Keep Music Playing 26: RNCM Online

In a year of challenges and adaptation, a surge to connect and share digitally has been one of the many changes in our lives.

Here at the RNCM, we’ve done everything we can to ensure that our community can come together online, while we’re sadly unable to be together in person.

Back in March, we launched #RNCMRemote in response to the first lockdown, encouraging students and staff to share their remote learning or working photos and videos with us. We wanted to share some joy and keep our community connected in a more personal way. It’s continued ever since, with our social media channels in particular becoming an important gathering point and a place for us to continue to share music and to stay connected in these distanced times.

Over the summer, students and staff recorded ‘a day in their lockdown life’, sharing with us their workspaces, remote learning set-ups, online lecture highlights, living room performances, remote music videos – and my personal favourite, lots of pets! Click here to take a peek.

With online communication more important than ever, we’re also reinventing how we train our students to thrive in a changing digital world. We’re working closely with our Digital Ambassadors – a team of students we train and mentor each year to help us create content for our social media channels and website. They’ve been producing some great work and helping us to show off the amazing RNCM experience from the students’ perspective.

Click here to watch Digital Ambassador, Eden Longson, chronicling life as an RNCM composition student and sharing just how much our students are still packing in, despite all the current restrictions.

Our ambassadors are also available online, in our Community section, to chat with current and prospective students, offer peer to peer support and give an insight into life at the RNCM. Every one of our student ambassadors is paid, offering much needed additional income and reinforcing just how much we value their time and expertise.

We can’t wait to reopen our doors to the public and welcome you back in person. Until then we promise to keep sharing our world with you online and hope you enjoy watching our digital content as much as we enjoy creating it.

Rachael Howarth

Digital Marketing and Communications Officer


Online performance programme

One of the most important areas of our digital work has been the development of our online broadcasts. We know how important these have become to our students and their families, who can still watch their loved ones play, as well, of course, to our audiences, all craving live music right now. We’re hugely excited to be able to share our work across the world and thrilled by the possibilities of reaching new audiences and prospective students globally.

Here’s what we’ve got coming up soon…

Manchester Collective x RNCM: Live from the RNCM

Thursday Lates

Thursday 3 December 2020 // 8.00pm

One of the most exciting, young ensembles performing right now, Manchester Collective,  founded by RNCM alumni, are known for creating intense live musical experiences. This concert brings the Collective back to the RNCM to perform with current students and promises to be very special, with a one-time only programme of music and storytelling featuring multi-instrumentalist and storyteller Poul Høxbro and music by Arvo Pärt, Béla Bartók, Peter Warlock and John Dowland.

Manchester Collective have been sharing their wonderful isolation broadcasts over recent months. Here’s just one of them, Arnold Schoenberg’s surreal, unsettling and beautiful Pierrot Lunaire recorded at the RNCM back in November 2018.

Live Q&A with Stephen Hough


Tuesday 8 December 2020 // 5pm

Alumnus and RNCM International Chair in Piano, Stephen Hough, is widely regarded as one of the most important and distinctive pianists of his generation. In this insightful Q&A, Stephen discusses his new book, his career, and his latest Beethoven recording with the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra.

Here is a short video of Stephen’s beautiful encore from BBC Radio 3’s special broadcast recorded at the Wigmore Hall this June.

RNCM Miuawga Ensemble: Live from the RNCM

Thursday Lates

Thursday 10 December 2020 // 8pm

Join us for two sets of fabulous improvised music from performers across the RNCM, directed by Head of Improvisation and Jazz, Steve Berry, followed by a discussion about why we should all improvise!

For those of you who missed this absolutely joyful film this summer, or if you’d just love to watch again, here is the RNCM Jazz Collective joined by some very special guests from the jazz world.

Lunchtime Concerts

Every Monday // 1.15pm

Don’t forget our lunchtime recitals every Monday during term time, featuring performances programmed and performed by our students.

Art, Music & Alumni Support

Nathaniel Boyd

We have been overwhelmed by the response to our Keep Music Playing campaign so far, with many of our alumni kindly reaching out to pledge their support. We were delighted to hear from cello alumnus and member of the Navarra Quartet, Nathaniel Boyd, who enjoys an artistic career encompassing performance, painting and sculpture. Click here to view Nathaniel’s work, with many pieces inspired by musical performance and the skylines of Manchester. Nathaniel has generously offered to donate 30 per cent of his sales to the Keep Music Playing campaign. Simply quote RNCM at the checkout when purchasing a piece.

 ‘During my years at the RNCM studying the cello, I benefited from the influence of some of the great musicians of our time – whilst enjoying the creative inspiration derived from living in Manchester. I am delighted to be able to share my work with all those who believe passionately in supporting students at the RNCM.’

Matt & Phred’s

Friday Night ‘Almost’ Live

Our friends at Matt & Phred’s may have been forced to close their doors, but they’re bringing the life and soul of their back-street jazz club into our homes, with a series of online gigs they’ve been recording in the club over the past few weeks. Click here to see the line up of fantastic bands playing every Friday between now and Christmas. They promise to keep you entertained, while your ticket purchase offers vital support to the freelance music community and one of Manchester’s most loved music venues. 

Keep Music Playing

One of the most exciting and important projects we have worked on this year, has been the creation of a very special film bringing together some of the biggest names in the music industry, sharing their love and support for the RNCM. Click here to watch some of our wonderful friends talk about what the RNCM means to them.

It means the world to us to have their support, as the situation the RNCM faces today is sadly critical. The pandemic has stretched our finances to the limit, putting our future sustainability, student training, community work and performance programmes in jeopardy.

Many members of our wonderful community have already given. We are hugely grateful for your support – thank you. If you’ve not already done so, please consider joining them to help keep our music playing and, right now, your donation will be doubled, thanks to the generosity of the Oglesby Charitable Trust.

We have never asked for help like this before, but we have never been in this position before. We hope that we can count on you. Every gift, big or small really will help.  Please click here to make a difference now. Thank you.

27 November 2020