Borletti-Buitoni Trust
BBT Artists Rewarding Musical Excellence
BBT Artists



In June 2023, BBT celebrates its 20th anniversary with a weekend of events in London, with a new commission from Multi-Story Orchestra and Young Creatives at Bold Tendencies on 9 June  and then four concerts over the weekend of 10 & 11 June at Wigmore Hall. All in all 24 BBT artists are involved, together with founding trustee Mitsuko Uchida in two evening concerts.  Full details here.

Reflections on a life in music and philanthropy

As Chair and Co-Founder of BBT with her late husband Franco Buitoni, Ilaria Borletti Buitoni has kept a low profile over the two decades of the Trust’s existence, having always maintained that the focus should be on the young musicians it supports. For this 20th anniversary landmark, in a conversation with Nick Breckenfield, she reveals her deep commitment to philanthropy, culture and music and the joy they bring to her life. She talks candidly about her childhood in Milan, decades of travel and work in Africa with AMREF, her love of Franco and her belief in music for wellbeing.

Watch our film which marked BBT’s first decade.
Ilaria Borletti Buitoni, Mitsuko Uchida and a cast of BBT winners reflect on the work of the trust.

The Borletti-Buitoni Trust helps outstanding young musicians to develop and sustain international careers with awards that fund tailor-made projects. However, the Trust considers the value of receiving a BBT Award or Fellowship to be far greater than the direct financial assistance given. It aims to provide advice, guidance and contacts as well as public relations exposure for artists’ BBT-funded projects. Winners receive a high profile on the BBT website, with audio and video material included where appropriate, and via its news and e-newsletters. BBT artists join a family that supports them in advancing their careers.

All winners are given a budget and they are invited to suggest how they want to spend the money. The Trust provides support to ensure that the award is well spent. Projects that have been created using BBT awards include commissions and CDs. Some artists have used their awards to assist with purchasing instruments, while others have used funds for PR campaigns, photographs, publicity folders and websites. Budgets have also been used for survival money, studying and travel costs. There are no set criteria: winners are encouraged to be creative and to use their awards in a way that will help to establish and build their careers.

What are BBT Awards and Fellowships?

BBT Awards are given to artists or ensembles that the Artistic Committee perceives as being performers of great quality and musicianship. Their careers are usually quite well established and the Trust hopes their BBT budget will assist them in developing their long-term careers.

BBT Fellowships are usually awarded to artists or ensembles who are at an earlier stage of their careers and the Trust hopes their BBT budget will help develop their future potential.

A Special Award may be given to an artist or ensemble that requires support in a specific area, for example with studies, commissioning, or chamber music.

BBT Winners are given awards of between £20,000 and £30,000.

The BBT is more than just a grant; more importantly, the group of people that make up the trust provide an important support system to a young artist trying to reconcile the inherent truths of music with a sometimes ambivalent world. I wouldn’t have been able to do what I do without the confidence provided by someone saying: ‘you have something to say, and you can do it.’ It’s an amazing feeling!

Mahan Esfahani (Fellowship 2009)