The Royal College of Music Museum maintains one of the richest and most relevant collections of music-related objects in the UK and Europe. Standing in excess of 14,000 items, it represents a range of music-making activities over a period of more than five centuries.
Explore South Kensington's Museum of Music
After undergoing extensive redevelopment, the Museum reopened to the public in October 2021. As an interactive space, it hosts regular performances by RCM musicians and the opportunity for visitors to create their own music in the Weston Discovery Centre. As well as musical instruments, the Museum tells its story through art, including an iconic portrait of the opera singer Farinelli and a remarkable Tischbein featuring an instrument from the collection displayed alongside.
There are three key areas in the Museum – Music is Creation, Music is Craft and Music is Performance – each exploring phases of the creative process from the birth of a new idea, its realisation through craftsmanship and finally to the performance. In its beautiful double-height atrium space, a hanging artwork installation by Scottish artist Victoria Morton takes its inspiration from the permanent exhibition, having been specially commissioned and created for the space.
Also on display in the Lavery Gallery are a series of portraits by celebrated German artist Milein Cosman is on display to the public for the first time in the Lavery Gallery, featuring intimate sketches of RCM alumni Benjamin Britten, Ralph Vaughan Williams, Imogen Holst and Amaryllis Fleming, alongside many other composers and musicians.