Royal College of Music

Royal College of Music

Infobox University
name = Royal College of Music

image_size = 80px
established = 1882
president = HRH The Prince of Wales
type = Public
city = South Kensington, London
country = England
students = 610 [cite web| url=|title=History of the Royal College of Music|accessdate=2008-09-15|format=HTML]
website =

The Royal College of Music is a well known conservatoire located in the South Kensington district of London, England, and one of the leading music institutions in the world. Since its founding, a number of professors and alumni of the RCM have played significant roles in shaping the history and development of Western classical music in the 20th and 21st centuries. [ [ Royal College of Music - About Us ] ] [ [ Ralph Vaughan Williams, Composer - The Michael O'Neal Singers ] ] [ [ BBC - Singers - A Choral Timeline: Britten ] ]


The Royal College of Music's building, designed by Sir Arthur Blomfield, is situated on Prince Consort Road in the district of South Kensington, next to Imperial College, directly opposite the Royal Albert Hall, near the Royal College of Art and five minutes' walk from the Science, Natural History and Victoria and Albert Museums. The dense presence of these cultural institutions has earned this Kensington neighborhood the nickname of Albertopolis.

A dormitory residence serving 170 students was opened in 1994 on Goldhawk Road in Shepherd's Bush, West London. []

Since its founding in 1882 by the Prince of Wales, later Edward VII, the College has been linked with the Royal family. Its patron is currently Her Majesty, The Queen. For 40 years, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother was President; in 1993 HRH The Prince of Wales became President, Her Majesty The Queen Mother becoming President Emerita.

The current director is the clarinettist and scholar Professor Colin Lawson. [ [ Official site] ] [ [ Architectural history and description] from the "Survey of London"] .


The college teaches all aspects of Western classical music from undergraduate to doctoral level. There is a Junior Department, where 300 children aged 8 to 18 are educated on Saturdays, under the scrutiny of Director; Peter Hewitt BA PGCE HonRCM FRSA.cite web |url=|title=Royal College of Music, Junior Department|accessdate=2008-06-02|format=HTML] It also has an extensive museum of musical instruments which is open to the public, see below.

Museum of Instruments

The College's Museum of Instruments, forming part of the Centre for Performance History, houses a collection of over 800 instruments and accessories from circa 1480 to the present. Included in the collection is the world's oldest surviving keyboard instrument.

Other collections

Due partly to the vision of its founders, particularly Sir George Grove, the RCM holds significant research collections of material dating from the fifteenth century onwards. These include autographs such as Haydn’s String Quartet Op. 64/1, Mozart’s Piano Concerto K491 and Elgar’s Cello Concerto. More extensive collections feature the music of Herbert Howells and Frank Bridge and film scores by Malcolm Arnold and Stanley Myers. Amongst over 300 original portraits are John Cawse’s 1826 painting of Weber (the last of the composer), Haydn by Thomas Hardy (1791) and Bartolommeo Nazari's painting of Farinelli at the height of his fame.

10,000 prints and photographs comprise the most substantial archive of images of musicians in the UK. The RCM’s 600,000 concert programmes document concert life from 1730 to the present day. Paintings on display at the Museum include two portraits of Jan Ladislav Dussek and George Henschel.

Notable alumni

Famous students of the RCM have included:
*Thomas Allen (born 1944), singer
*Julian Anderson (born 1967), composer
*Malcolm Arnold (1921 - 2006), composer
*Evelyn Barbirolli (1911-2008), oboist
*John S. Beckett (1927 - 2007), composer, performer and conductor
*Luke Bedford (born 1978), composer
*Clifford Benson (1946 - 2007), pianist
*John Birch (born 1929), organist
*Robin Blaze (1970) - countertenor
*Arthur Bliss (1891 - 1975), composer
*Rutland Boughton (1878 - 1960), composer
*Julian Bream (born 1933), guitarist and lutenist
*Benjamin Britten (1913 - 1976), composer
*George Butterworth (1885 - 1916), composer
*Ronald Cavaye (born 1951), pianist and writer.
*Samuel Coleridge-Taylor (1875 - 1912), composer
*Charles Daniels singer
*Thurston Dart (1921 - 1971), performer and musicologist
*Andrew Davis (born 1944), conductor
*Colin Davis (born 1927), conductor
*David Fanshawe (born 1942), composer and ethnomusicologist
*Alan Fleming-Baird (born 1972), composer
*James Galway (born 1939), flautist
*Noel Gay (1898 - 1954), songwriter
*Daniel Giorgetti, composer
*Robert John Godfrey (born 1947), composer & pianist
*Eugène Goossens (1893 - 1962), conductor
*Léon Goossens (1897-1988), oboist
*Charles Groves (1915 - 1992), conductor
*Richard Harvey (born 1953), composer and multi-instrumentalist
*David Helfgott (born 1947), pianist
*Kenneth Hesketh (born 1968), composer
*Peter Hill, pianist
*Gustav Holst (1874 - 1934), composer
*James Horner (born 1953), composer
*Herbert Howells (1892-1983), composer
*Owain Arwel Hughes (born 1942), conductor - Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
*John Ireland (1879 - 1962), composer and pianist
*Dame Gwyneth Jones (born 1936), Wagnerian soprano
*Dame Thea King (1925-2007), clarinettist
*Constant Lambert (1905 - 1951), composer and critic
*John Lill (born 1944), pianist
*Neville Marriner (born 1924), conductor
*William Neil McKie (1901-1984), organist and choir director
*Francis Monkman (born 1949), rock, classical and film score composer
*Steve Nieve (born 1958), keyboardist
*Peter Pears (1910 - 1986), singer
*Mica Penniman (aka Mika) (born 1983), pop rock musician and songwriter
*Trevor Pinnock (born 1946), harpsichordist and conductor
*Gilbert Rowland (born 1946), harpsichordist
*Stephen Savage, pianist
*Paul Schwartz, music producer, composer, arranger, conductor and pianist.
*Oda Slobodskaya (188? - 1969), singer
*Cyril Smith (1909 - 1974), pianist
*Leopold Stokowski (1882 - 1977), conductor
*Joan Sutherland (born 1926), singer
*Michael Tippett (1905 - 1998), composer
*Nancy Tsuchiachi (born 1960), pianist and pedagogue
*Mark-Anthony Turnage (born 1960), composer
*Nick van Bloss (born 1967), pianist, author
*Rick Wakeman (born 1949), keyboardist
*Bernard Walton (1917-1972), clarinetist
*William Waterhouse (1931-2007), bassoonist and organologist
*Dame Fanny Waterman (born 1920), founder, chairman and artistic director of the Leeds International Pianoforte Competition
*Darryl Way (born 1948), rock and classical musician
*Andrew Lloyd Webber (born 1948), composer
*Julian Lloyd Webber (born 1951), cellist
*William Lloyd Webber (1914 - 1982), composer
*Gillian Weir (born 1941), internationally-renowned organist
*John Williams (born 1941), guitarist
*Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872 - 1958), composer


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