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Undergraduate Study


The Instrumental Awards for Chamber Music Scheme (IAS) enables students to participate in high-quality chamber music at the University. It is an intercollegiate scheme open to undergraduates and graduates at all Colleges.

Award holders comprise outstanding chamber musicians from across the University, and many follow in the footsteps of their predecessors to pursue professional careers as performers.

You apply to the scheme from 1 September and audition for places at the beginning of each academic year. The first round of solo repertoire is followed by a round of chamber music, before successful applicants are placed in groups. You can also be considered for a place in the flagship Cambridge University Orchestra through the same audition procedure.

From piano duos to string quartets and brass dectets, IAS ensembles play together over the course of a year (and often for the whole of award holders’ time at Cambridge), and their members are encouraged to develop long-term performing relationships together as chamber musicians. 

Ensembles are coached regularly by leading specialist chamber musicians, including Margaret Faultless, Martin Outram, John Myerscough (and other members of the Doric Quartet), Melanie Ragge and Andrew West. Award holders have also received coaching from the Amatis Trio and have participated in masterclasses with the Emerson Quartet and composer Nico Muhly.

Award holders also receive financial assistance of up to £140 towards individual instrumental lessons plus an award of £100 from their college.

Regular performances enable students to develop musically as individuals and as chamber groups. The scheme provides opportunities for performances throughout the year, with selected groups chosen to perform in showcase concerts and special projects.

The Instrumental Awards Scheme is an intercollegiate scheme administered by the Centre for Music Performance.

For further information and to apply please visit the Centre for Music Performance website

Award Managers

  • Dr David Trippett, Director of the IAS
  • Professor Margaret Faultless, Artistic Director
  • Dr Paul Wingfield, Treasurer
  • Dr Sam Barrett
  • Chloe Davidson
  • Dr Martin Ennis
  • Christopher Lawrence


Centre for Music Performance