The Royal College of Music (RCM) today announced its 2017 Autumn Season, which includes a concert of Russian music at the Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall under the baton of Vladimir Ashkenazy. The RCM Symphony Orchestra performs pieces by Rachmaninov and Shostakovich as part of the Philharmonia Orchestra’s series Voices of Revolution: Russia 1917. Back in South Kensington, a series of themed chamber concerts illustrate this turbulent period of history.

This season the RCM Symphony Orchestra and Chorus are joined by the Choir of King’s College, Cambridge to celebrate the life of Sir David Willcocks, Director of the RCM from 1974–84. They perform Mozart’s monumental Requiem and his hauntingly beautiful Ave verum corpus. Other distinguished visitors include Maxim Vengerov (Polonsky Visiting Professor of Violin), Visiting Professor of Piano Barry Douglas, Principal Horn of the Berlin Philharmonia Stefan Dohr and alumni Sir Thomas Allen, Gerald Finley and Alina Ibragimova among many others.

The RCM welcomes back principal players from the Chamber Orchestra of Europe (COE) to perform Schumann’s uplifting Second Symphony with the RCM Chamber Orchestra. The COE’s passion for bringing together outstanding musicians from diverse backgrounds is shared by the RCM, where students from more than 60 countries study. The Harlem Quartet from New York continues its three-year residency with a vibrant concert featuring Mendelssohn’s String Octet performed with RCM musicians. The Harlem Quartet Residency is supported by Victoria, Lady Robey CBE.

The RCM International Opera School presents Janáĉek’s The Cunning Little Vixen directed by the award-winning Daniel Slater. In this beguiling tragi-comic opera, Janáĉek explores the cycles of life through a combination of dance, folk music and sensuous orchestral interludes. RCM singers also take part in the V&A’s landmark exhibition Opera: Passion, Power and Politics from September.

This year’s RCM International Double Bass Festival includes world premieres of works by David Heyes and John Alexander plus special guests Alberto Bocini, Petru Iuga and Simon Garcia. The 11th RCM International Festival of Viols concludes with a concert featuring viola da gamba player Hille Perl and a diverse programme of baroque and contemporary music.

From the Soundhouse is the first of two special concerts celebrating the 50th anniversary of the RCM Studios and features works by founder Tristram Cary. In a unique collaboration with the Vienna Conservatoire for the Performing Arts, musicians in London and Vienna perform four world premieres together using state-of-the-art live streaming software.

One of the RCM’s oldest and greatest treasures, Anne Boleyn’s Music Book, is celebrated this year having been rebound and a facsimile published. Songs from the book are performed by the Alamire ensemble, accompanied by talks from experts in the field.


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