More Music concert series showcases talent of students who will benefit from the RCM’s transformation, with repertoire featuring Schoenberg’s A Survivor from Warsaw narrated by RCM alumnus Sir Thomas Allen.
More international collaborations than ever, including visits from the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, Orchestre du Conservatoire du Paris, Royal Conservatoire The Hague, Codarts Rotterdam and Universität der Künst Berlin.
Public masterclasses from internationally-acclaimed artists including Bernard Haitink, Maxim Rysanov and Alina Ibragimova, giving exceptional insight into the working methods of some of the world’s most successful musicians.
Fully-staged new production of Haydn’s rarely performed opera Il mondo della luna led by director William Renton.
The Royal College of Music (RCM) has launched its autumn season with a concert series designed to showcase the exceptional talent of RCM musicians. In support of the More Music: Reimagining the Royal College of Music Campaign, the series offers audiences the opportunity to experience some of the nation’s favourite repertoire performed by the musical stars of the future. The major enhancements coming to the RCM’s facilities, scholarship programme, research and digital capabilities through More Music are set to transform the RCM experience for all and safeguard world-class musical training for generations to come.
Highlights of the More Music concert series include Beethoven’s Symphony No 5 on 3 October, Elgar’s Enigma Variations on 25 October and Prokofiev’s epic score to Sergei Eisenstein’s 1938 war film Alexander Nevsky on 14 and 15 November. Two great ballet scores are performed: Stravinsky’s Orpheus and Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake. On 17 October, Sir Thomas Allen, the RCM’s Artist in Residence, joins the RCM Symphony Orchestra to narrate Schoenberg’s deeply moving A Survivor from Warsaw, a tribute to victims of the Holocaust. On 28 October audiences will be taken on a whistle-stop tour through classical music’s greatest patrons, discovering the often remarkable relationships they shared with their talented beneficiaries.
Elsewhere, the season celebrates the RCM’s international outlook. On 28 November, members of the Chamber Orchestra of Europe (COE) return to the College to perform Schubert’s Symphony No 9 ‘The Great’ alongside RCM musicians. Described by the BBC as ‘the finest chamber orchestra in the world’, the COE consists of international soloists from around Europe who share the RCM’s ethos of diversity and internationalism. On 22 October, the RCM Wind Orchestra collaborates with the Orchestre du Conservatoire du Paris to perform Stravinsky and the world premiere of Laurent Durupt’s No Border Concerto for Oboe. Later in the season, esteemed American conductor Steven Sloane leads RCM string players in a collaborative performance with musicians from the Royal Conservatoire The Hague, Codarts Rotterdam and the Universität der Künst Berlin.
The RCM welcomes many renowned musicians from around the globe this season to give public masterclasses, offering audiences a rare opportunity to witness some of the world’s best musicians at work. Conductor Bernard Haitink leads current and past RCM conductors through challenging symphonies by Haydn and Mahler on 11 October, while Maxim Vengerov, the RCM’s Polonsky Visiting Professor of Violin, works with talented RCM string players in an orchestral masterclass on 8 November. Masterclasses are also given by John Lill, Alina Ibragimova, Stefan Dohr and Maxim Rysanov. The Harlem Quartet, the RCM’s Quartet in Residence, return with their unique fusion of classical and jazz on 9 December and Peter Beets joins the RCM Big Band on 28 September for an evening of colourful jazz piano.
The annual RCM International Festival of Viols returns this season, offering two days of masterclasses and lectures plus two evening concerts. This year’s special guests include Sarah Cunningham, international soloist and viola da gamba teacher at The Julliard School in New York, and Chicago-based viol consort The Spirit of Gambo. The ensemble performs a programme of works from John Jenkins on 18 November and Sarah Cunningham closes the festival with a rare, unaccompanied programme.
In the 50th anniversary year of the first man on the moon, the RCM Opera Studio stages Haydn’s entertaining comedy Il mondo della luna. Written in 1750 with a libretto by Venetian playwright Carlo Goldini, this opera buffa boasts some of Haydn’s finest writing, including a grand romantic aria, highly evocative flight song and an elegant lunar ballet. The story centres on wannabe space cadet Buonafede, who longs for a lunar lifestyle like his peers long for love, eventually swallowing an elixir to transport him to the moon. Directing this season’s opera is William Renton, who has 25 years of experience directing opera all over Europe.