Help me fund the end of my degree

£4,600 of £6,500 goal

Raised by 32 people in 7 months

My name is Kasia Zimińska, and I am a violinist and violist studying in London. I am hoping to raise money to help cover the tuition fees of my final year of Masters in violin performance at the Royal College of Music in London. After an award from the College, I need to raise the remaining £6435 to be able to continue with my studies. 

I was born and brought up in Gdańsk, Poland, where I was lucky enough to receive excellent free musical education at the Gdańsk state specialist music school. From an early age I felt great passion for music, which has been recognised by my teachers, who encouraged me to perform as much as possible in concerts and competitions, which has led to winning my first prizes and awards. My parents are scientists by profession and have always supported me in my decision to become a professional violinist. Due to the much higher cost of living and studying in London, they have not been able to support me financially since I left my home country. As such, everything I have achieved here in the UK has been thanks to my own hard work and generosity of others.

I made London my home in 2009, as a first year violin student at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. When I arrived, I had no place to live, and only a few hundred pounds in my pocket, which my family borrowed to help me get started. With a lot of luck, help from good people, and taking on a lot of work while studying, my situation has started to gradually improve. 

I am extremely grateful to numerous people who have provided moral and material support when I needed it. Being offered a spare couch when I had nowhere to go, or a better violin, or a bow better than the one I had, or a viola to get me started... it all has made a tremendous difference. I have been very lucky to have met my current landlord, who has opened his lovely home to musicians years ago, charging extremely low rent, purely out of kindness and to be supportive of our craft. Also without his help I would not have been able to have purchased the beautiful Francois Lupot violin, which I am now lucky to play.

With the help of these people and institutions, and with a lot of determination and perseverance on my part I have begun to really establish myself on the London music scene, and today I can proudly say that I am highly in demand as a performer in the UK and internationally (to see my full bio, keep scrolling down), and my income from performance and teaching is sufficient to support myself. However, my earnings only enable a relatively modest lifestyle, and are not enough to pay UK university fees, which are amongst the highest in the world.

Royal College of Music is one of the world’s finest music conservatoires, and for me, at this stage in my development, is the perfect fit. The teachers there are fantastic, and the artistic level of the violin students is so high that it makes me proud to have been selected as one of them. 
RCM has provided me with numerous fantastic concert opportunities and helped establish many important links, from which I have been benefiting already, before even graduating. Only this term, I have been booked for 36 performances, of which nearly half has come through the college, providing a huge boost to my performance portfolio. 
I have dedicated two years of my life towards getting my Masters degree from this institution, and I took out a career development loan of £10.000 to help cover the costs of studying. It has been a challenge and an inspiration working towards this, as it is a very prestigious qualification to have, and it would be heartbreaking to have all this effort and money go to waste. 

Approaching the start of this academic year my financial circumstances have changed. My sponsorship has fallen through, and my scholarship from college was unconfirmed until mid October, which was when I found out that I have been awarded a partial scholarship with £6435 remaining to be paid in tuition fees. I have been applying for help from several trusts, funds, and charities, but it often takes several months for them to make decisions and get back to me. Meanwhile, my tuition fees for this term are overdue since September, with next instalments due in January and April, amounting to a total of £6435. If I am unable to raise enough to pay the remainder of my tuition fees this term (£2145), I will be forced to discount my Masters, as if I don’t graduate this year, my whole degree will be discarded. 
If I were to try and fund the other two tuition fee instalments from my own pocket, I would be too busy working to benefit from the lessons, lectures, masterclasses and performance opportunities available to me as a student. I am convinced that one final year of focused learning and commitment to my artistic development will go a long way in me fulfilling my potential.

The reason I have turned to crowdfunding is because it is my best chance at raising funds in a short period of time. As soon as I found out how much money I need, I have been contacting trusts and charities, however they usually take months to reply, and the College will not wait this long for the payment. I have felt apprehensive to share my campaign on social media, because it is likely to primarily reach my musician friends who are in a similar financial situation to me, or my family who have very limited resources themselves. However, I strongly believe that there are people out there, who are both able, and willing to help, so my appeal here is that even if you are unable to contribute to my goal yourself, please share my campaign with others who might be able to help. If you have suggestions, questions or advice on how I could improve my situation, please do not hesitate to share these with me. 

My passion for music has always driven me to be creative and to work hard. I am absolutely devoted to making music and sharing it with others, and studying at the Royal College of Music enables me to grow as a musician through the excellent tuition, and it helps reach more people with my music by providing the network and concert opportunities. 
I believe that what sets me apart from many other young musicians around, is that I always search for new ways and means to express myself. As much as I value precision and technical brilliance as necessary tools of a successful player, to me the most important aspect of being an artist is finding your true and unique voice. 
If I get to continue studying at the Royal College of Music, I can promise to only strive for the most meaningful, honest, beautiful and captivating musicianship that I am capable of, and I can assure you, that your help would mean the world to me!

I am a Polish-born violinist and violist based in London and my musical ability has been recognised through the winning of numerous prizes and competitions in the UK and abroad. I enjoy performing a wide variety of repertoire, which includes well known and loved classical, romantic, and 20th century works, as well as exploring the depths of historically informed performance of early music, and premiering new compositions of contemporary experimental music. 

At the age of seven, I was admitted to the Nowowiejski Music School in Gdansk, Poland, where I began to learn the violin. Upon graduating with the highest distinction from the violin class of an esteemed Polish teacher, Jerzy Hazuka, I went on to continue my education in London, at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in the class of English Chamber Orchestra leader, Stephanie Gonley. Soon after, I took up the viola under the tutelage of the Belcea Quartet violist, Krzysztof Chorzelski, who has encouraged me to pursue it as an integral part of my career. I am currently a Masters student at the Royal College of Music, studying with the celebrated pedagogue, Maciej Rakowski (mentor of several violinists, including Nicola Benedetti).

I have been fortunate to work alongside, and receive artistic guidance from world’s top performers. During my studies I have been invited to perform for the famous Japanese violinist, Midori Goto, and was selected to work as a part of London Symphony Orchestra within their Discovery project; I have also had the privilege to play in a series of masterclasses with my musical idol, Maxim Vengerov, arguably the most famous violinist of our times. Recently, I performed with a celebrated Sibelius Academy cellist, Marko Ylönen, and was invited to join the 2017-2018 class of a world renowned Ukrainian pedagogue, Pavel Vernikov, in Accademia Santa Cecilia, Bergamo. My latest solo highlights include appearing as a Vivaldi Four Seasons soloist with Silk Street Sinfonia, and a recital performance of Shostakovich Viola Sonata in Milton Court, Barbican Centre.

As chamber musician with the Chagall Piano Quartet (violin) and Salomé String Quartet (viola), I have been successful in competitions such as St Martin-in-the-Fields Competition, London; Johannes Brahms Competition, Gdańsk; and RCM String Quartet Competition, and am a recipient of awards such as Ivan Sutton Chamber Music Prize, Helen Just & Susan Connell Prize and The Sacconi Quartet Prize. I am a founding member of the Bridgetower Ensemble, a group dedicated to exploring the rare repertoire for chamber formations including the double bass, with whom we have been commissioned to make a recording of music by Nimrod Borenstein, who’s compositions have been performed by artists such as Vladimir Ashkenazy, Philharmonia Orchestra, and the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra. I have received chamber music guidance from UK and internationally acclaimed groups such as the Belcea Quartet, Endellion Quartet, Allegri Quartet, Sacconi Quartet, Chilingirian Quartet, and have recently been accepted for the prestigious programme ‘Chamber Studio’ at King’s Place. 

I am passionate about improvisation in historical performance and enjoy composing my own concerto cadenzas. My mentors have included experts in early music and improvisation, such as celebrated baroque violinist, Rachel Podger, and improviser-pianist, David Dolan. I am currently receiving guidance from Lucy Russell, RCM baroque violin professor and leader of the Fitzwilliam Quartet.

During my first year at the Royal College I have had the opportunity to learn about, and gain experience in performing contemporary experimental music. I made my solo debut in London's iconic experimental music series, Kammer Klang, which has helped me gain recognition on the contemporary music scene. After that, I was invited to lead the orchestra for the UK premiere of ‘The Juniper Tree’ - an opera by one of the most famous composers of our times, Philip Glass. I have collaborated with UK’s top new music ensembles, such as the Distractfold Ensemble (artists in residence at Harvard and Stanford Universities), and the internationally acclaimed Plus-Minus Ensemble, with whom I have been invited to perform at the legendary Warsaw Autumn Festival next year.

Education and outreach is a big part of my work as a musician. I have worked as an instrumental coach for the London Symphony Orchestra educational programme for children, and am currently a violin and viola teacher within Andrew Lloyd Webber’s initiative, Music in Secondary Schools Trust, providing instrumental tuition of the highest level to children of underprivileged backgrounds, through which my students have had the opportunity to perform with Nicola Benedetti at the Barbican Hall. With the Salomé Quartet, we were the String Quartet in Residence at the Oundle School in 2017/2018, and in 2019 we will work with the RCM Sparks performing and working with children, also, we will hold a new artistic residency at Leighton House Museum in Kensington, which will include recitals as well as workshops with children and adults. Some of my most treasured memories are from performing in places such as care homes, hospital wards, and prisons. My piano quartet, the Chagall Quartet has recently given a performance in the aid of Arts 4 Dementia, and my Leighton House residency with the Salomé Quartet will also include workshops with patients suffering from dementia.

I feel fortunate that my artistic ability has been recognised through the winning of numerous prizes and competitions, and has taken me to concert halls around the world, such as Musikverein in Vienna, Mozarteum in Salzburg, UNESCO Concert Hall in Paris, Tchaikovsky Hall in Moscow, Luxembourg Philharmonie, The Royal Hall in Stockholm, and Lutosławski Concert Studio in Warsaw. In the UK, I have had the privilege of performing in major concert venues, such as the Wigmore Hall, Royal Albert Hall, Southbank Centre, Barbican Centre, and Cadogan Hall. I have appeared on Polish radio and television on numerous occasions, and my UK appearances include the BBC Radio 3 'In Tune', and the Euro Classical Online Festival streamed on classicalplannet.com. I have been invited by Airbnb to work on their guidebooks project and my London Classical Music Guidebook has been recently released online.

Throughout my studies I have been lucky to receive support from trusts, charities and private donors including Fiona and Victor Dauppe, the Orpheus Award, Professor Barry Ife’s Award, the Yearley Trust, and the Foundation Pro Bono Poloniae. I play on a violin by François Lupot from 1782 and a viola by Michiel de Hoog from 1995, kindly on loan from the Royal College of Music Instrument Collection.
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Dear friends and supporters!

A heartfelt thank-you for your kindness and generosity, it is you who made finishing my studies possible- I am humbled, and forever grateful ❤️

I would like to invite you to my upcoming performances:

- 9th June, 5pm: Final Recital at the Amaryllis Fleming Concert Hall, Royal College of Music, with pianist Kumi Matsuo;
- 9th June, 7:30pm: Performance at the Wigmore Hall, with Salomé Quartet;
- 18th June, 1pm: Recital at the Winchester Cathedral, with Salomé Quartet;
- 5th July, 1pm: Recital in Croydon Munster, with Salomé Quartet;
- 6th July, 8pm: Recital at Studio Music Brightlingsea, with Salomé Quartet;

I hope to see you at one (or more) of the concerts!

Kasia xxx
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Dear All,

Due to unforeseen circumstances my recital tomorrow will be postponed until further notice. I feel gutted, as I was really looking forward to playing for you and thanking you all in person! I apologise if this causes you any inconvenience, and I will let you know as soon as I am given a new date for this concert.

In the meanwhile, I will be playing some other concerts:

- 8th March, 6:30pm, Victoria and Albert Museum - solo recital;
- 20th March, 7:30pm, St. Mary’s Perivale - recital with the Salomé Quartet;
- 26th March, 7pm, Korean Cultural Centre - recital with the Salomé Quartet;

I would love for you to join me in any of these!

Once again apologies for the last minute cancellation.

Lots of love


P.S. Thank you to all of you, who came to support me last night in the recital I organised and performed with my three fabulous groups - Salomé Quartet, Bridgetower Ensemble, and Chagall Piano Quartet. The positive feedback we received has been overwhelming, and we are hoping to be back there very soon ❤️ Here are some pictures from last night, courtesy of the lovely Pete Fozard
With the Bridgetower Ensemble
With the Chagall Piano Quartet
With the Salomé Quartet
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I have a bit more to raise, any and all help would be greatly appreciated

Dear Friends and Supporters,

2018 has been a year of many challenges as well as wonderful opportunities. Much of this would not have been possible without you, and I feel incredibly privileged to have received such generous help and support, and thanks to your kindness I have been able to continue my studies at the Royal College of Music this year.

Through my crowdfunding campaign I have been able to cover the first instalment of my termly tuition fees, and the majority of the fees for my second term (deadline approaching on 7 January). I am now looking to raise a further £400 for the second term, and hopefully begin raising money for the following term.


Thanks to the kindness of friends from the Leighton House Museum, on 9th February at 1pm, I am able to invite you all to a special lunchtime concert at this uniquely beautiful Kensington venue, allowing me to thank all my friends and supporters personally (verbally and musically), and presenting the opportunity for further fundraising.

I will play the violin and viola, accompanied by the pianistic wonder that is Kumi Matsuo. It would mean the world to me if you were able to join us there!

Meanwhile, my upcoming performances are:

-7th Jan, 1pm @ Austrian Cultural Forum performing with Kumi Matsuo;
-13th Jan, 3pm @ St Mary’s Perivale performing with the Chagall Piano Quartet;
-14th Jan, 6:30PM @ Kings Place, performing with the Chagall Piano Quartet in a ‘Chamber Studio’ masterclass with Richard Ireland;
-18th Jan, 6:30PM @ Kings Place, performing with the Chagall Piano Quartet in a ‘Chamber Studio’ masterclass with Richard Ireland;
-21st Jan, 1pm @ St George’s Hanover Square performing with the Chagall Piano Quartet;
-25th Jan, 7:30pm @ Milton Court, Barbican Centre, performing new works by artist Martin Creed with the Salomé Quartet;
-31st Jan, 5:30pm @ Leighton House Museum, performing with the Salomé Quartet;
-7th Feb, 7:30pm @ St Paul’s Knightsbridge, performing in a chamber music gala concert with the Bridgetower Ensemble, Chagall Piano Quartet, and the Salomé Quartet;
-9th Feb, 1pm @ Leighton House Museum, ‘Thank you’ Fundraising Concert for supporters and friends, performing with Kumi Matsuo;

Lastly, I would like to wish you a Happy New Year, full of joy and fulfilment, and may you experience as much kindness on a daily basis, as I do, from all the amazing people around me, such as yourselves!

With love,

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Thank you for your support
In just a week, thanks to your kindness and generosity, I have raised over 50% of my total goal! It covers my tuition fees this term and I am now looking to raise money for the next tuition fee instalments.

You can see me in my upcoming performances:
9th Nov Chamber Studio with Chagall Quartet
11th Nov Kings Place with Salomé Quartet
16th Nov Charlton House with Salomé Quartet
20th Nov Grove Room RCM with Salomé Quartet
21st Nov St Albans Cathedral with Chagall Quartet

If you would like to help, please keep liking, sharing and donate, if you can

Thank you,

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£4,600 of £6,500 goal

Raised by 32 people in 7 months
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