Over 90 concerts and 31 masterclasses as well as lectures, talks and educational events across the season
New Theatre and rooftop Recital Hall open, providing world-class facilities for students across the Academy
Royal Academy Opera performs Jonathan Dove’s Flight, opening the New Theatre
Guest conductors and directors include Pierre-Laurent Aimard, Jeroen Berwaerts, Lorenza Borrani, Sir Mark Elder, Oliver Knussen and Jac van Steen
Public masterclasses by world-renowned artists such as Susan Bullock, Imogen Cooper, Jonathan Dove, Philippe Graffin, Simon Halsey, Steven Isserlis, Andrew Marriner, Mischa Maisky, Rachel Podger, Claude-Michel Schönberg and Pavel Vernikov
The Academy announces violinist Nikolaj Znaider and composer Andrew Norman as new Visiting Professors
Nine-concert British Chamber Music series at the David Josefowitz Recital Hall, a spotlight on British music from the 20th and 21st centuries
98 free events across the season
The Royal Academy of Music announces its Spring Season featuring a host of world-renowned guest artists and Visiting Professors, as well as the opening of our transformed Theatre and brand-new rooftop Recital Hall. Major highlights include Royal Academy Opera’s production of Jonathan Dove’s Flight (12, 15 and 17 Mar), guest conductors including Pierre-Laurent Aimard directing the Academy Soloists Ensemble in a programme of Mozart and Beethoven (19 Jan), Oliver Knussen (26 Jan), Jac van Steen (16 Feb) and Sir Mark Elder (2 Mar) conducting the Academy Symphony Orchestra, and masterclasses with world-renowned musicians including Mischa Maisky (5 Feb), Helmut Deutsch (28 Feb) and Claude-Michel Schönberg (16 Mar).
The new rooftop Recital Hall opens with ‘A Crowd of Twisted Things’, a programme of new works for voice and mixed ensemble featuring a variety of approaches to songwriting from Academy third-year undergraduate composers (2 Feb). Chamber Orchestra of Europe’s leader, Lorenza Borrani, directs the Sainsbury Royal Academy Soloists in an all-Haydn programme (9 Feb).
The Academy Symphony Orchestra performs three concerts this season, each with eminent guest conductors. Richard Rodney Bennett Professor of Music Oliver Knussen conducts Rimsky-Korsakov’s Russian Easter Festival Overture alongside Variations: Aldous Huxley in memoriam, The Firebird Suite (1945 version) and the recently discovered Funeral Song by fellow Russian Stravinsky (26 Jan). Jac van Steen makes a welcome return to the Academy for an all-Sibelius programme: ‘Lemminkäinen and the Maidens of the Island’ from the Lemminkäinen Suite and Symphony No 2 (16 Feb). Sir Mark Elder, Barbirolli Chair of Conducting at the Academy, makes a welcome return to conduct Shostakovich’s Symphony No 8 (2 Mar).
At the heart of the season is a nine-concert British Chamber Music series (13 Feb–8 Mar), throwing a spotlight on music from the 20th and 21st centuries. The series features original pieces and new realisations by 13 living composers. Academy links permeate all concerts, with works by our alumni, Academy and Visiting Professors, and current students. Highlights include Moriarty Winds with a programme of works by Gareth Moorcroft, Rodney Bennett, Harrison Birwistle, Oliver Knussen and Arnold (13 Feb); the Tritium Trio performing Michael Finnissy, McCabe, Howard Skempton and Ireland (15 Feb); an evening of Parry’s 12 Short Pieces, Bridge’s Piano Trio No 2 and Elgar’s Piano Quintet, Op 84 (6 Mar); a concert of trios by Morgan Hayes, Huw Watkins, Thea Musgrave and Head of Composition Philip Cashian (1 Mar); String Quartets by Maxwell Davies, Tippett and Professor of Composition Edmund Finnis (8 Mar). Eight of the nine series concerts are free.
Jonathan Dove’s Flight (1998) is Royal Academy Opera’s inaugural production in the New Theatre, welcoming back director Martin Duncan and designer Francis O’Connor (12–17 Mar). The production is conducted by Director of Opera Gareth Hancock who worked on the original Richard Jones production for Glyndebourne Festival Opera.
Postgraduate composers showcase new works for mallet quartet in a concert directed by Colin Currie (19 Jan) and an evening of new works for The Hermes Experiment and poet Gillian Clarke, winner of the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry (8 Mar). The March Composers’ Project focuses on new works for violin and piano, welcoming Michael Foyle and Huw Watkins to premiere six pieces written especially for them (12 Mar), and the termly Composers’ Platform, which showcases a wide-ranging programme of world premieres by student composers, heads to Waterloo’s IKLECTIK (20 Mar). The Academy’s Manson Ensemble, conducted by Oliver Knussen, performs a varied programme of Cage, Wolpe, Harrison Birtwistle, Feldman, Varèse and a world premiere by student William Marsey (16 Mar). The New Recital Hall hosts an evening of guitar world premieres by Marwk Pasieczny, Mario Ferraro and Timothy Bowers (1 Mar), and Swiss-Russian harpist, composer and improviser Sasha Boldachev makes his London debut with an eclectic programme including pieces by the Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Eurythmics and Nirvana (23 Feb).
The Academy is delighted to welcome a host of eminent musicians from across the globe for its renowned series of masterclasses. These include appearances from Academy Visiting Professors including pianists Imogen Cooper (6 Feb) and Stephen Hough (5 Mar), and Steven Isserlis, Marquis de Corberon Visiting Professor of Cello (16 Feb). Trumpeter Jeroen Berwaerts gives a masterclass and a concert (30 Jan; 1 Feb), and violinists Philippe Graffin (16 Feb) and Pavel Vernikov (12 Mar) will also work with students. Visiting Professor of Musical Theatre Claude-Michel Schönberg — world-famous for his shows such as Les Misérables, Miss Saigon, Martin Guerre and Marguerite — works with the Academy Musical Theatre Company on a selection of his repertoire (16 Mar).
30 years of jazz at the Academy celebrations continue with the Academy Big Band and guest appearances from Jazz Artist in Residence Dave Douglas and Evan Parker (16 Jan). Jazz alumni return for the Academy Jazz Festival (7 and 8 Feb) and Pete Churchill ,Professor of Jazz Composition, directs the Jazz Composers’ Big Band (25 Mar). The Academy Big Band, directed by Keith Nichols, performs pieces recorded by the Duke Ellington Orchestra of the early 40s, featuring arrangements by Duke Ellington and the young Billy Strayhorn including Harlem Air Shaft, Concerto for Cootie, Perdido and Take the A Train (2 Mar).
The acclaimed Richard Lewis Song Circle presents a celebration of Venice in songs, duets and quartets, and Royal Academy Soloists perform French and Russian chamber works with the Nash Ensemble, both at Wigmore Hall (21 Jan and 20 Mar). The 10th and final year of the Academy’s Kohn Foundation Bach Cantata series concludes with Iain Ledingham directing two concerts (21 Jan, 25 Mar) and Jane Glover, Felix Mendelssohn Emeritus Professor of Music, conducting Bach’s Magnificat and the cantata Erwünschtes Freudenlicht led by violinist Rachel Podger (18 Feb).