'Our students are encouraged to develop their own musical voice in a collaborative and stimulating environment and are supported by a team of professors who are eminent musicians in their fields.’
The Woodwind Faculty and the wider RCM community foster a culture of nurturing all students in a supportive environment. You are encouraged to grow into a confident and imaginative performer, taking advantage of all the opportunities available to you.
Our outstanding team of woodwind professors combine careers as eminent performers with a passion and dedication for teaching and many hold principal positions in major orchestras. In addition to one-to-one lessons, our students enjoy regular performance and ensemble classes, unlimited chamber coaching, orchestral playing and masterclasses with distinguished international musicians.
One-to-one lessons are at the very heart of every RCM student's learning experience. Many of our world-class woodwind professors are principal players in major orchestras, including the London Symphony Orchestra, Philharmonia, BBC Philharmonic Orchestra and English National Opera Orchestra, as well as soloists and members of well-known ensembles.
Additionally, we have fantastic visiting professors, who are some of today's greatest artists, including Jacques Tys (Prince Consort Professor of Oboe), Nick Deutsch (Visiting Professor of Oboe) and Adam Walker (Visiting Professor of Flute).
RCM students enjoy a wide variety of performance opportunities as part of the College’s diverse events calendar, which includes hundreds of events each year.
All woodwind students have the chance to play in our orchestras, which include the RCM Philharmonic, the RCM Symphony Orchestra and the RCM Opera Orchestra. Here, students often have the opportunity to work with some of the finest conductors in the world. Recent visitors have included Joana Carneiro, Sakari Oramo, Sir Antonio Pappano, Chloé van Soeterstède, Jac van Steen, John Wilson and Thomas Zehetmair. We also have our own Wind Ensemble, which often commissions new works.
Students have the chance to perform concertos with RCM orchestras. Previous performances have included Mozart's Bassoon Concerto, Ibert's Flute Concerto, Ivan Fedele's Clarinet Concerto, Mendelssohn's Concert Piece for Clarinet and Basset Horn and Weber's Concerto for Bassoon in F major.
Woodwind students are encouraged to form your own ensembles, and can benefit from unlimited chamber coaching and various opportunities to perform in small groups, as part of the RCM’s Chamber Music concert series and in venues across London.
'Concerts and performance classes provide opportunities to learn as a musician and to thrive. From day one I have felt so inspired by the positive and supportive atmosphere.'
'Studying in the Woodwind department is such a joy! Everyone is welcoming and encouraging and for us in this department, we strive to build a close-knit community that regularly performs together.'
'The Woodwind Faculty is a group of incredibly driven individuals who, whilst improving themselves, offer support and help each other flourish.'
'The Woodwind Faculty is a dynamic, collaborative and supportive community that allows each person to explore and thrive.'
Two saxophonists playing
Flautist rehearsing with the RCM Symphony Orchestra
Piccolo players in rehearsal
Bassoons in rehearsal (c) Patrick Harrison
Flautist performing at the Royal Academy of Art
Cor anglais player performs with the RCM Symphony Orchestra
Recent visiting artists
Our students enjoy regular masterclasses with high-profile visitors including:
- The Berlin Philharmonic Wind Quintet
- The Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Wind Quintet
- Clara Andrada de la Calle
- Juliette Bausor
- Samuel Coles
- Sir James Galway
- Nick Deutsch
- Elaine Douvas
- Miriam Pastor Burgos
- Jacques Tys
- Ramón Ortega Quero
- Paolo De Gaspari
- Romain Guyot
- Maximiliano Martín
- Anthony McGill
- Matthew Wilkie
- Ole Kristian Dahl
- Giorgio Mandolesi
- Gustavo Núñez
- Amy Dickson
- Arno Bornkamp
- Melanie Henry
- Gerard McChrystal
- Naomi Sullivan
- Anna Marie Wytko
- Nikita Zimin
Our students are regularly awarded prizes at major national and international competitions. Recent prizes have been awarded by:
- Stockholm International Music Competition
- Royal Over-Seas League Competition
The RCM’s Creative Careers Centre, which is recognised internationally for its innovative approach to supporting young musicians, provides an unparalleled service to current students and recent alumni. The dedicated team partners with leading consultants, reputable arts organisations and local communities, delivering unique career-building opportunities and a direct route to the music industry.
The work of the Creative Careers Centre allows students to discover their professional identity, gain hands-on experience and new skills, develop an entrepreneurial mind-set and build a fulfilling professional portfolio.
Extensive performance and teaching opportunities are available, as well as valuable guidance on CV and biography writing, concert programming, communication skills, project management, marketing and publicity, online promotion, financial matters and how to develop a business idea.
The Royal College of Music is proud to offer its students fantastic practice and performance facilities with resources to support teaching and learning. We continually improve our facilities to ensure RCM students have the best opportunities.
Key facilities at the RCM include:
- The Amaryllis Fleming Concert Hall - our primary performance venue for orchestras and large ensembles.
- Our 400-seat Britten Theatre, home to the RCM’s thriving International Opera School.
- A new Performance Hall, offering an alternative space for ensembles, with a retractable stage, Fazioli grand piano and variable acoustics.
- Intimate spaces for solo and chamber performance in our Performance Studio and Parry Rooms.
- Sound-proofed Amadeus Music Pods for private practice.
- A purpose-built percussion suite – you can watch a video tour on YouTube.
- Over 160 pianos, including 60 grand pianos and 20 early keyboards, as well as organ rooms.
- A Blüthner Practice Suite which holds ten Blüthner Model A upright pianos.
- Instrument surgeries including luthier services.
- RCM Studios: a commercial-grade facility, enabling live broadcasts around the world.
- Digital Innovation Lab: advanced recording and mixing suite.
- RCM Library with more than 200,000 scores, books and recordings in its lending collection, as well as access to more than 400 music journals.
- Recently refurbished RCM Museum, holding more than 14,000 instruments, portraits and images, as well as a climate-controlled performance space and the associated Wolfson Centre in Music & Material Culture | Royal College of Music (rcm.ac.uk)
RCM woodwind graduates enjoy unrivalled success in a range of professional settings. RCM musicians have been awarded principal woodwind positions with:
- Royal Opera House
- Sydney Symphony Orchestra
- Shanghai Symphony Orchestra
- Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra
- KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic Orchestra
- Great Falls Symphony Orchestra (Montana)
- RTÉ Concert Orchestra
- Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
- Philharmonia Orchestra
- English National Opera Orchestra
- London Philharmonic Orchestra
- Orchestra of the Royal Opera House
- Orchestra of Scottish Opera
- Sir James Galway
- Evelyn Barbirolli
- Léon Goossens
- Michael Collins
- Dame Thea King
- Gervase de Peyer
- Frederick Thurston
- Roger Birnstingl
- Archie Camden
- John Harle
- Amy Dickson
Latest from the Woodwind Faculty
Bachelor of Music (BMus) graduate 2020, Principal Clarinet with the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, in-demand soloist and chamber musician.
Master of Performance (MPerf) 2020 graduate, winner of the Sir James Galway Rising Star Award, and in-demand performer and recording artist.
3D models of eight rare woodwind instruments protect against conservation concerns around the playability of historical instruments due to their fragility, allowing greater engagement opportunities for Royal College of Music students, professional musicians and Museum visitors.
Sir Antonio Pappano returns to the College to conduct the RCM Symphony Orchestra, and Sir Thomas Allen and Dame Imogen Cooper share their knowledge with students in the masterclass series
The RCM Philharmonic's unique recording of Toussaint L'Ouverture features in the National Portrait Gallery
The Royal College of Music is pleased to announce that renowned flautist Adam Walker and distinguished oboist Nick Deutsch join the RCM Woodwind Faculty in Autumn 2023.
Five Royal College of Music clarinettists have secured positions with the UK’s leading orchestras.
07 March 2024, 6:00pm
Amaryllis Fleming Concert Hall
Please note that the audition and application process for Fellowships is not the same as it is for our courses. Please refer to the individual Fellowship pages for more details.
Contact the Woodwind Faculty
If you have any general queries about woodwind at the RCM please contact our Woodwind Faculty Administration team. If you have any queries about auditions or the admissions process, please contact our Admissions team.
Woodwind Faculty Administration
General enquiries about the operation of the faculty and consultation lessons
Admissions and general audition enquiries
+44 (0)20 7591 4362