s 30 teaching weeks.

The Gilbert & Eileen Edgar and Anthony Saltmarsh Piano Accompaniment Fellow will report to the Head of Keyboard and to the Projects Manager, but also to the Head of the Faculty to which they are assigned.

You will be required to:

  • Lead, coach, direct, inform and work with RCM performers and composers
  • Provide advice, contacts, and examples of career development which should help current students
  • Accompany for the faculty to which you are assigned but also be able to accompany for all faculties as required
  • Liaise with and give support to the Head of Keyboard, and the Head of the faculty to which assigned and the Pathway Leader for Postgraduate Accompaniment
  • Act as duo partner for students in concerts, prize competitions, faculty and guest masterclasses and examinations.
  • Be a member of the team of Accompaniment Fellows, giving support to others, attending regular Fellowship meetings and contributing to wider events
  • Live in Greater London and be based at the RCM and normally be on site at least three days a week in term time
  • Organise and/or become involved in projects and activities which enable you to work with current RCM students
  • Participate in the organisation of and attend the annual Fellows’ evening
  • Attend special events as RCM representatives, contributing to these as requested


Applicants should already have successfully completed formal studies at a level equivalent to a postgraduate diploma or degree or be completing these studies in the academic year in which the application is made. Applications will be considered from those with equivalent experience.

If you are not an EU resident, you must obtain permission to be in the UK from the UK Border Agency in order to hold a fellowship. Accompaniment Fellows are not eligible to hold or extend student visas. The only option currently available for fellows who are not EU nationals is the Youth Mobility Scheme.

Find out more about the Youth Mobility Scheme

These conditions are set by the UK Government and can change. Please ensure you visit their website for the most up-to-date information.

It is preferred that your existing formal studies have included specialism in piano accompaniment.

Applicants need to be able to demonstrate:

  • Wide experience of piano accompaniment and duo work
  • Excellent proficiency in sight-reading
  • Considerable collaborative skills

How to apply

The deadline for applications is Monday 5 February 2018.

Applicants are required to submit a portfolio supported by a letter of application, which should indicate your suitability for the fellowship and your readiness to present yourself as an emerging professional.

Your application should contain:

  • Letter of application addressed to the Director, including confirmation of permission to be in the UK and stating clearly that you wish to apply for an accompaniment fellowship
  • Curriculum vitae and biography of c200 words
  • Proposal for a programme of personal study
  • A budget outline
  • A publicity photograph

Find out more about portfolio contents

Submitting your portfolio

You should submit your portfolio online through the RCM submission portal. The information you upload to the portal does not constitute your entire application, but does form an integral part of it. You should ensure you have provided everything that is required. Incomplete applications may not be considered.

Submit your portfolio

When using the submission portal you will be asked to create a user name and password, and to provide an email address. You should select 'junior fellow' from the list of programmes and the appropriate principal study instrument. There are no restrictions to the file size or type.

If you experience any problems uploading your portfolio please contact Lizzie Sambrook.

Lizzie Sambrook

Assistant to the Artistic Director & Events Coordinator

020 7591 4370

If you are selected for the second stage, you should be prepared to discuss your application in further detail at interview. You are advised to keep a copy of whatever you submit.

Shortlisting and interviews

Shortlisted applicants will be invited to attend a sight-reading piano accompaniment audition and an interview with the Director and the Head of Keyboard.

Interviews for the Gilbert & Eileen Edgar and Anthony Saltmarsh Piano Accompaniment Fellowship will be held on Thursday 8 March 2018.

Interviews will be held at the Royal College of Music in London.

Getting to the Royal College of Music

Should you be invited to interview, you will be required to bring original documentation (visa, passport or leave to remain in the UK) confirming that you have permission to be in the UK.

In your interview you will be required to:

  • Meet and talk with a panel
  • Discuss the contents of your portfolio and your achievements to date
  • Expand on any of the information in your portfolio in light of developments since applying
  • Discuss experience and career plans and suggest ways in which you would like to contribute to the work of the RCM
  • Present a short extract of not more than five minutes from your submitted recording and be prepared to discuss your performance(s) as an instrumentalist. Key selection criteria will include your ability to evaluate this in terms of strengths and weaknesses, as well as your development to date and future goals 

Results will be conveyed as soon as possible after the interviews have taken place.

Conditions for successful applicants

As Gilbert & Eileen Edgar and Anthony Saltmarsh Piano Accompaniment Fellow you will be expected to:

  • Include reference to the award in your CV and in any biographical notes accompanying appearances
  • Produce a short written report on activities undertaken to date by the end of each term
  • Keep trustees and sponsors informed on a regular basis of opportunities to attend performances or events in which you are involved


The RCM’s internal awards and competition funds are not available to Gilbert & Eileen Edgar and Anthony Saltmarsh Piano Accompaniment Fellows. It is possible to take part in competitions as an accompanist or an ensemble member, but fellows may not receive any prize money, which is only awarded to registered students. This restriction includes concerto trials as soloist. RCM awards and Access Funds are similarly unavailable.

Fellows are encouraged to support other students, particularly as accompanists, but may not perform as soloists in any of the regular chamber concerts. As part of the terms of the Fellowship, there are various special events, within the RCM and outside, in which Fellows are expected to take part, without additional payment.