• Over 90 events including orchestral concerts, musical theatre, jazz and
masterclasses, over 50 free
• The culmination of 200 PIECES – a collection of works commissioned
to mark the bicentenary of the Academy
• Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress conducted by Trevor Pinnock and
directed by Frederic Wake-Walker
• Vaughan Williams’ Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis performed at
the Academy and in Gloucester Cathedral
• Side by Side at Wigmore Hall
• Guest conductors Edward Gardner, John Wilson and Barbara
• Bach in Leipzig continues with Peter Whelan, Jane Glover and Iain
• Autumn Piano Festival
• Purcell’s The Fairy Queen with Laurence Cummings, Elizabeth Kenny
and Margaret Faultless
• The Songs of Kander and Ebb
• Forgotten Opera – Ethel Smyth, Elisabeth Jacquet de la Guerre and
Scott Joplin
The celebration of the Royal Academy of Music’s bicentenary year continues
with the announcement of its autumn season, which features a vibrant mix of
concerts, operas, musical theatre, jazz and masterclasses presented by visiting
guests, alumni, Academy teachers and students.
The end of the year sees the culmination of the Academy’s ambitious 200
PIECES project which launched in January 2020. Over the course of two years,
the Academy invited 200 composers to write a solo piece for every principal
study instrument it teaches. Receiving their premières at the Academy, the
score and a recording of each piece will be available on the website by the end
of the year.
In October, the Academy celebrates students past and present with a ‘Side by
Side’ concert at Wigmore Hall featuring Lucy Crowe, James Ehnes, Jack
Liebeck and Josephine Knight conducted by Adam Hickox. Vaughan Williams’
150th anniversary is marked by a performance of his Fantasia on a Theme by
Thomas Tallis, commissioned by Three Choirs Festival for Gloucester Cathedral.
Academy soloists directed by Clio Gould will perform the work, which opens a
concert of fantasias by British composers, at the Cathedral before performing it
at the Academy. The original manuscript of Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas
Tallis is owned by the Academy and will be on display in the foyer on the day of
the concert.
Another treasure owned by the Academy is the score of Purcell’s The Fairy
Queen, which was discovered in the library in 1900. It will be on display in
November when Laurence Cummings, William Crotch Professor, directs a
performance of excerpts with Elizabeth Kenny, Margaret Faultless and
Academy students.

Bach in Leipzig returns to the Academy in October featuring seven of the
cantatas that Bach composed while Director of Music at St Thomas’s Church in
Leipzig. The three concerts in successive months will be conducted by Peter
Whelan, Jane Glover, and Ian Ledingham respectively.
Also in October, Edward Gardner, Sir Charles Mackerras Chair of Conducting at
the Academy, conducts the Academy Symphony Orchestra in Boulanger’s D’un
matin de printemps and Schumann’s Symphony No. 3. Gardner returns in
November to conduct a special concert dedicated to refugees, for which
members of the London Philharmonic Orchestra will unite with Academy string
students. The programme features Mark-Anthony Turnage’s thought-provoking
song cycle Refugee and Journey to the Sea composed by Arson Fahim, a
composer and pianist born a refugee in Pakistan.
Other guest conductors in October include Barbara Hannigan making her
Academy debut with a programme of 20th century masterworks. The concert is
part of the Academy’s collaboration with The Juilliard School which since 2011
has resulted in the co-commissioning of Maxwell Davies’s Kommilitonen!, two
BBC Prom concerts and a performance with Elton John at Radio City Music Hall.
In November, John Wilson, the Henry Wood Chair of Conducting conducts the
Academy Symphony Orchestra in a programme of early 20th century French
music by Messiaen, Debussy and Ravel, concluding with John Adams’s
The Academy’s annual Autumn Piano Festival returns in early November with
Joanna MacGregor CBE presenting a day packed with the music of Schumann –
with each concert examining a particular period in his life. At the end of the
month, the Academy has invited Frederic Wake-Walker to direct the students
for four performances of Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress, conducted by Trevor
Pinnock, Principal Guest Conductor of the Academy Chamber Orchestra.
A week later, Academy students and members of brass ensemble Septura
explore instrumental music from rarely performed operas alongside the world
premiere of a work by an Academy student. The performance opens with the
overture to Ethel Smyth’s The Wreckers, before heading to France for Élisabeth
Jacquet de La Guerre’s Céphale et Procris and concluding in America with the
Suite from Scott Joplin’s Treemonisha.
And finally, as the year academic year draws to a close, the Musical Theatre
Company’s end-of-term concert celebrates the work of the legendary
songwriting team of composer John Kander and lyricist Fred Ebb, whose credits
include Broadway favourites such as Cabaret and Chicago as well as the
soundtrack of Martin Scorsese’s New York, New York.