The Royal College of Music (RCM) welcomes internationally renowned conductor John Wilson for its 2018 Autumn Season. Wilson leads the talented musicians of the RCM Symphony Orchestra in Vaughan Williams’ Pastoral Symphony and Ravel’s Piano Concerto for the left hand, performed by rising star Nikola Avramovic. The concert, on 25 October, is part of the RCM’s Passing Youth series which commemorates 100 years since the end of WWI. The RCM also remembers former Director Sir Hubert Parry with a concert bringing together choristers from Eton College and Twyford School, featuring his 1916 work, Jerusalem.
Another hotly anticipated visitor this season is esteemed baritone and RCM alumnus Sir Thomas Allen, who directs a new production of Mozart’s beloved The Marriage of Figaro. With all the makings of a modern romantic comedy, Mozart’s classic opera is set to be a highlight of the season. The RCM is delighted to welcome a roster of international stars to give intimate masterclasses too, including Polonsky Visiting Professor of Violin Maxim Vengerov, RCM alumnus Sir James Galway, Alina Ibragimova and Thomas Trotter.
The RCM’s Quartet in Residence, the Harlem Quartet returns to contrast Haydn’s The Joke with more of their signature arrangements of world jazz. The Harlem Quartet Residency is supported by Victoria, Lady Robey CBE. There is more jazz with legendary trumpeter Mike Lovatt bringing his Big Fat Brass project and performing with the ever popular RCM Big Band.
This season’s festival programme includes the popular two-day International Festival of Viols, featuring virtuoso musicians Vittorio Ghielmi, Richard Boothby and Reiko Ichise. On the final evening of the festival, students from the Salzberg Mozarteum join RCM musicians to perform fantasies and consort works. There are two new festivals this season – the RCM Guitar Festival and RCM Bassoon Day – offering aspiring musicians the opportunity to pick up tips from experts and witness world-class performances.
The Orchestral Masterworks series continues with performances of Shostakovich, Berlioz and Elgar, and members of the Chamber Orchestra of Europe return to perform Brahms side-by-side with RCM performers. Eminent conductor Jac Van Steen leads an all French programme including Fauré’s Requiem and Bojan Ĉiĉić, director of the Academy of Ancient Music, joins the RCM Baroque Orchestra for an evening of early music.
A new series, Bach Bites, offers an exciting menu of 30 minute rush hour concerts celebrating the RCM’s magnificent new Flentrop organ. In another first, RCM Sparks hosts a Family Concert, with presenter Fraser Trainer taking the audience on a spooky musical journey through Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique. RCM Sparks, now in its 11th year, also presents its regular series of exciting workshops for budding musicians throughout the season.