Friday, 4 July 2008

Music, Art and Science In London

10 years ago this week I graduated from the Royal College of Music (pictured left). It only feels like last year yet, at the same time, it is a lifetime ago. I spent four years at this auspicious music conservatoire and graduated with a respectable honours degree although I had never planned to continue my education in this way.

Nestled behind the Royal Albert Hall (pictured right from the door of the RCM) in Prince Consort Road, the RCM is celebrating its 125th Birthday this year and continues to be one of Europe’s top conservatoires with gifted students from around the world training for a career in professional music.

In September last year, Professor Robert Winston was appointed Chairman of the RCM council. The appointment of a scientist at a music college has raised a few eyebrows but it conforms to the original intention of Queen Victoria’s husband Prince Albert. His vision was to create an area devoted to the arts and sciences which was nicknamed “Albertopolis”. South Kensington is indeed home to major science and arts institutions: Royal College of Music, Imperial College, Royal Albert Hall, Royal College of Art, Royal Geographical Society, Science Museum, Natural History Museum and the Victoria & Albert Museum. These eight original institutions today work even more closely than anticipated and are known collectively as the Exhibition Road Cultural Group.

A new collaboration between the RCM and the V&A has recently begun and will be experienced by the public in 2009 when the museum’s new Medieval and Renaissance galleries open. A Listening Gallery will pair specific objects on display with pieces of music through audiovisual points throughout the gallery as well as live performances.

A more immediate partnership is that of the RCM and the Royal Albert Hall Promenade concert series this summer. The college will host the new Proms Plus series with pre-Prom events every day during the season from 18th July to 13th September. The events will include workshops, interviews, literary talks and film screenings which will all be held at the RCM’s Britten Theatre.

Throughout the academic year the Royal College of Music opens its doors to the public for master classes, workshops, recitals and operas. Many of these events are free of charge and, most importantly, are a chance to see the music stars of the future.

The Royal Albert Hall tours are available Thursday to Tuesday from 10.30am to 3.30pm.
Adult Entry Fee: £8
London Pass holders can take a Royal Albert Hall tour free of charge and also visit the nearby Kensington Palace without further payment

No comments: