– RCM Symphony Orchestra are led by renowned conductors Martyn Brabbins in Petrushka and Ryan Bancroft who conducts the orchestra at the Southbank Centre
– Rarely performed piece by Samuel Coleridge-Taylor features in the RCM Philharmonic’s Orchestral Masterworks concert
– Renowned soprano Angela Gheorghiu gives her first public masterclass at the RCM in a series that also welcomes acclaimed pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet and distinguished violinist Maxim Vengerov
– Variety of festivals including the Percussion Festival, Super String Sunday and FestivALL which forms part of the Great Exhibition Road Festival
The summer season boasts a wide variety of performance – from large orchestral programmes and festivals to chamber concerts and masterclasses – bringing audiences a mix of the best-known works and new music alike. Music by women composers features throughout the season including works by RCM alumna Hannah Kendall, Nadia Boulanger, Roxanna Panufnik, Clara Schumann, Jessie Montgomery, Dora Pejačević and more.
RCM ensembles take their music outside of the College’s concert halls, with the RCM Symphony Orchestra culminating their season at the Southbank Centre with conductor Ryan Bancroft, Principal Conductor of the BBC National Orchestra of Wales (23 June). Evoking visions of the sea, Debussy’s La Mer and John Adams’ Harmonielehre are performed alongside Hannah Kendall’s The Spark Catchers which was inspired by Lemn Sissay’s poem written for the London 2012 Olympics. On 17 June, members of the String Faculty take to the stage at Wigmore Hall with a programme that includes Messiaen’s haunting Quartet for the End of Time, composed while he was a prisoner during the Second World War.
The summer masterclass series welcomes expertise from world-renowned artists including eminent violinist and Visiting Professor Maxim Vengerov, acclaimed pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet, and renowned soprano Angela Gheorghiu who comes to the RCM fresh from performances of Tosca at the Metropolitan Opera. Musical Director of the English National Opera, Martyn Brabbins, and the RCM Symphony Orchestra transport audiences to Stravinsky’s world of puppets in Petrushka alongside Prokofiev’s stormy second piano concerto with RCM Concerto Competition winner Alexander Doronin (12 May). The RCM Philharmonic explore a rarely performed Samuel Coleridge-Taylor piece, Toussaint l’Ouverture (26 April) parts of which will be recorded for the very first time after the concert for the National Portrait Gallery’s digital display on the
Haitian revolutionary leader Toussaint l’Ouverture who inspired the piece. In the concert’s second half, audiences can travel to Shakespeare’s Verona with Tchaikovsky’s famous Romeo and Juliet.
Internationally renowned virtuoso drummer Jojo Mayer headlines the RCM Festival of Percussion (7 May) performing music by legendary jazz drummer Buddy Rich with the RCM Jazz Orchestra. Later in the month, Super String Sunday (21 May) showcases both solo players and ensembles throughout the day and includes a performance of Bernardus van Bree’s Allegro for four string quartets. FestivALL (18 June), a student-curated celebration of works by underrepresented composers, forms part of the Great Exhibition Road Festival, a weekend-long celebration of music, art, science and culture bringing together neighbouring institutions in South Kensington.
Elsewhere, the annual Composition for Screen showcase returns on 27 April with music by current RCM composers performed live to new films by young producers. On 4 July, the RCM’s spacious 1851 Courtyard will be used for the very first time for a live performance with an evening of Italian chamber music. Chamber ensembles feature throughout the season with String Quartet Day on 15 May including performances by Quartetto di Cremona and RCM Quartet in Association, Sacconi Quartet.
Finally, the RCM Opera Studio perform the story of the great showman PT Barnum and his star opera singer Jenny Lind in Grammy Award-winning composer Libby Larsen’s chamber opera Barnum’s Bird (28 & 30 June,1 & 3 July).
General booking for the Royal College of Music’s Summer Season is open now for RCM Friends, and general booking opens on 12 April 2023. Booking for Barnum’s Bird opens on 10 May (3 May for RCM Friends). Listings and detailed information can be found in the What’s On section of the RCM website. For all the latest updates, follow the RCM on social media on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.