Residency with Sir Mark Elder, the Academy’s Barbirolli Chair of Conducting

13 world premieres as part of our 200 Pieces series

Royal Academy Opera gives the premiere of a new Purcell Society edition of Dido and Aeneas, with musical direction from Elizabeth Kenny

All events livestreamed on the Academy’s YouTube channel:

The Royal Academy of Music will share 25 free YouTube live streams in the first half of the summer term (April and May), beginning with a residency from Sir Mark Elder. The ‘Bach the European’ series resumes with three Sunday concerts, and the Bicentenary Prize returns for a second year. Academy students premiere 13 new compositions from the ongoing 200 Pieces series, and Royal Academy Opera presents the first performance of a new Purcell Society edition of Dido and Aeneas.

View the April/May Diary of Events here.

Plans for the second half of the summer term (June and July) will be announced next month.

The term opens with the Academy Symphony Orchestra performing the overture to Mozart’s Don Giovanni, conducted by Sir Mark Elder, alongside music by Haydn and CPE Bach (13 April, 1pm). Elder’s residency ends later that week with a contrasting programme of Stravinsky, Arensky and Elgar (16 April, 1pm).

The Academy’s popular ‘Bach the European’ series resumes with three concerts, each broadcast on Sundays from 12 noon and directed by Eamonn Dougan (18 April), Rachel Podger (25 April) and John Butt (9 May). The concerts examine Bach around the themes of arrangement, music for dukes and kings, and pieces by fellow Northern European composers.

The second Bicentenary Prize will be livestreamed from Wigmore Hall (18 May, 7.30pm). This prestigious competition, sponsored by LetterOne, launched last year to celebrate the Bicentenary in 2022 and exhibits the breadth of student talent at the Academy. The winner, selected by a distinguished panel of musicians, is awarded £10,000. Performing in this grand final are viola player Julie Park, pianist Kevin Suherman, tenor Liam Bonthrone and mezzo-soprano Camilla Harris.

Thirteen world premiere works feature throughout April and May, all part of the Academy’s ongoing 200 Pieces series, a collection of works written to celebrate the Bicentenary. Featured composers in these two months include Preetha Narayanan, Gavin Higgins and Fang Fang, who have written solo works for cello, horn and percussion respectively.

Royal Academy Opera gives the first performance of Bruce Wood’s new edition of Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas (27 and 28 May, 7pm). This collaboration with the Purcell Society and publisher Stainer & Bell features acclaimed lutenist and Dean of Students, Elizabeth Kenny, as musical director. The production is directed by Jack Furness, founder and Artistic Director of Shadwell Opera.

We welcome back Colin Currie, professor of marimba, solo repertoire and concerti, to lead our percussion students in a programme of contemporary music (21 May, 1pm), ending with Steve Reich’s modern classic Drumming (Part 1).

The Academy’s Jazz Department presents a Big Band concert of works by jazz students led by professor of composition and arranging, Pete Churchill (20 May, 8pm). Our students showcase their jazz ensemble projects in two livestreamed sets from the Susie Sainsbury Theatre (22 and 23 April, 6pm).

Following the lifting of some Covid-19 restrictions in March 2021, the Academy was able to conclude its spring term with students back on site for in-person lessons and performances. The concerts were broadcast to thousands of music lovers around the world via our YouTube channel. While we look forward to presenting a full term of summer live streams, all our concerts will remain subject to change as we continue to follow government advice.