Royal Academy of Music

Royal Academy of Music

Infobox University
name = Royal Academy of Music

image_size =
caption =
latin_name =
motto =
established = 1822
type = Public
staff =
president = HRH The Duchess of Gloucester
principal = Professor Jonathan Freeman-Attwood KBE
students = 730cite web |url= |title=Table 0a - All students by institution, mode of study, level of study, gender and domicile 2005/06 |work=Higher Education Statistics Agency online statistics |accessdate=2007-03-31]
undergrad = 310
postgrad = 420
doctoral =
profess =
city = London
state =
country = England
campus = Urban
free_label =
free =
colours =
affiliations = University of London
footnotes =
website =
address = Marylebone Road, London NW1
publictransit = Baker Street or Regent's Park tube; many buses go along Marylebone Road
telephone = 020 7873 7300
coor =

The Royal Academy of Music in London, England, is a well known conservatoire and one of the leading music institutions in the world. The Royal academy of Music has been a constituent college of the University of London since 1999. Today, the Academy occupies a role as one of London's central cultural institutions. [ [ London: The Royal Academy of Music « High Culture on a Low Budget ] ] The Academy was founded by Lord Burghersh in 1822 with the help and ideas of the French eccentric harpist and composer Nicolas Bochsa and in 1830 was granted a Royal Charter by King George IV, [ Bernarr Rainbow & Anthony Kemp, 'London (i), §VIII, 3(i): Educational institutions: Royal Academy of Music (RAM)', "Grove Music Online" (Accessed 19 February 2007), ] "to promote the cultivation of the science of music and to afford facilities for attaining perfection in it by assisting with general instruction all persons desirous of acquiring knowledge thereof."

The Principal of the Academy is Professor Jonathan Freeman-Attwood, who was appointed in July 2008.

The Academy

The Academy is situated on Marylebone Road in central London [ 'Royal Academy of Music', "Oxford Concise Dictionary of Music", ed., Michael Kennedy, (Oxford, 2004) ISBN-13: 978-0-19-860884-4 ] adjacent to Regent's Park. Academy facilities, which include the 450-seat Duke's Hall, the Sir Jack Lyons Theatre donated by philanthropist Sir Jack Lyons and two smaller concert spaces, were expanded in 2001 with the opening of the new 150-seat David Josefowitz recital hall and a public museum of musical instruments and artifacts from the Academy's collections. The Junior Academy, for pupils under the age of 18, takes place every Saturday.

The Academy's library contains over 160,000 items, including significant collections of early printed and manuscript materials and audio facilities. The library also houses archives dedicated to Sir Arthur Sullivan and Sir Henry Wood. Among the Library's most valuable possessions are the manuscripts of Purcell's "The Fairy Queen", Sullivan's "The Mikado", Vaughan Williams' "Fantasia on a Theme of Thomas Tallis" and "Serenade to Music", and the newly-discovered Handel "Gloria". A grant from the National Heritage Memorial Fund has assisted in the purchase of the Robert Spencer Collection — a set of Early English Song and Lute music, as well as a fine collection of lutes and guitars. The York Gate Collections now display many of these items. The Orchestral Library has approximately 4,500 sets of orchestral parts. Other collections include the libraries of Sir Henry Wood and Otto Klemperer.

Harriet Cohen bequeathed a large collection of paintings, some photographs and her gold bracelet to the Academy, with a request that the room in which the paintings were to be housed was named the 'Arnold Bax Room'. Noted for her performances of Bach and modern English music, she was a friend and advocate of Arnold Bax and also premièred Vaughan Williams' Piano Concerto - a work dedicated to her - in 1933. A new biograpy "Music and Men, the Life and Loves of Harriet Cohen" by Helen Fry was published 19 September 2008 with a concert at the Royal Academy of Music.

The Academy has students from over 50 countries, following diverse programmes including instrumental performance, conducting, composition, jazz, musical theatre and opera. The Academy enjoys an established relationship with King's College London, particularly the Department of Music, whose students receive instrumental tuition at the Academy. In return, many students at the Academy take advantage of the range of Humanities choices at King's, and its extended academic musicological curriculum.

The Academy hosts the Asian Music Circuit's annual "Asian Music Summer School" in July each year. In this forum, the public are taught Indian, Chinese and Japanese music from musicians or singers from India, China, Japan and the UK. Related concerts and seminars are held in the Academy to support the summer school's programme.

tudent performances and festivals

Academy students perform regularly in the Academy's concert venues, and also nationally and internationally under respected conductors like Sir Colin Davis, Yan Pascal Tortelier, Christoph von Dohnányi, Sir Charles Mackerras, James MacMillan and Trevor Pinnock. In September 2005, Sir Colin Davis conducted an orchestra which combined students from the Academy and New York's Juilliard School at the BBC Proms.

The Academy collaborates with other conservatoires world-wide, including participating in the SOCRATES student and staff exchange program. In 1991, the Academy introduced a fully accredited degree in Performance Studies, and in September 1999, it became a full constituent college of the University of London, in both cases becoming the first UK conservatoire to do so.

The Academy regularly celebrates the work of a living composer with a festival in the presence of the composer. Previous composer festivals at the Academy have been devoted to the work of Witold Lutosławski, Michael Tippett, Krzysztof Penderecki, Olivier Messiaen, Hans Werner Henze, Luciano Berio, Elliott Carter, as well as Academy graduates, Alfred Schnittke, György Ligeti, British and American film composers, Franco Donatoni, Galina Ustvolskaya, Arvo Pärt, György Kurtág and Mauricio Kagel.

In February-March 2006, an Academy festival celebrated the violin virtuoso Niccolò Paganini, who first visited London 175 years earlier in 1831. The festival included a recital by Academy professor Maxim Vengerov, who performed on "Il Cannone Guarnerius", Paganini's favorite violin.


The Royal Academy of Music offers training from infant level (Junior Academy) to Ph.D.


ome distinguished alumni

* William Alwyn (composer)
* Irvine Arditti (founder of the Arditti Quartet)
* Bryan Balkwill (conductor)
* John Barbirolli (conductor)
* Arnold Bax (composer)
* Luke Bedford (composer)
* Richard Rodney Bennett (composer)
* Anne-Sophie Bertrand (harp)
* Harrison Birtwistle (composer)
* Virginia Black (harpsichord)
* York Bowen (composer and pianist)
* Christopher Bowers-Broadbent (organ)
* Ethel Mary Boyce (composer and pianist)
* Douglas Boyd (conductor]
* Dennis Brain (hornist)
* Dora Estella Bright (composer and pianist)
* Dudley Bright (trombonist)
* Alan Caddy (guitarist with The Tornados)
* Karel Mark Chichon (conductor)
* Eric Coates (composer)
* Harriet Cohen (pianist)
* Christine Croshaw (pianist)
* William Crotch (first Principal of the Royal Academy of Music)
* Ralph John Cupper (organist and composer)
* Sir Clifford Curzon (pianist)
* John Dankworth (jazz composer)
* Duetwo (Piano duo)
* Florence Easton (soprano and first female fellow of the Academy)
* Christopher Elton
* Brian Ferneyhough (Composer)
* Andrew Foster-Williams (bass-baritone)
* Amelia Freedman (founder and Artistic Director of the Nash Ensemble)
* Galliard Wind Ensemble
* Rumon Gamba (conductor)
* Edward Gardner (conductor)
* Lesley Garrett (soprano)
* Mark Gasser (pianist)
* Sir Edward German (composer)
* David Gimenez (conductor)
* Evelyn Glennie (percussionist)
* Otto Goldschmidt (pianist)
* Richard Hand (guitarist)
* Henrik Jul Hansen (conductor)
* Catherine Harper (soprano)
* Alan Harverson (organ)
* Michael Head (composer, pianist, organist and singer)
* Myra Hess (pianist)
* Richard Hickox (conductor)
* James Newton Howard (composer, honorary member)
* Joe Jackson
* Isabel Jay (soprano)
* Karl Jenkins (composer)
* Katherine Jenkins (mezzo-soprano)
* Elton John (rock musician) Junior Academy
* Graham Johnson (pianist)
* Izzy Johnston (star of Wild and FHM)
* Martin Jones (pianist)
* Paul Carey Jones (baritone)
* William Ifor Jones (conductor and organist)
* Jozef Kapustka (pianist)
* Peter Katin (pianist)
* Jonathan Kelly (oboist)
* Freddy Kempf (pianist)
* John Kenny (trombonist)
* Myleene Klass (pop singer, broadcaster and pianist)
* Peter Knight (folk musician and violinist/fiddler)
* Philip Langridge (tenor)
* Simmon Latutin (George Cross winner)
* Annie Lennox (pop singer/flautist)
* Chloe Loh (hip-hop pianist)
* Felicity Lott (soprano)
* Nicola Loud (violinist)
* 林宜融-Annie Lin (Taiwanese Singer)
* Moura Lympany (pianist)
* Andrew McBirnie (composer and educationalist)
* Sydney MacEwan (singer)
* Joanna MacGregor (pianist)
* John McLeod (composer)
* Charles Manners (singer and producer)
* David Martin
* Lee Mead
* Walter Nugent Monck (actor and director)
* Gabriela Montero (pianist)
* Gareth Morris (flautist)
* Philip Mortimer (violinist)
* Mary Nelson (soprano)
* Harry Norris (conductor)
* Michael Nyman (composer)
* Denise Orme
* Paul Patterson (composer)
* Peter Pettinger (pianist and teacher)
* Steve Race (composer, pianist and broadcaster)
* Sir Simon Rattle (conductor)
* Augusta Read Thomas (composer)
* David Robertson (conductor)
* David Sanger (organist)
* Irene Stitt (violinist)
* Marius Stravinsky (conductor)
* Arthur Sullivan (composer)
* Martino Tirimo (pianist)
* Azmer Vessey (pianist)
* Ernest Torrence (baritone)
* Eva Turner (soprano)
* Maxim Vengerov (violinist) Junior Academy
* Christopher Warren-Green (conductor)
* Ian 'H' Watkins (singer)
* Llyr Williams (pianist)
* Julia Wilson James (soprano)
* Nyle Wolfe (baritone)
* Sir Henry Wood (conductor)
* Henry Wylde
* Zi Lan Liao (guzheng player)

ome distinguished past and present teachers

* Kenneth Amis (former International Brass Chair)
* Walter Bache (former Professor of Piano)
* Professor Simon Bainbridge (Head of Composition)
* Sir John Barbirolli
* Joshua Bell (Violin — Visiting Professor)
* William Bennett (Flute)
* Sir Harrison Birtwistle (former professor of Composition)
* Virginia Black (Harpsichord)
* Nicolas Bochsa (1789-1856) (Harp, founding director)
* Barbara Bonney (Opera — Visiting Professor)
* Ian Bousfield (Trombone — Visiting Professor)
* Bruce Boyce (former Professor of singing)
* Keith Bragg (Piccolo, Head of Woodwind)
* Zakhar Bron (former Professor of Violin)
* Daniel Bruggen (Recorder)
* Colin Carr (Cello)
* Simon Carrington (Timpani)
* Laurence Cummings (Head of Historical Performance)
* Sir Colin Davis (International Chair of Orchestral Studies)
* Howard Davis (Violin)
* Julius Drake (Piano Accompaniment)
* Professor Christopher Elton (Head of Keyboard)
* Ian Fountain (Piano)
* Professor Jonathan Freeman-Attwood (Principal)
* Dr Amanda Glauert (Head of Research)
* Clio Gould (Violin and ensembles)
* Mary Hammond (Head of Musical Theatre)
* Maurice Hasson (Violin)
* Christopher Hogwood (Consultant Visiting Professor)
* Peter Holtslag (Recorder)
* Stephen Hough (Visiting Professor of Piano)
* Audrey Hyland (Vocal Coach)
* Yuko Inoue (Viola)
* Skaila Kanga (Head of Harp)
* Jerzy Kosmala (Visiting Professor of Viola)
* Anthony Legge (Director of Opera)
* Michael Lewin (Head of Guitar)
* Joanna MacGregor (Piano)
* Duncan McTier (Head of Double Bass)
* Andrew Marriner (Visiting Professor of Clarinet)
* Sir Peter Maxwell Davies (Composition)
* Colin Metters (Head of Conducting)
* Anne-Sophie Mutter (former Head of International Violin Studies)
* Owen Murray (Head of Classical Accordion)
* Clarence Myerscough (Violin, Head of Strings)
* Pascal Nemirovski (Piano)
* Dennis O'Neill (Visiting Professor of Opera)
* Jonathan Papp (Vocal Coach)
* Paul Patterson (Manson Chair of Composition)
* György Pauk (Ede Zathureczky Professor of Violin)
* Neil Percy (Head of Timpani and Percussion)
* Gerard Presencer (Head of Jazz)
* Curtis Price (former Principal)
* David Pyatt (Horn — Visiting Professor)
* John Ramster (Drama Lecturer)
* Sir Richard Rodney Bennett (Composition — Visiting Professor)
* Martin Roscoe (Piano)
* Patrick Russill (Head of Choral Conducting)
* Tanya Sarkissova (Piano)
* Paul Silverthorne (Viola)
* Martin Speake (Saxophone)
* David Strange (Cello, Head of Strings)
* Jeremy Summerly (Head of Academic Studies)
* Robert Tear (Opera — Visiting Professor)
* Michael Thompson (Horn)
* David Titterington (Head of Organ)
* Patsy Toh (Piano)
* Mark van de Wiel (Clarinet)
* Maxim Vengerov (Violin)
* Richard Watkins (Horn)
* James Watson (Trumpet, Head of Brass)
* Mark Wildman (Head of Vocal Studies)
* John Williams (Guitar — Visiting Professor)


The Academy's free public museum, is situated in the York Gate building, which is connected to the Academy's building via a basement link. The museum is open 11:30am-5:30pm Monday to Friday and 12:00-4.00pm on Saturdays and Sundays.

The building was designed in 1822 as part of the main entrance to Regent’s Park, and was an important feature in John Nash’s architectural designs for Regency London. The interior of York Gate was largely destroyed by bomb damage in the 1940s, but the Nash exterior has Grade 1 listed building status. The Royal Academy of Music moved to Marylebone Road in 1911, and held a lease on part of York Gate during the 1920s and 1930s. A grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund enabled the Academy to acquire and refurbish the building to house studios and practice rooms and a museum.

The Academy holds a collection of more than 200 stringed instruments from the violin family. These have been acquired for the benefit of students and recent leavers and they are maintained by the Academy's resident luthier. Several of these instruments are of Stradivari, Amati and Guarneri. The galleries display materials from the Academy’s collections of instruments, archives, manuscripts and images. The galleries are also considered a 'living museum', acting as a showcase for the work of performers, composers, instrument makers and scholars from a wide range of musical and other relevant disciplines. In 2005 the Academy acquired the famous "Viotti ex-Bruce" violin, made by Stradivarius in 1709, on behalf of the nation.

Items from the working collections of famous musicians associated with the Academy include batons, a stopwatch and scores owned by Sir Henry Wood, percussion instruments selected and played by James Blades and the restored Alexander horn which was played by Dennis Brain, damaged in the crash which killed him, and subsequently restored by Paxman of London.

Other Collections: Foyle Menuhin archive (letters, music, photographs, artworks and more collected by Yehudi Menuhin over his lifetime), Jenny Lind (1820-1887) Collection, David Munrow (1942-1976) Collection, the Priaulx Rainier (1903-1986) Collection and The McCann Collection.

In August 2006, a music shop was opened, selling sheet music and various music accessories, available to the students and visitors and open in working hours from Monday to Saturday.


External links

* [ Royal Academy of Music website]

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