Keep Music Playing 25

As I write this message to you today, I think of all we have been through in recent months. I think about the support you, our RNCM family of friends, alumni and donors, have given to our students to help keep music playing.

However, as the pandemic rages on, I must share with you the difficult news that the College itself is now facing significant financial challenges, on a different scale to anything we have experienced before.

With our venues shut, much-needed income from concerts, conferences and our café and restaurant has been decimated and some of the key external funders on whom we relied have sadly been unable to continue supporting us. Our losses are now over £2.1million and won’t recover until the pandemic is over.


Our overriding priority is always to provide our students with the highest-quality music education and to keep them safe and supported through the pandemic. However, to continue to deliver this work, the College itself must remain in a secure position.  We can now no longer do this without your support.

For this reason, we are launching a major fundraising campaign – Keep Music Playing.

We have been bolstered by many of our alumni, associate artists, honorands and some of the brightest stars in the music industry, who have come together to share what the RNCM means to them. I would like to thank each and every one of them personally for their support. We are looking forward to sharing their wonderful messages on social media from next week and through to Christmas. There are some very special films from some very special artists, so do look out for them on all the usual platforms and please share them, and our fundraising message, far and wide.

We are also delighted to announce that, thanks to the generosity of the Oglesby Charitable Trust, every single donation we receive, up to £50,000, will be matched. This is a truly one-off opportunity to double the impact of every gift.

As you know, the RNCM nurtures talented musicians who then go on to enrich our cultural life long after graduating; performing, working in community and healthcare settings, teaching the next generation of musicians and making significant contributions to many other industries. We are a significant cultural asset. Our work develops essential talent for our City, region and beyond, long into the future. Without it, the loss to the pipeline of talent development will be almost impossible to replicate.

We have never asked for this kind of help so openly before, but the challenges we face today are completely unprecedented. We know these are difficult times for many in our community, but for those who are in a position to be able to help us by making a donation, we would be sincerely grateful. You will be supporting the next generation of musical talent. Please click here to make a gift and find out more about our Keep Music Playing Appeal.

Thank you again for all of your support over the past few months, to everyone who has shared our news, watched a performance online, or just taken an interest in the work of the RNCM and our students, we are grateful.

Thank you in advance for your support,

Professor Linda Merrick

Join us #LivefromtheRNCM

We’re doing all we can to recreate the live experience, through online performances and interactive sessions, to give our students’ vital professional experience and our audiences enthralling performances to enjoy through the long days of lockdown. Although we aren’t able to open to the public our students are still performing, so please support them by joining us online and keep reading to find out what’s coming up soon.

Saxophone Day at 20

Sunday 15 November // 2pm

This Sunday we mark what would have been the 20th RNCM Saxophone Day, with a very special digital edition, looking back at past guest artists, some of our incredible saxophone alumni and featuring an exclusive performance from The Apollo Saxophone Quartet. At the end of the event, you can join in live on Zoom for an informal Q&A session hosted by artistic directors Rob Buckland and Andy Scott, with some very special guests.

This is a free event, but booking is required and closes at noon today, so don’t delay!

Enjoy a preview by clicking here to watch The Apollo Saxophone Quartet perform Richard Rodney Bennett’s quartet, written especially for them and performed at the RNCM Saxophone Day back in 2015.

Elias Quartet + RNCM Strings: Live from the RNCM

Thursday 19 November // 8.00pm

Join us live, online, next Thursday for a performance of Beethoven’s Op 131 String Quartet followed by a selection of Scottish folk music, performed by the Elias Quartet alongside RNCM students. This will be followed by a discussion about how performing folk music can help to form a more well-rounded musician.

Insights // Alice Coote

Tuesday 24 November // 5.00pm

Join internationally renowned mezzo-soprano and alumna, Alice Coote, for an intimate Q&A, as she introduces us to her world as a performer.

Particularly known for her trouser roles, click here to watch Alice’s spellbinding performance in Handel’s Xerxes with the ENO.

RNCM Sinfonietta: Live from the RNCM

Thursday Lates featuring Chloé van Soeterstède

Thursday 26 November // 8.00pm

A fabulous programme from the RNCM Sinfonietta, performing reduced arrangements of larger works, conducted by rising star of the conducting world, alumna Chloé van Soeterstède.

Featuring pieces by Beethoven, Saint-Saëns, Ravel and new work from Flowers Tannenbaum, followed by a closing discussion about the process of conducting and writing for a socially distanced ensemble, this promises to be a very special event.

Here is Chloé conducting the third movement of Mahler’s beautiful Symphony No 4 (Chamber Version) in the RNCM Concert Hall in 2017.

Thank you

To everyone in our wonderful community, who are supporting our students, watching our concerts and making donations, however big or small – thank you. By coming together, we can keep the music playing.

If you are considering a gift, now is the time to make it. With match funding in place, every pound will be doubled thanks to our friends at the Oglesby Charitable Trust. Every single gift has the power to secure the future of the RNCM. Thank you.

13 November 2020