Royal College of Music

Royal College of Music

Overview
The Royal College of Music is a conservatoire
Music school
The term music school refers to an educational institution specialized in the study, training and research of music.Different terms refer to this concept such as school of music, music academy, music faculty, college of music, music department or conservatory.Music instruction can be provided...

 founded by Royal Charter in 1882, located in South Kensington
South Kensington
South Kensington is a district in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea in London. It is a built-up area located 2.4 miles west south-west of Charing Cross....

, London
London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

, England
England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

.

The first director was Sir George Grove
George Grove
Sir George Grove, CB was an English writer on music, known as the founding editor of Grove's Dictionary of Music and Musicians....

 and he was followed by Sir Hubert Parry
Hubert Parry
Sir Charles Hubert Hastings Parry, 1st Baronet was an English composer, teacher and historian of music.Parry's first major works appeared in 1880. As a composer he is best known for the choral song "Jerusalem", the coronation anthem "I was glad" and the hymn tune "Repton", which sets the words...

. The first building was opposite the west side to the Royal Albert Hall but by 1887 the college was seeking to move to larger premises.

The college's famous current building, of red brick dressed with buff-coloured Welden stone, designed by Sir Arthur Blomfield
Arthur Blomfield
Sir Arthur William Blomfield was an English architect.-Background:The fourth son of Charles James Blomfield, an Anglican Bishop of London helpfully began a programme of new church construction in the capital. Born in Fulham Palace, Arthur Blomfield was educated at Rugby and Trinity College,...

 in Flemish Mannerist
Antwerp Mannerism
Antwerp Mannerism is the name given to the style of a largely anonymous group of painters from Antwerp in the beginning of the 16th century. The style bore no direct relation to Renaissance or Italian Mannerism, but the name suggests a peculiarity that was a reaction to the "classic" style of the...

 style and built in 1892-94, is situated on Prince Consort Road
Prince Consort Road
Prince Consort Road is a street in the City of Westminster, London, England. The road is named for Albert, Prince Consort to Queen Victoria. The road is located between Queen's Gate to the west, and Exhibition Road to the east, and runs parallel to Kensington Gore.Several notable buildings have...

 in the district of South Kensington
South Kensington
South Kensington is a district in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea in London. It is a built-up area located 2.4 miles west south-west of Charing Cross....

.
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Encyclopedia
The Royal College of Music is a conservatoire
Music school
The term music school refers to an educational institution specialized in the study, training and research of music.Different terms refer to this concept such as school of music, music academy, music faculty, college of music, music department or conservatory.Music instruction can be provided...

 founded by Royal Charter in 1882, located in South Kensington
South Kensington
South Kensington is a district in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea in London. It is a built-up area located 2.4 miles west south-west of Charing Cross....

, London
London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

, England
England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

.

Background


The first director was Sir George Grove
George Grove
Sir George Grove, CB was an English writer on music, known as the founding editor of Grove's Dictionary of Music and Musicians....

 and he was followed by Sir Hubert Parry
Hubert Parry
Sir Charles Hubert Hastings Parry, 1st Baronet was an English composer, teacher and historian of music.Parry's first major works appeared in 1880. As a composer he is best known for the choral song "Jerusalem", the coronation anthem "I was glad" and the hymn tune "Repton", which sets the words...

. The first building was opposite the west side to the Royal Albert Hall but by 1887 the college was seeking to move to larger premises.

The college's famous current building, of red brick dressed with buff-coloured Welden stone, designed by Sir Arthur Blomfield
Arthur Blomfield
Sir Arthur William Blomfield was an English architect.-Background:The fourth son of Charles James Blomfield, an Anglican Bishop of London helpfully began a programme of new church construction in the capital. Born in Fulham Palace, Arthur Blomfield was educated at Rugby and Trinity College,...

 in Flemish Mannerist
Antwerp Mannerism
Antwerp Mannerism is the name given to the style of a largely anonymous group of painters from Antwerp in the beginning of the 16th century. The style bore no direct relation to Renaissance or Italian Mannerism, but the name suggests a peculiarity that was a reaction to the "classic" style of the...

 style and built in 1892-94, is situated on Prince Consort Road
Prince Consort Road
Prince Consort Road is a street in the City of Westminster, London, England. The road is named for Albert, Prince Consort to Queen Victoria. The road is located between Queen's Gate to the west, and Exhibition Road to the east, and runs parallel to Kensington Gore.Several notable buildings have...

 in the district of South Kensington
South Kensington
South Kensington is a district in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea in London. It is a built-up area located 2.4 miles west south-west of Charing Cross....

. The building is regarded as Blomfield's masterpiece, and one of the finest examples of Victorian architecture in London. The College is located next to Imperial College, directly opposite the Royal Albert Hall
Royal Albert Hall
The Royal Albert Hall is a concert hall situated on the northern edge of the South Kensington area, in the City of Westminster, London, England, best known for holding the annual summer Proms concerts since 1941....

, near the Royal College of Art
Royal College of Art
The Royal College of Art is an art school located in London, United Kingdom. It is the world’s only wholly postgraduate university of art and design, offering the degrees of Master of Arts , Master of Philosophy and Doctor of Philosophy...

 and five minutes' walk from the Science
Science Museum (London)
The Science Museum is one of the three major museums on Exhibition Road, South Kensington, London in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. It is part of the National Museum of Science and Industry. The museum is a major London tourist attraction....

, Natural History
Natural History Museum
The Natural History Museum is one of three large museums on Exhibition Road, South Kensington, London, England . Its main frontage is on Cromwell Road...

 and Victoria and Albert
Victoria and Albert Museum
The Victoria and Albert Museum , set in the Brompton district of The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, London, England, is the world's largest museum of decorative arts and design, housing a permanent collection of over 4.5 million objects...

 Museums. The dense presence of these cultural institutions has earned this Kensington neighbourhood the nickname of Albertopolis
Albertopolis
Albertopolis is the area centred on South Kensington, Kensington & Chelsea, London, England, between Cromwell Road and Kensington Gore, which contains a large number of educational and cultural sites, including:*Imperial College London...

.

The new college building was largely paid for by two large donations from Samson Fox
Samson Fox
Samson Fox was a British engineer, industrialist, and philanthropist.-Life and career:Samson Fox was born in Bowling, Bradford, Yorkshire, England, to Jonas and Sarah Fox , and the family moved shortly afterwards to live in nearby Leeds...

, a Yorkshire industrialist, whose statue, along with that of the Prince of Wales, stands in the entrance hall. A hall of residence serving 170 students was opened in 1994 on Goldhawk Road in Shepherd's Bush
Shepherd's Bush
-Commerce:Commercial activity in Shepherd's Bush is now focused on the Westfield shopping centre next to Shepherd's Bush Central line station and on the many small shops which run along the northern side of the Green....

, west London
London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

.

Since its founding in 1882 and the state opening of its building on 2 May 1894 by the Prince of Wales, later Edward VII
Edward VII of the United Kingdom
Edward VII was King of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions and Emperor of India from 22 January 1901 until his death in 1910...

, the College has been linked with the Royal family. Its patron is currently Her Majesty, The Queen
Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom
Elizabeth II is the constitutional monarch of 16 sovereign states known as the Commonwealth realms: the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Jamaica, Barbados, the Bahamas, Grenada, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Belize,...

. For 40 years, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother
Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon
Elizabeth Angela Marguerite Bowes-Lyon was the queen consort of King George VI from 1936 until her husband's death in 1952, after which she was known as Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, to avoid confusion with her daughter, Queen Elizabeth II...

 was President; in 1993 HRH The Prince of Wales
Charles, Prince of Wales
Prince Charles, Prince of Wales is the heir apparent and eldest son of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. Since 1958 his major title has been His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales. In Scotland he is additionally known as The Duke of Rothesay...

 became President, Her Majesty The Queen Mother becoming President Emerita.

The College is a registered charity
Charitable organization
A charitable organization is a type of non-profit organization . It differs from other types of NPOs in that it centers on philanthropic goals A charitable organization is a type of non-profit organization (NPO). It differs from other types of NPOs in that it centers on philanthropic goals A...

 under English law. Its current director is the clarinettist and scholar Professor Colin Lawson.

Curriculum


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. It also has an extensive museum of musical instrument
Musical instrument
A musical instrument is a device created or adapted for the purpose of making musical sounds. In principle, any object that produces sound can serve as a musical instrument—it is through purpose that the object becomes a musical instrument. The history of musical instruments dates back to the...

s which is open to the public, see below.

Performance venues


The RCM's main concert venue is the Amaryllis Fleming Concert Hall
Amaryllis Fleming
Amaryllis Marie-Louise Fleming was a British cello performer and teacher.- Early life and education :...

 a 468 seat barrel-vaulted concert hall designed by Sir Arthur Blomfield
Arthur Blomfield
Sir Arthur William Blomfield was an English architect.-Background:The fourth son of Charles James Blomfield, an Anglican Bishop of London helpfully began a programme of new church construction in the capital. Born in Fulham Palace, Arthur Blomfield was educated at Rugby and Trinity College,...

, built in 1901 and extensively restored in 2008/9. The Britten Theatre, which seats 400, was opened by Queen Elizabeth II in 1986 and is used for opera, ballet, music and theatre. There is also a 150 seat recital hall dating from 1965, as well as several smaller recital rooms, including three organ-equipped Parry Rooms
Hubert Parry
Sir Charles Hubert Hastings Parry, 1st Baronet was an English composer, teacher and historian of music.Parry's first major works appeared in 1880. As a composer he is best known for the choral song "Jerusalem", the coronation anthem "I was glad" and the hymn tune "Repton", which sets the words...

.

Museum of Instruments



The College's Museum of Instruments, forming part of the Centre for Performance History, houses an important 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
George Grove
Sir George Grove, CB was an English writer on music, known as the founding editor of Grove's Dictionary of Music and Musicians....

, the RCM holds significant research collections of material dating from the fifteenth century onwards. These include autographs such as Haydn
Joseph Haydn
Franz Joseph Haydn , known as Joseph Haydn , was an Austrian composer, one of the most prolific and prominent composers of the Classical period. He is often called the "Father of the Symphony" and "Father of the String Quartet" because of his important contributions to these forms...

’s String Quartet Op. 64/1, Mozart
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart , baptismal name Johannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart , was a prolific and influential composer of the Classical era. He composed over 600 works, many acknowledged as pinnacles of symphonic, concertante, chamber, piano, operatic, and choral music...

’s Piano Concerto K491
Piano Concerto No. 24 (Mozart)
The Piano Concerto No. 24 in C minor, K. 491 is a concertante work for piano, or pianoforte, and orchestra by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Mozart composed the concerto in the winter of 1785–1786 and completed the work on 24 March 1786...

 and Elgar
Edward Elgar
Sir Edward William Elgar, 1st Baronet OM, GCVO was an English composer, many of whose works have entered the British and international classical concert repertoire. Among his best-known compositions are orchestral works including the Enigma Variations, the Pomp and Circumstance Marches, concertos...

’s Cello Concerto
Cello Concerto (Elgar)
Edward Elgar's Cello Concerto in E minor, Op. 85, his last notable work, is a cornerstone of the solo cello repertoire. Elgar composed it in the aftermath of the First World War, by which time his music had gone out of fashion with the concert-going public...

. More extensive collections feature the music of Herbert Howells
Herbert Howells
Herbert Norman Howells CH was an English composer, organist, and teacher, most famous for his large output of Anglican church music.-Life:...

, Frank Bridge
Frank Bridge
Frank Bridge was an English composer and violist.-Life:Bridge was born in Brighton and studied at the Royal College of Music in London from 1899 to 1903 under Charles Villiers Stanford and others...

 and Malcolm Arnold
Malcolm Arnold
Sir Malcolm Henry Arnold, CBE was an English composer and symphonist.Malcolm Arnold began his career playing trumpet professionally, but by age thirty his life was devoted to composition. He was ranked with Benjamin Britten as one of the most sought-after composers in Britain...

 and film scores by Stanley Myers
Stanley Myers
Stanley Myers , was a prolific British film composer who scored over sixty films. Born in Birmingham, as a teenager Myers went to King Edward's School in Edgbaston, a suburb of Birmingham...

. Amongst over 300 original portraits are John Cawse
John Cawse
John Cawse, who was born about 1779, exhibited portraits at the Academy in 1802, and afterwards historical pictures. He is best remembered by his work 'The Art of Painting Portraits, Landscapes, Animals, Draperies, &c., in oil colours,' published in 1840. He died in 1862.-References:...

’s 1826 painting of Weber
Carl Maria von Weber
Carl Maria Friedrich Ernst von Weber was a German composer, conductor, pianist, guitarist and critic, one of the first significant composers of the Romantic school....

 (the last of the composer), Haydn
Joseph Haydn
Franz Joseph Haydn , known as Joseph Haydn , was an Austrian composer, one of the most prolific and prominent composers of the Classical period. He is often called the "Father of the Symphony" and "Father of the String Quartet" because of his important contributions to these forms...

 by Thomas Hardy (1791) and Bartolommeo Nazari's painting of Farinelli
Farinelli
Farinelli , was the stage name of Carlo Maria Broschi, celebrated Italian castrato singer of the 18th century and one of the greatest singers in the history of opera.- Early years :...

 at the height of his fame. A recent addition to the Collection is a portrait of Russian composer Alfred Schnittke
Alfred Schnittke
Alfred Schnittke ; November 24, 1934 – August 3, 1998) was a Russian and Soviet composer. Schnittke's early music shows the strong influence of Dmitri Shostakovich. He developed a polystylistic technique in works such as the epic First Symphony and First Concerto Grosso...

 by Irish artist Reginald Gray
Reginald Gray
Sir Reginald Gray KC was a Bermudian barrister and politician.The son of Sir Samuel Gray, Attorney-General and Chief Justice of Bermuda, Gray was educated at Burlington House School in London and was called to the bar by the Inner Temple in 1875.Returning to his native Bermuda to practise, he was...

.

10,000 print
Printmaking
Printmaking is the process of making artworks by printing, normally on paper. Printmaking normally covers only the process of creating prints with an element of originality, rather than just being a photographic reproduction of a painting. Except in the case of monotyping, the process is capable...

s and photograph
Photograph
A photograph is an image created by light falling on a light-sensitive surface, usually photographic film or an electronic imager such as a CCD or a CMOS chip. Most photographs are created using a camera, which uses a lens to focus the scene's visible wavelengths of light into a reproduction of...

s 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
Jan Ladislav Dussek
Jan Ladislav Dussek was a Czech composer and pianist. He was an important representative of Czech music abroad in the second half of 18th century and the beginning of 19th century...

 and George Henschel
George Henschel
Sir George Henschel , was a British baritone, pianist, conductor, and composer of German birth....

.

People


Since opening in 1882, the college has had a distinguished list of teachers and alumni, comprising the great majority of the composers who brought about the British musical Renaissance of the 19th. and 20th. centuries. Alumni include Gustav Holst
Gustav Holst
Gustav Theodore Holst was an English composer. He is most famous for his orchestral suite The Planets....

, Benjamin Britten
Benjamin Britten
Edward Benjamin Britten, Baron Britten, OM CH was an English composer, conductor, and pianist. He showed talent from an early age, and first came to public attention with the a cappella choral work A Boy Was Born in 1934. With the premiere of his opera Peter Grimes in 1945, he leapt to...

, Sir Colin Davis, Dame Gwyneth Jones, Sir Neville Marriner, Trevor Pinnock
Trevor Pinnock
Trevor David Pinnock CBE is an English conductor, harpsichordist, and occasional organist and pianist.He is best known for his association with the period-performance orchestra The English Concert which he helped found and directed from the keyboard for over 30 years in baroque and early classical...

, Ralph Vaughan Williams
Ralph Vaughan Williams
Ralph Vaughan Williams OM was an English composer of symphonies, chamber music, opera, choral music, and film scores. He was also a collector of English folk music and song: this activity both influenced his editorial approach to the English Hymnal, beginning in 1904, in which he included many...

, Lord Andrew Lloyd Webber, Anna Russell
Anna Russell
Anna Russell, née Anna Claudia Russell-Brown was an English–Canadian singer and comedienne. She gave many concerts in which she sang and played comic musical sketches on the piano...

, guitarist John Williams
John Williams (guitarist)
John Christopher Williams is an Australian classical guitarist, and a long-term resident of the United Kingdom. In 1973, he shared a Grammy Award win in the 'Best Chamber Music Performance' category with Julian Bream for Julian and John .-Biography:John Williams was born on 24 April 1941 in...

 and John Beckett
John Beckett
John Warburton Beckett was a leading figure in British politics between the world wars, both in the Labour Party and Fascist movements....

.
  • See Royal College of Music alumni and faculty for a list of members of the alumni community and notable members of the faculty.

External links