Our heritage

How it all began

Young Sounds UK began life as The Musicas Fund, which was established in 1998 from the sale proceeds of Robert Lewin’s collection of stringed instruments, bows and books. This would later become Awards for Young Musicians before becoming Young Sounds UK. This extraordinary legacy ensures that young musicians with exceptional potential are given a chance to develop their talent.

Robert Lewin (1906-1998)

Bob Lewin was born over a fish and chip shop in the East End of London. Having learnt violin and piano at an early age, he started his music career by accompanying silent movies in the cinemas, before joining the Auxiliary Fire Service during the Second World War.

Upon returning, he not only took up music professionally but started dealing in instruments and bows; earning a reputation as an honest and reliable authority, going on to write the market report for ‘The Strad’ magazine for over 50 years.

Founder Michael Lewin remembers his Uncle Bob

On a sunny morning in July Michael Lewin invited Alumni Caius Lee to his home to share a story close to his heart: that of his uncle Bob and how his legacy started it all for Young Sounds UK.

The Strad remembers Robert Lewin

In June 2020 The Strad published a special feature all about Robert (Bob) Lewin and Young Sounds UK (then know as Awards for Young Musicians.) Bob wrote The Strad market report for 50 years and was an eminent British collector of String instruments and bows.

An evening to remember at Wilton’s Music Hall

On Monday 29 October 2018 we celebrated our 20th anniversary in style at Wilton’s Music Hall in East London. Our Angels, donors, partners, Alumni and friends of the charity were invited to come together for an evening of music and celebration.

Robert Lewin's Instrument Collection

In his time, Bob Lewin was one of the most eminent British collectors of h collection of stringed instruments, bows and books. Discover more about this collection.


Robert Lewin's Obituary, written by Margaret Campbell, featured in the Independent. The article can still be read online.