The University Lieder Scheme is an advanced coaching scheme supporting the most promising singers and accompanists in the University. Tuition in all aspects of Lieder and song performance is given by award-winning pianist Joseph Middleton, recently described by The Times as ‘the cream of the new generation’ of British accompanists, along with visiting coaches. In recent seasons, artists who have coached duos on the scheme include John Mark Ainsley, Joan Rodgers, Amanda Roocroft, Roderick Williams, Sir Thomas Allen and Sarah Connolly.

Alumni of the scheme have made successful careers in music performance. Recent alumni include Hugh Cutting (winner of the 2021 Kathleen Ferrier Award and a current BBC New Generation Artist), Gramophone Award-winning mezzo-soprano Helen Charlston, and Helmut Deutsch Lied Competition winner Florian Störtz. 

The University Lieder Scheme is run as a collaboration between Pembroke College, Trinity College, and the Centre for Music Performance.

What does the scheme involve?

Up to five successful duos will receive professional coaching over the course of the academic year, including a public masterclass.

As award holders, your duo will need to:

  • Meet regularly to work on repertoire and improve your ensemble performance skills. We suggest you set up a regular time slot to rehearse together.
  • Attend three coaching sessions per term with Joseph Middleton.
  • Attend one vocal coaching masterclass from visiting artists.
  • Give regular performances, including:
    • arranging your own concerts.
    • performing in a gala concert held at the beginning of Easter Term.
    • performing in showcase concerts and special projects by invitation.

We hope that you will also play an active role in music-making within your college and across the University.

Students from all subjects can take part in the Lieder Scheme, but it is worth considering how many hours a week you are willing and able to devote to your group, and how a commitment to your duo will fit around your academic studies. Life at Cambridge is very busy (but rewarding!), and you do need to be organised in order to balance academic and performing commitments.

The Lieder Scheme reserves the right to appoint individuals rather than duos and to put performers in different combinations at any point in the year.

Who can apply?

The Lieder Scheme is open to both new and current undergraduate and graduate students at all colleges. The University Lieder Scheme members for 2023 – 2024 have been selected and applications for 2024 – 2025 will open in September 2024.

How do I apply?

The Lieder Scheme is open to vocal/piano duos.

The University Lieder Scheme members for 2023 – 2024 have been selected and applications for 2024 – 2025 will open in September 2024.


  • Musical Director: Joseph Middleton, Musician in Residence, Pembroke College
  • Associate Director: Anna Lapwood, Director of Music, Pembroke College
  • Administration: Lizzie Hale, Performance Coordinator, Centre for Music Performance (

Any questions?

Please make sure you read all the information on this page. If you have any queries or concerns, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us at