Royal Conservatoire of Scotland

Royal Conservatoire of Scotland
Royal Conservatoire of
Established 1993 - granted degree-awarding powers
1845 - Glasgow Educational Association
Type Conservatoire
Principal Professor John Wallace
Students 836
Location Glasgow, Scotland
Affiliations Conservatoires UK, Association of European Conservatoires, Conference of Drama Schools

The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (formerly Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama) is a conservatoire of music, drama, and dance in the centre of Glasgow, Scotland. Founded in 1845 as the Glasgow Educational Association, it is the busiest performing arts venue in Scotland. The current Principal is Professor John Wallace, CBE, a trumpet player, the President is Sir Cameron Mackintosh, and the Patron is HRH The Prince of Wales.



The Royal Conservatoire has occupied its current purpose-built building on Renfrew Street in Glasgow since 1988. However, its roots lie in several different organisations. Primarily, it began with the establishment of the Glasgow Educational Association in 1845, which formed to provide courses in competition with the University of Glasgow. The Association later became the Glasgow Commercial College, and this in turn became part of the Glasgow Athenaeum in 1847. The Glasgow Athenaeum provided training in commercial skills, literature, languages, sciences, mathematics and music. Charles Dickens gave its inaugural speech, in which he stated that he regarded the Glasgow Athenaeum as " educational example and encouragement to the rest of Scotland".

In 1888, the commercial teaching of the Glasgow Athenaeum separated to form the Athenaeum Commercial College, which, after several rebrandings and a merger, became the University of Strathclyde in 1964. In 1890 the non-commercial teaching side of the Glasgow Athenaeum became the Glasgow Athenaeum School of Music, which in turn became the Scottish National Academy of Music in 1929, which, in 1944, became the Royal Scottish Academy of Music.

In 1950 the Royal Scottish Academy of Music established a drama department called the Glasgow College of Dramatic Art. It became the first UK drama school to contain a full, broadcast-specification television studio in 1962. In 1968 the Royal Scottish Academy of Music changed its name to the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama and introduced its first degree courses, which were validated by the University of Glasgow. In 1993 RSAMD became the first conservatoire in the United Kingdom to be granted its own degree-awarding powers.

Research degrees undertaken at RSAMD are validated and awarded by the University of St Andrews in Fife. RSAMD is a member of the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music.

Name Change

From 1 September 2011, the RSAMD was renamed the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. [1] This decision came after a long consultation process, involving the principal and the Academy's board of directors, as well as past and present students and staff, arts & academic institutions, politicians, and the Royal Protocol Unit. Professor John Wallace expressed that the new name would be necessary, in order to cover all fields that the institute can offer, as it was no longer simply a Music & Drama academy. Undergraduate courses in areas such as Digital Film & Television, Technical Production Arts, and most recently Modern Ballet, have been added to the list of performance degrees the Academy has to offer, so the principal felt it was best to choose a name that was representative of all disciplines offered.


The Royal Conservatoire has a range of facilities, including several performance spaces: the Guinness Room, Stevenson Hall, the Chandler Studio Theatre, the New Athenaeum Theatre, and the Alexander Gibson Opera Studio (built in 1998). There are around 65 private practice rooms for music students, each equipped with a piano with stool, music stand and chairs. These include 8 rooms reserved solely for pianists, several rooms for use by the Scottish music department, and 8 rehearsal and coaching rooms. The Academy also houses a professional recording studio, recently moved from the second floor up to the Opera School,.

The Conservatoire has recently fitted part of one of its main performing spaces, the New Athenaeum Theatre, with a Stage Technologies automated flying system, meaning the School became the first educational establishment in the UK to offer Stage Automation Training as part of the curriculum. In 2010, the Conservatoire opened its second campus near Cowcaddens, now known as the "Speirs Locks Studios".[2] This building was designed by Malcolm Fraser, and named by Conservatoire Students. It was opened predominantly to house the ballet, TPA and DFTV courses, as the Renfrew Street campus was struggling to accommodate the combination of new courses and higher intake levels.


Front facade of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland

School of Music

  • Keyboard
  • Vocal Studies
  • Opera
  • Strings
  • Woodwind
  • Brass
  • Timpani and Percussion
  • Scottish Music
  • Composition
  • Academic Studies
  • Conducting
  • Jazz

School of Drama

  • Acting
  • Classical and Contemporary Text (Masters)
  • Contemporary Performance Practice
  • Digital Film and Television
  • Technical and Production Arts
  • Musical Theatre
  • Directing

School of Dance

  • Modern Ballet

Junior Conservatoire

  • Junior School of Music
  • Drama Works


See also


External links

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