Female conducting student holding baton and smiling on orange background

Royal College of Music welcomes world-leading artists as part of Autumn Season 2023

Wednesday 16 August 2023

Distinguished conductor Sir Andrew Davis makes his debut at the College, and world-renowned piano virtuoso Lang Lang shares his expertise with students as part of the RCM's masterclass series.

The Royal College of Music launches the season with an exciting autumn events programme welcoming internationally acclaimed artists and showcasing the variety of talent at the College. Sir Andrew Davis makes his debut with the RCM Symphony Orchestra conducting a dramatic programme of lesser-performed 20th century works including Lili Boulanger’s psalm Du fond de l’abîme and Stravinsky’s spiritual Symphonie de psaumes featuring the RCM Chorus (26 & 27 October). Music Director of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Vasily Petrenko, returns to lead the RCM Symphony Orchestra in Prokofiev’s uplifting Symphony no 5 alongside music by Beethoven and Sofia Gubaidulina’s The Wrath of God, a powerful vision of the Day of Judgement (12 November).

The RCM Philharmonic and Ben Palmer transport audiences to the magical world of Walt Disney in a feel-good evening of orchestral masterworks from his beloved movies including Toy Story, Aladdin and Beauty and the Beast (5 October). Elsewhere, Tchaikovsky’s iconic Swan Lake features on the orchestra’s programme alongside the world premiere of Waterfall Night by RCM composer Anian Wiedner and music by Betsy Jolas (16 November).

The line-up of world-class visiting artists continues throughout the season’s masterclass series. Internationally renowned pianist Lang Lang returns to the College on 22 November to share his expertise with RCM students, acclaimed bass-baritone and RCM alumnus Jonathan Lemalu leads a masterclass with vocal students on 13 September, and string students gain insights from eminent violinist Tasmin Little (3 October). The Brodsky Quartet also make their debut visit to perform in a series of concerts and classes on Shostakovich’s quartets (15 & 16 November). 


Audiences have the chance to learn more about the history of the jazz band on 5 October and hear virtuoso trumpeter Mike Lovatt perform in Johnny Richards’ 1956 influential Latin jazz suite Cuban Fire on 2 November. Chamber music ensembles transport listeners around the world from the music of Bohemia (20 October) to two concerts exploring the music of South America (1 & 8 November). Elsewhere, an evening featuring chamber works by émigré composers from Nazi Europe in Britain marks the culmination of the Music, Migration and Mobility research project, with music by composers including Erika Fox and Joseph Horovitz alongside works by those they associated with such as Vaughan Williams and Britten (27 September).

Early Music features in the season with the 18th year of the RCM’s International Festival of Viols, this year headlined by esteemed viola da gamba player and Visiting Professor Vittorio Ghielmi (23 & 24 November). Meanwhile, Haydn’s keyboard music is explored on Clavichord Day (21 November) during which the only surviving keyboard instrument thought to have belonged to Haydn will be displayed.

Also prominent throughout the season are programmes of contemporary music. World premieres by RCM composers are performed by the College’s flagship new music ensemble, New Perspectives, (23 November) and Dr Diana Salazar curates an evening exploring the use of electronics in composition (23 October). Works by RCM composers inspired by images from the Head On Portrait Awards are presented on 28 November, and a vibrant selection of solo and chamber works by RCM Junior Department composers receive their premiere on 25 November.

Finally, the RCM Opera Studio explore the legend of Don Giovanni in Italian composer Gazzaniga’s most successful work, which predates Mozart’s famous opera of a similar name by just nine months (20, 22, 24, 25 November). 

Booking for the Royal College of Music’s Autumn Season is open now for RCM Friends, and general booking opens on 23 August 2023. Booking for Don Giovanni Tenorio opens on 4 October (27 September 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

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