Honoring Margriet Tindemans

The Margriet Tindemans Early Strings Scholarship was established by Early Music America in 2018 to honor the life and work of the late Margriet Tindemans (1951-2014), a master of early stringed instruments and a shining figure in the field of early music. The biennial Scholarship provides support for specialized, advanced study outside North America that focuses on some aspect of Medieval, Renaissance, or Baroque bowed stringed instruments. The award will cover up to $25,000 in qualifying expenses .

The Scholarship will be awarded to the applicant whose proposal best demonstrates a balance of originality, versatility, depth and breadth of study, and personal dedication. These elements must also be evident in the applicant’s previous endeavors. Applicants must demonstrate a high degree of musical accomplishment in order to be considered.

2021-2022 Recipient: Tavya McCoy

It is with great pleasure that we announce Tavya McCoy as the second recipient of the Margriet Tindemans Early Strings Scholarship. Tavya graduated in 2020 from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a M.M. in viola performance. She has a B.A. in Music History and Theory from Mills College in Oakland, CA, and has studied baroque viola with Sarah Darling, Liz Freivogel, Cynthia Miller Freivogel, and Stanley Ritchie. She has also studied French at the Université d’Aix-Marseille, and during 2020-21 has been the artistic apprentice to the Baroque Chamber Orchestra of Colorado.

Tavya McCoy has been admitted to the Specialized Diploma program in Historical Performance at the Conservatory of Strasbourg, France, as a student of Stéphanie Pfister. “I aim to increase my technical and musical skills on the baroque viola,” Tavya said, “while also exploring my various research interests, one of which is the influence of folk and traditional music from Brittany on French baroque music. I am particularly interested in a type of folk song called the gwerz, which is a lament similar to a Scottish air.

“I have also been inspired by groups who have taken a creative approach to the study and performance of Baroque music, such as Barokksolistene, and it is these groups that helped to formulate my interest in baroque music. They not only possess a wonderful sound, but also take on unique musical projects that were exciting to me as a viola student coming from the modern performance world. I hope to produce meaningful work as a musician and researcher in order to make a contribution to the early music field.”

Read more about Tavya

Previous Recipients:

2019-2020: Alexander Baker

To support the mission of EMA’s Named Scholarships, please visit our Named Scholarship Funds donation page.


Application available through Friday, March 3, 2023.

Questions may be sent to EMA at [email protected].

  • Completed online application forms must be submitted by Friday, March 3, 2023 at 11:59 PM ET. All applicants must apply online.
  • Two Letters of Recommendation must be submitted in support of your application by Friday, March 10, 2023 at 11:59 PM ET.
    • Letters should be sent directly to EMA at [email protected].
    • Letters should be in the body of the email, NOT sent as an attachment.
    • Applicants are solely responsible for ensuring letters of recommendation are received.
  • A single scholarship award of up to $25,000 will be made to the successful applicant, payable by expense receipt or proof of requirement to pay.
  • The award announcement will be made by the end of April 2023.
  • Applicants should have graduated with a bachelor’s or master’s degree or be due to graduate in the spring of 2023.
  • The Scholarship is intended for students who are at the beginning of their career as a performer and/or scholar. The Scholarship may not be used as support for those exclusively pursuing a soloist’s career.
  • Applicants must demonstrate a high level of musical accomplishment.
  • Students who are already engaged in a course of study outside North America and are seeking funding for continuation of their project may apply. These applicants must explain their status and how their proposed accomplishments will mesh with the terms of the Scholarship. However, priority will be given to applicants who have not yet studied outside of North America.
  • The Scholarship may be applied in one of two ways:
    • To offset the expenses of enrolling in a course of study at a university, conservatory, or similar institution outside of North America. Applicants must submit documentation demonstrating the institution’s ability to support the applicant’s specific area of study, as well as a letter of acceptance from the institution or a relevant faculty member.
    • To pursue an original proposal not necessarily connected to an institution. Any such proposal must be described in as much detail as possible; this may include advanced study of one or more languages and relevant historical culture. However, the primary subject of such a proposal must be related to Medieval, Renaissance, or Baroque bowed stringed instruments (including but not limited to performance, performance practice, repertory, historical context, organology, or a combination of these things).
    • Applicants do not need to have already been accepted into a program. A clear plan as to how applicants envisage their scholarship year is all that is required.
  • Applicants must be permanently based in North America. This includes the 23 countries formally comprising North America, including Canada, the USA, Mexico and other countries of Central America which make up the southern-most part of North America. 
  • Early Music America membership is required of all applicants. (Historical performance students qualify for a one-year complimentary student membership. Please contact [email protected] for more information.)

Covered Expenses

  • Tuition and fees for a one-year course of study
  • Language and cultural study programs, if applicable
  • Living expenses
  • Project-related travel expenses, including round-trip transportation between North America and Europe.
  • Reasonable miscellaneous expenses (to be detailed in applicant’s proposed budget)

Expenses not covered

  • Purchase, repair, or insurance of instruments
  • Personal medical expenses incurred abroad
  • Visas and residence permits, if required
  • Completed application form
  • Personal statement, not to exceed 1,000 words
  • Applicants must submit with their proposal a detailed budget for the year abroad. Submission of a carefully prepared budget will be an important consideration in the selection process.
  • Resume 
  • Online video with three contrasting samples of your musicianship, not to exceed 15 minutes total in length. The judges’ main consideration is to clearly hear the work of the candidate in order to be able to judge applicant’s sound, musicality, and understanding of language and creative ideas.
  • Two letters of recommendation from teachers or other professionals familiar with your qualifications for this Scholarship.
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