Royal College of Music

Royal College of Music

Global No. 1 for performing arts. A world-leading community of gifted musicians. Learning from the past enables us to create an ambitious future.

The Royal College of Music (RCM) is the top institution in the world for Performing Arts in the prestigious QS World University Rankings 2023 and 2022. Additionally, it was ranked top UK conservatoire offering music as a single subject in the Research Excellence Framework (REF 2021). True to our founders' intentions, we at the RCM teach exceptional students from all backgrounds and cultures, encou

Operating as usual


Composers at Royal College of Music have created new works inspired by a selection of amazing and evocative images from the 2023 Head On Portrait Awards. The unique concert features a series of short works for solo, duo and trio ensembles alongside the striking images that inspired them.

The concert will be available to watch online soon.


Featuring beautiful photography by Tebani Slade, Chris Blincoe, Francisco Negroni, Talia Greis, Young Lee, Jihyun Jung, John Sowden, Bob Newman, Frederike Kijftenbelt, Matt Palmer, Muhammad Amdad Hossain, Nuno M Santos, Frederic Aranda, Stu McKenzie, Tony Reddrop, Sophie Smith, Dane Beesley

Congratulations to all artists and composers involved!


Last month, we celebrated 100 years of the legendary Walt Disney Studios with orchestral selections from beloved movies performed by the RCM Philharmonic and led by Ben Palmer.

Hear the Suite from Aladdin in this snippet, recorded from the concert on 5 October 2023, and watch the full clip on our YouTube channel:

Timeline photos 01/12/2023

‘My heart skipped a beat... but I said yes.’

Pianist Alim Beisembayev spoke to about the phone call that led to his BBC Proms debut performing Rachmaninov’s Second Piano Concerto at just two days’ notice.

Read the full story:


We’re delighted that three out of the four places on the prestigious London Symphony Orchestra Soundhub scheme have been awarded to RCM composers!

Congratulations to Delyth Field, Jasmine Morris and Luke Mombrea who will benefit from opportunities to explore their composition style and gain mentorship from LSO members and industry professionals.

Find out more:

Photos from Royal College of Music's post 30/11/2023

Last week, Royal College of Music students Jeneba Kanneh-Mason, Thomas Luke and Catherine Zeng had the incredible opportunity to take part in an inspiring piano masterclass with Lang Lang - 郎朗.

Take a look at some of the photos from this wonderful event!

Photos from Royal College of Music's post 29/11/2023

Calling all bassoon and oboe players - join us for our first Day!

📅: 21 January 2024
🏛️: Royal College of Music, London

Open to players of all ages, celebrate double reed instruments with an inspiring day of masterclasses, recitals and demonstrations featuring special guests Todd Gibson-Cornish and Nick Deutsch.

Find out more:


🎉 It's , and the festive spirit is alive with our 2023 Big Give Christmas Challenge!

🌟 From now until noon on 5 December, donations to the RCM Scholarships Fund will be doubled, meaning every £1 you give has twice the impact. Every donation this week makes a difference in transforming the lives of talented musicians.

Let's come together in this festive season of giving! 🎁


Out now! In the autumn edition of Upbeat magazine, pianist Alim Beisembayev tells us about the phone call that led to his BBC Proms debut at just two days’ notice.

Also in this edition, read about the RCM Centre for Performance Science’s research into the arts and social wellbeing in South America. Celebrate the College’s Gold rating in the Teaching Excellence Framework, get involved with the Big Give, and hear recent success stories from across the RCM Community.

Read online now:

The week in classical: Don Giovanni Tenorio; Ariodante – review 27/11/2023

'A fizzing production of Gazzaniga’s rarely seen take on Don Giovanni… fine showcases for the next generation of opera talent.’

Don’t miss Fiona Maddocks' fantastic review of the RCM Opera Studio's Don Giovanni Tenorio in The Observer.

The week in classical: Don Giovanni Tenorio; Ariodante – review Elegant Handel and a fizzing production of Gazzaniga’s rarely seen take on Don Giovanni provided two fine showcases for the next generation of opera talent


On Tuesday, RCM musicians perform works by RCM composers which have been inspired by a selection of evocative images from the 2023 Head On Photo Festival.

This unique concert features a series of short works for solo, duo and trio ensembles alongside the striking images that inspired them.

28 November at 6pm. Book your tickets:


Get lost in an evening of invigorating percussion works with our Percussion Showcase on Monday! 🥁

Enjoy performances on a range of instruments from RCM ensembles, including the renowned PERC'M, and hear a world premiere by the winner of the percussion composition competition.

27 November at 6pm. Tickets:

Photos from Royal College of Music's post 24/11/2023

Toi toi toi to tonight and tomorrow's cast of Gazzaniga's Don Giovanni Tenorio! If you haven't seen this fantastic production yet, there's still a handful of tickets left for the final two performances:

📸: Chris Christodoulou


Applications for 2024/25 fellowships are now open!

RCM fellowships provide talented artists with the means and time to refine their artistic skills and to gain experience, confidence and connections that will help them establish themselves professionally.

Find out more:

Photos from Royal College of Music's post 22/11/2023

We launched our Young Bassoon Programme on Sunday!

It was wonderful to welcome 49 young bassoonists from across the UK, with some even travelling from Ireland and mainland Europe to join us for an inspiring day of classes, ensemble performances, and creative collaborations.

This free programme gives young bassoonists an incredible opportunity to learn with other musicians in a supportive atmosphere with leading musicians and RCM teachers.


Discover music that has never been heard before as New Perspectives, the RCM's flagship new music ensemble, performs world premieres by RCM composers Delyth Field and Ben Araujo this Thursday.

Completing the programme is Birtwistle's 1969 theatrical work utilising the verse-and-refrain concept. Scored for a woodwind quintet, brass quintet and percussion, instruments are pushed to the extremes of register and technique.

23 November at 6pm. Book now for just £5:

Photos from Royal College of Music's post 21/11/2023

It’s Haydn Clavichord Day at the RCM! Painted by Thomas Hardy in 1791 during the composer’s visit to London, this portrait of Franz Joseph Haydn inspired Milein Cosman’s drawings of the famed composer over 150 years later.

See the portrait, along with an elegant Johann Bohak clavichord said to have belonged to Haydn, in the RCM Museum – book here:

Photos from Royal College of Music's post 20/11/2023

It’s opening night of the RCM Opera Studio’s autumn production of Gazzaniga’s Don Giovanni Tenorio! The set and costumes are looking fantastic... Toi toi toi to tonight’s cast!

📸: Chris Christodoulou

Conductors' Podium | Royal College of Music 18/11/2023

Join us at 3pm tomorrow for a special Conductors' Podium concert curated by RCM students.

This concert features a number of inspiring works, including an arrangement of Debussy's beautiful symphonic poem inspired by Stéphane Mallarmé's poem The Afternoon of a Faun.

More info:

Conductors' Podium | Royal College of Music Join us for a special RCM Conductors' Podium concert featuring an arrangement of Debussy's Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune.


Happy !

With students from over 60 countries, the RCM is a truly international community. Hear from Apolline, Beatriz, Clare, Samy, Alvin, Ola, and Ian who all share their experiences as international students with us.

Find out more about life at the RCM as an international student:


Next week, join a host of skilled players for the RCM's annual celebration of the viol!

This two-day festival includes inspiring masterclasses, lectures and performances, featuring one of the finest viola da gamba players of his time, and Visiting Professor at the RCM, Vittorio Ghielmi.

23 and 24 November. Events are ticketed separately. Book now:


Auditions start at the RCM next week. Good luck to everyone!

We look forward to welcoming you.

Find out more:


Performing for over 50 years, the innovative Brodsky Quartet visits the Royal College of Music for the first time this week to bring its wealth of experience to the RCM stage.

Ahead of the sold-out concert tomorrow, they shared their expertise in a captivating Chamber Music Masterclass today.

Having performed over 3,000 concerts worldwide and released more than 60 recordings, the Brodsky Quartet has gained a following and has a prominent presence on the international chamber music scene.


Today, the RCM Junior Department paused at 11am to remember former RCM staff and students who have given their lives in war.

A roll call, the Last Post, a two-minute silence, and Reveille were included in this poignant moment of reflection.


RCM student Katherine Yoon is the host for our live stream of Sunday's concert with the RCM Symphony Orchestra and Vasily Petrenko.

Tune in on Sunday at 3.25pm and don't forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel!


It’s a tale of seduction, manipulation and revenge.

Join RCM opera singer Henna Mun as she takes us behind the scenes of the RCM Opera Studio’s autumn production, Gazzaniga's Don Giovanni Tenorio, opening on 20 November.

Want to see more? Book your tickets now:


Tickets are now on sale for next May's special concert at the prestigious Royal Festival Hall with the RCM Symphony Orchestra!

Celebrated conductor Jac van Steen leads the only symphony written by beloved French composer Olivier Messiaen: Turangalîla. Described by Messiaen himself as ‘superhuman, overflowing, blinding, and unlimited’, Turangalîla is a ten-movement work that encapsulates all manner of musical styles.

From the driving rhythms of the vast percussion section to the ghostly sounds of the Ondes Martenot, and from striking brass fanfares to virtuosic piano candenzas, Turangalîla is a tour de force that truly engages the senses.

Book your favourite seats to hear the leading orchestra at the RCM performing at this fantastic venue.

7.30pm | 1 May 2024:


We are delighted to announce that world-renowned musician Dame Sarah Connolly is joining the RCM’s prestigious Vocal and Opera Faculty as a vocal professor.

An RCM alumna, her relationship with the College spans many years, and we look forward to welcoming her back to inspire the next generation of RCM singers.

Find out more:


Vasily Petrenko, Music Director of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, returns to the Royal College of Music this Sunday afternoon to lead the RCM Symphony Orchestra in a dramatic programme of Beethoven, Sofia Gubaidulina and Prokofiev.

This sold-out concert opens with Beethoven's heroic Egmont Overture, its turbulent themes taking inspiration from Goethe's 16th-century Flemish nobleman Count Egmont and his sacrifice for national freedom.

Next, hear Sofia Gubaidulina's powerful vision of the Day of Judgment, dedicated to 'the great Beethoven', before Prokofiev's uplifting Fifth Symphony. Written in 1944, with its poignant melodies and rich orchestration, the symphony has long been associated with spirit of hope and human resilience.

If you didn't manage to get tickets, this performance will be live-streamed on our YouTube channel — make sure you're subscribed and tune in from 3.25pm:

Photos from Royal College of Music's post 06/11/2023

Yesterday, we welcomed legendary trombone player Fred Wesley to the Royal College of Music for a funk masterclass with our brass, saxophone, guitar and percussion students.

Fred is a giant of the funk and jazz world, famous for his work with James Brown and Count Basie, amongst others. He brought his fabulous horn section to the class: Gary Winters (trumpet) and Jay Rodriguez (saxes, flute).

Huge thanks to them all for an incredibly inspiring session.

Photos by Amos Miller.


Next Wednesday, hear selections from Villa-Lobos' collection of short pieces, Chôros, in the second instalment of our Chamber Spotlight series exploring the music of South America.

Chôros, Portuguese for 'cry', showcases the development of the Brazilian composer's compositional style throughout the 1920s, involving a variety of instruments from classical guitar through to wind ensemble.

Tickets just £5 - book yours now:


We are pleased to be members of Black Lives in Music, working towards a more inclusive and diverse music industry.

The future of music is for everyone.

Find out more about their work:


Virtuoso trumpeter Mike Lovatt and the RCM Brass Ensemble present a fire-filled performance on Thursday with an arrangement of Johnny Richards' 1956 influential Latin jazz suite Cuban Fire! 🔥

The work, originally written for the great Stan Kenton Orchestra, is now a tour de force for brass ensemble, jazz rhythm section and harp. Also on the programme are selections from the iconic 1958 album Big Fat Brass featuring Billy May's imaginative arrangements for big band brass.

2 November at 7.30pm. Book your tickets now:


The RCM String Band performs works by Glazunov, Bacewicz and Tavener in next Wednesday's concert.

Saxophone and string ensemble might seem a surprising pairing – and the rich timbre of the instrument was still a novelty when Glazunov wrote his Saxophone Concerto in 1934. Hear RCM Concerto Competition winner Katie Bunney as soloist, performing with a lush strings background in a romantic style.

Following this is one of Grażyna Bacewicz's most celebrated works, Concerto for String Orchestra — a fine example of Polish neoclassicism, and Tavener's lyrical homage to Mary, Mother of God— The Protecting Veil — with an evocative solo cello representing her 'cosmic beauty and power'.

1 November at 7.30pm. Book now:


RCM musicians from the Historical Performance Faculty explore Bolivian Baroque music from the archives of the Chiquitos and Moxos peoples in the first instalment of our Chamber Spotlight: Sounds of South America concerts.

Professor Ashley Solomon presents a programme from this unique archive in Bolivia from the time of the Jesuit occupation in the 17th and 18th centuries, including vocal and instrumental works that have never been performed in the UK.

There will also be a pre-concert talk at 5.15pm for ticket holders, discussing the repertoire being presented in the concert.

Wednesday 1 November at 6pm. Book now:


“If I could only preserve five pieces for posterity, that would be one of them.”

Watch our video to find out which piece in tonight’s programme is in celebrated conductor Sir Andrew Davis’s top 5 as he shares his insights ahead of tonight’s live streamed concert with the RCM Symphony Orchestra and Chorus.

Tune in from 7.25pm:


This discover the story of RCM alumna Amanda Aldridge who wrote over 30 popular songs, including settings of poems by African-American writers.

An influential teacher, she taught some of the most culturally and politically significant black musicians of the early twentieth century, including Marian Anderson who became the first African-American person to perform at the Metropolitan Opera in New York.

Find out more in our online exhibition:


Patricia Rozario, vocal studies professor at the Royal College of Music, is our host as we go live on our YouTube channel to explore the music of three 20th-century masters — Lili Boulanger, Britten and Stravinsky.

Join us on Friday 27 October for this dramatic concert with Sir Andrew Davis and the RCM Symphony Orchestra.

Watch live here:


Join us on Monday for an Electronics Concert curated by electroacoustic composer and RCM Director of Programmes, Diana Salazar.

The use of electronics in composition has opened up a limitless world of sounds, explored in this programme. Hear the cinematic and ethereal tones in Bolte's music contrasted by the colourful interplay of Hong's Ekvallein, where bass clarinet and electronics bounce off one another almost as if they were one instrument.

23 October at 6pm.
Book now:

Eleanor Alberga: Nightscape 18/10/2023

This , listen to Eleanor Alberga’s Nightscape which charts the passage of time from sunset to night-time in Jamaica where she was born.

Written as a companion piece to Mozart’s Gran Partita, it uses the same instrumentation and is performed here by the RCM Wind Ensemble: .

Eleanor Alberga: Nightscape Discover a world-class education at the Royal College of Music at The RCM Wind Ensemble explores the music of Jamaican contemporary co...

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Our Story

Founded in 1882, the Royal College of Music (RCM) is a world leading music conservatoire with a prestigious history and contemporary outlook. Our 800 undergraduate and postgraduate students come from over 60 countries and are taught in a dynamic environment, leaving the RCM to become the outstanding performers, conductors and composers of the future.

For the third consecutive year in 2018, the RCM was ranked as the top conservatoire in the UK for the Performing Arts in the QS World University Rankings. It is also top in Europe and second in the world. In 2017, the RCM achieved an overall rating of gold for its outstanding teaching and learning provision for undergraduates in the first ever Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF). The RCM was the top UK conservatoire in the Complete University Guide’s Arts/Music Institution League Table 2017.

RCM professors are leaders in their fields and, under such expert guidance, RCM students regularly achieve remarkable success around the globe.

Among our alumni are composers and performers such as Sir Hubert Parry, Benjamin Britten, Gustav Holst, Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, Lord Lloyd Webber, Rebecca Clarke, Dame Joan Sutherland, Dame Sarah Connolly, Elizabeth Watts, Ralph Vaughan Williams, Mark-Anthony Turnage, and Sir Thomas Allen.

Videos (show all)

Orchestral Masterworks: Celebrating Disney - Suite from Aladdin with the RCM Philharmonic
Happy #InternationalStudentsDay! With students from over 60 countries, the RCM is a truly international community. Hear ...
Trailer: The RCM Symphony Orchestra and Vasily Petrenko
Gazzaniga's Don Giovanni Tenorio: Behind-the-scenes teaser trailer
Trailer: Sir Andrew Davis conducts the RCM Symphony Orchestra and Chorus
RCM Symphony Orchestra and Chorus: Patricia Rozario
Why I chose the Royal College of Music
Orpheus in the Underworld - Teaser Trailer
Our new Wolfson Centre in Music & Material Culture
Hansel & Gretel: Meet the Singers
A very happy 90th birthday to John Williams, one of the most awarded composers of his generation, and creator of many un...
Season's Greetings from the RCM





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