The RNCM is a leading international conservatoire, training students to world-class levels in music through a specialised learning programme of the highest quality, delivered by internationally renowned teachers and underpinned by a unique artistic programme of performances.
Although still relatively young, the RNCM’s history can be traced back to 1893 when Sir Charles Hallé founded the Royal Manchester College of Music, through to 1920 when the Northern School of Music was established in the city. The planned merger of these two institutions began in the 1960s, coming to fruition as the RNCM in 1972.
The RNCM has a rich and varied history, beginning with the establishment of the Royal Manchester College of Music (RMCM) in the late 19th century.
In 1858, Sir Charles Hallé founded the Hallé Orchestra in Manchester, and by the early 1890s had raised the idea of a college of music in the city. Following an appeal for support and subscriptions, a building on Ducie Street was secured, Hallé was appointed Principal and Queen Victoria conferred the Royal title. The RMCM opened its doors to 80 students in 1893, rising to 117 by the end of the first year.
Less than four decades later, in 1920, the Northern School of Music (NSM) was established (initially as a branch of the Matthay School of Music), and for many year the two institutions peacefully coexisted. In fact, it wasn't until 1955 that the NSM Principal, Hilda Collens, in recognising the importance of performance in training students, met with RMCM Principal, Frederic Cox, to raise the question of merging.
Discussions continued until September 1967 when a Joint Committee was formed to oversee plans to combine the two colleges. The Royal Northern College of Music was formed in 1972, moving to its purpose-built home on Oxford Road in 1973, where it continues to deliver world-class musical training.