Internationally renowned artists such as Lang Lang, Sir Andrew Davis and Tasmin Little will join students of the Royal College of Music (RCM) for a series of performances and masterclasses at the college this autumn.
Highlights of the season include some world-class visitors. Sir Andrew Davis makes his debut with the RCM Symphony Orchestra on 26 and 27 October. He will conduct a programme of lesser-performed 20th century works including Lili Boulanger’s setting of psalm 130 Du fond de l’abîme (Out of the depths, 1916) and Stravinsky’s choral symphony Symphonie de psaumes (Symphony of Psalms, 1930) featuring the RCM Chorus.
On 12 November, Vasily Petrenko, music director of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, returns to lead the RCM Symphony Orchestra in Prokofiev’s uplifting Symphony no 5 (1945) alongside music by Beethoven and Sofia Gubaidulina’s The Wrath of God (2020), a powerful vision of the Day of Judgement.
Orchestral favourites will see a feel-good evening of works from some of Walt Disney’s most beloved movies including Toy Story, Aladdin and Beauty and the Beast on 5 October. Ben Palmer will conduct the RCM Philharmonic. On 16 November, conductor Martyn Brabbins will lead Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake (1877), the world premiere of Waterfall Night by RCM composer Anian Wiedner and A Little Summer Suite (2015) by Betsy Jolas.
Jazz also features on the programme, with audiences offered the chance to learn more about the history of the jazz band on 4 October. Virtuoso trumpeter Mike Lovatt will perform Johnny Richards’s 1956 influential Latin jazz suite Cuban Fire on 2 November.
The music of Brazilian composer Villa-Lobos forms the core of the Royal College of Music’s programme of chamber music, with a performance of his series of Chôros (1920-29) – Portuguese for ‘cry’ – for varied ensembles on 8 November, while on 1 November Sounds of South America will explore Bolivian Baroque music.
On 20 October the RCM Wind Ensemble will perform chamber music inspired by the region of Bohemia. The RCM String Band performs Tavener’s iconic The Protecting Veil (1989) alongside Glazunov’s Saxophone Concerto (1934) on 1 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. String students will gain insights from eminent violinist Tasmin Little on 3 October. The Brodsky Quartet makes its debut visit to perform in a series of concerts and classes on Shostakovich’s quartets on 15 and 16 November.
Early music features in the season with the 18th year of the Royal College of Music’s International Festival of Viols, this year headlined by esteemed viola da gamba player and visiting professor Vittorio Ghielmi on 23 and 24 November. Meanwhile, Haydn’s keyboard music is explored on Clavichord Day on 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, on 23 November. Dr Diana Salazar curates an evening exploring the use of electronics in composition on 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 2 December.
The RCM Opera Studio will explore the legend of Don Giovanni in Italian composer Gazzaniga’s most successful work, the rarely performed Don Giovanni Tenorio (1787), with performances on 20, 22, 24 and 25 November. This one-act opera exploring the legendary lothario predated Mozart’s version by just nine months.
Further information on all events, including prices and times, is available from the Royal College of Music.
Internationally renowned pianist Lang Lang will give Royal College of Music students a masterclass as part of the college’s autumn programme.