Formed in 1996, the Gerald Coke Handel Foundation administers the endowment that accompanies the Gerald Coke Handel Collection and assists the Foundling Museum with the care of the Collection, which came to the Museum through the Government’s Allocation in Lieu scheme. The Board is comprised of eight members, including two trustees nominated by the Handel Institute, and one trustee nominated by the Foundling Museum; five independent trustees are elected by the membership from persons nominated by the existing trustees.

The Company’s objectives are to advance public education by providing research facilities for academics, musicologists, musicians, students, writers, researchers and all those interested in the life and work of Handel, his associates and contemporaries, the musical environment of his time, the printing and publishing of music in the eighteenth century, and related subjects.

Contact the Foundation via the Secretary at

The Foundation is a registered charity (no.1058589)

Board of Trustees

Nicolas Bell, Chair

Nicolas Bell is Librarian and Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge. Until 2015 he was a Curator of Music Manuscripts at the British Library, overseeing several major archival acquisitions as well as cataloguing, conservation and exhibition of the collections. His doctoral research was in the music of the Middle Ages, and he worked on Handel’s manuscripts for a Master’s degree. He has published books and articles on music manuscripts of many different periods. At the British Library he planned the digitisation of Handel’s autograph manuscripts, which are now freely available on the Library’s website. Nicolas is the General Secretary of the Henry Bradshaw Society, founded in 1890 for the editing of rare liturgical texts, and is a trustee of the Vaughan Williams Charitable Trust, the Mátyás Seiber Trust, the RISM (UK) Trust and the Plainsong and Medieval Music Society.


Sarah Bardwell

Sarah Bardwell is the General Director of the Britten-Pears Foundation which promotes the musical legacy of Benjamin Britten and Peter Pears, through an extensive archive and library, and by welcoming visitors to the Red House at the five acre site in Aldeburgh where they lived together for 20 years. The Foundation runs an active education, events and concerts series, as well as promoting the arts more widely through grant giving to other charities. Previously Sarah was the Director of Handel House Museum, managing a series of highly-acclaimed exhibitions, musical programmes and ground-breaking education projects. During her eleven year tenure she led the organisation through a major capital project to secure a long lease for the property, and ran a £2m HLF-supported building project to incorporate a learning studio and the Jimi Hendrix flat. A music graduate, she has worked at the Royal Albert Hall, English National Opera and undertook a year-long arts leadership fellowship at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC, USA.


Michael Burden

Michael Burden is Professor in Opera Studies at University of Oxford and Chair of the Music Faculty Board, as well as Fellow in Music at New College where he is Dean. He has published research is on the theatre music of Henry Purcell, and on the staging of opera and dance in London in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. In 2013 his study of the soprano Regina Mingotti’s London years and a five-volume collection of documents on London opera, London Opera Observed, were both published. He is currently working on two databases: the Italian Aria on the London Stage before 1801, and The London Stage 1800-1900 (a calendar of performances). Other areas of research include the administration of the Pyne-Harrison and English Opera Companies, and aspects of the career of the conductor Anton Rieff. Michael organises the annual Oxford Dance Symposium with Jennifer Thorp, with whom he co-edited the Ballet de la Nuit in 2010. He is a past president of the British Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies, a former Visitor to the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, a trustee of RISM, and director of productions of New Chamber Opera.


Chris Cotton

Chris Cotton held the post of Chief Executive Officer of the Royal Albert Hall from 2009-2017. He also serves as Chair of the Exhibition Road Cultural Group; Chair of Jerwood Space; and a Director of Julie’s Bicycle, an environmental sustainability charity working with the arts and creative industries. As CEO of the Royal Albert Hall, Chris has led the organisation through a period of unprecedented growth, overseeing the development of a wide and ambitious musical and events programme. An area of particular focus has been education and outreach work, particularly with children and young people. An architect by training, Chris spearheaded several major development projects at the Hall, including infrastructure, expansion and improvement works to the Grade 1 listed building. After seven years overseeing the Hall’s development as a world-leading live events location, he retired from his role as CEO in March 2017.


Andrew Jones

Andrew Jones is a retired Senior Lecturer in Music at the University of Cambridge, and an Emeritus Fellow of Selwyn College where he was the Director of Studies in Music for 38 years. His published research is on Carissimi, performance practice (particularly in opera), and Handel. He edited Handel’s opera Rodelinda for the Hallische Händel-Ausgabe, and ten of Handel’s cantatas for soprano and basso continuo for Faber. He is currently preparing a complete edition of Handel’s 87 continuo cantatas for the HHA. In 1985 Andrew created the Cambridge Handel Opera Group; over the next 28 years he edited, translated, and conducted staged performances of 15 of Handel’s operas. He is a trustee of the Handel Institute.


Dr Paul Spencer-Longhurst

Dr Paul Spencer-Longhurst, FSA, holds an MA (Hons) in Modern History from the University of Oxford, a Diploma from the Study Centre for the History of Fine and Decorative Arts at the Victoria & Albert Museum, an MA in Romantic Art from the Courtauld Institute of Art, and a PhD from the University of Birmingham. Since October 2009 he has been a Senior Research Fellow at the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, London, researching and compiling an online catalogue of the paintings and works on paper of Richard Wilson (1713/14-1782). Richard Wilson Online was launched in October 2014 to mark the tercentenary of the artist’s birth, and continues to grow as a work in progress. Paul began his career as Official Lecturer at the National Gallery, London, before moving to the Barber Institute of Fine Arts, University of Birmingham, where he held successive positions until 2010, culminating as Senior Curator and Senior Lecturer. His research focuses on British painting of the late eighteenth and the nineteenth centuries, French Neo-Classical and Romantic art, and the history of collecting and patronage. He has curated a number of major exhibitions at important venues in Britain and the USA, featuring the work of Gainsborough, Constable, Turner, Rossetti, Puvis de Chavannes, Degas, J.C. Dahl and other artists. He is a Trustee of the Public Picture Gallery Fund and a member of the Cathedral Fabric Advisory Committee at Birmingham.


Nick Morgan

Nick Morgan qualified as a chartered accountant in 1971 and was a partner in Nash Broad, which merged with Chantrey Vellacott in 1996, for 24 years. He retired as a partner in 2004 but remained as a consultant for a further five years, and now has his own small practice based in the East Midlands. Since the early 1990s Nick has specialised in advising charities. As well as being Head of the Charities Group at Chantrey Vellacott, he was a founder member of the Association of Charity Independent Examiners in 1999, where he was also a trustee, and served as a committee member of the Charities and Voluntary Group of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales for many years. In 2001 Nick co-authored a major publication Charities: An Industry Accounting and Auditing Guide. He has also published articles and spoken at seminars on various charity matters.


Rahul Sinha

Rahul Sinha is Managing Director of Inquiry, an international development consultancy providing research and evaluation support to front-line NGOs working to improve governance, and promote economic growth in developing countries worldwide. Before moving to London in 2019, he was a Trustee for Creative Minds International, a public charter school in Washington DC. He previous served as a consultant with Higher Ed Insight, advising universities and government bodies on effective approaches to help non-traditional students succeed, and as Senior Policy Analyst at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. In 2016 he co-founded Rise Stronger, a civic engagement network bringing the policy community into direct dialogue with the public they serve; after a year, Rise had 300 active volunteers and 70,000 members, and was active in 22 US states. He has been published on competition policy reforms necessitated by new technology-facilitated business models, as well as the use of economics to measure psychological effects on residents of urban planning decisions and the built environment in their communities. Rahul is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Art.


Colin Timms

Colin Timms is Emeritus Professor of Music at the University of Birmingham, where he held the Peyton and Barber chair from 1992-2012. His research is concerned with Italian vocal music of the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, and with Handel. He has edited cantatas and duets by Agostino Steffani, won a British Academy prize for his monograph on the composer (Polymath of the Baroque) and conducted two of his operas. He has also edited Handel’s Theodora for the Hallische Händel-Ausgabe and two volumes of music by Alessandro Stradella, and reconstructed Handel’s Comus. He is a trustee of the Handel Institute, and editor of its newsletter, and honorary president of the Forum Agostino Steffani in Hanover.