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Royal College of Music

From Academic Kids

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The Royal College of Music from Prince Consort Road, London
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The front facade of the RCM

The Royal College of Music is a prestigious music school located in Kensington, London.

Founded in 1882 as a successor to the National Training School for Music by the then-Prince of Wales (later Edward VII), the school opened in 1883 with George Grove as its director. It moved to its present location in the Albertopolis cultural quarter, next to Imperial College, London and opposite the Royal Albert Hall in 1894. In the same year Hubert Parry became director, remaining until 1918.

The college teaches all aspects of western classical music from undergraduate to doctorate level. It also has an extensive museum of musical instruments which is open to the public.

Famous students of the RCM have included:

The Royal College of Music also teaches beyond undergraduate and post-graduate level in its Junior Department with over 800 students aged 10-18 learning all instruments, singing, composing and performing in ensembles and orchestras. A Summer School is also held each year for 30 young musicians from around the UK. There are plans to extend the scope of this Summer School.

Museum of instruments

The College's Museum of Instruments has a collection of 800 items, mainly Western, but including some from Africa and Asia. It is housed in purpose built premises dating from 1970 and is open to the public two afternoons a week. It includes about a dozen Stradivarius violins.

Other collections

The College's loan and reference collections number several hundred thousand items. There are numerous manuscripts including some by composers such as Mozart and Haydn, and many letters, including a substantial Beethoven collection. There are tens of thousands of pieces of early printed music. The modern printed music is available for hire when not needed by the College. There are also thousands of recordings, and an extensive library, including sets of several hundred music journals.

The Department of Portraits and Performance History has a collections of 340 original portraits and 10,000 prints and photographs; a collection of 600,000 concert programmes from 1720 to the present day; and extensive holdings relating to opera, instrument, title-page and concert-hall design.

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