Resonate: April 2023

Welcome to your April 2023 edition of Resonate!

We’ve just launched our summer performance programme, which is jam-packed with a whole host of exciting events to round off our 50th anniversary. Check out our What’s On section below for more details on some of our special RNCM50 highlights – we’d love for you to join us in celebrating this landmark year!

This month we have news of some incredible successes by our students and alumni, as well as stories on some transformational gifts we’ve received.

Our students are enjoying a well-deserved easter break before they return to the RNCM at the end of April for our summer term.

Made in Manchester
3-5 May
// Various times
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This three-day festival celebrates the amazing breadth of new music created at the RNCM by our staff and students, past and present. As a laboratory of innovation, new music is at the heart of our mission – to define the future of music.

Inquisitive listeners are invited to a powerful experience of contemporary music in a variety of genres and settings. From solo works to chamber music alongside new works for orchestra and world premières, there are no limits to the new sound worlds that have been created.

Find out more about the festival programme here.

RNCM 50th Birthday Celebration
Thu 22 Jun
// 6.30pm
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For five decades, the RNCM has been home to amazing musicians who’ve forged incredible careers in all areas of the industry. In an evening that celebrates our past, present and future, we’re pulling out all the stops for this spectacular 50th anniversary event.

Journey through three innovative performances bringing together our past and present, with alumni and current students performing side-by-side.

This is an evening not to be missed! Find out more about what to expect on our website.

RNCM Opera Gala with The Orchestra of Opera North
Wed 28 Jun
// 7.30pm
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RNCM vocal and opera students join The Orchestra of Opera North, conducted by their Music Director Garry Walker, for a fantastic evening of operatic scenes.

We’re delighted that several internationally renowned RNCM vocal alumni will join us for this 50th anniversary celebration concert including Carolina Krogius, Soraya Mafi, Linda Richardson, Kathleen Wilkinson, Andrew Greenan, Philip Smith, Christopher Turner, Elgan Llŷr Thomas, and Roland Wood.

Join us to relive your favourite operatic moments.

Anna Meredith: FIBS with the RNCM Festival Orchestra
Sat 8 Jul
// 7.30pm // Depot Mayfield
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The RNCM Festival Orchestra join powerhouse composer Anna Meredith for a spectacular one-off performance of her Mercury Prize-shortlisted album FIBS, part of MIF23.

As a composer, producer and performer, Anna has taken the orchestral world by storm, whether it’s commanding the stage at the Hollywood Bowl or at the Last Night of the Proms. This summer, joined by the RNCM Festival Orchestra, Anna swaps the concert hall for Manchester’s iconic Depot Mayfield for this genre-bending show, bringing together contemporary classical, art pop, techno and experimental rock.

There’s plenty more going on at the RNCM during our summer season. For full details of what’s on, visit our website.

Young students play brass instruments in a circle while a teacher conducts.

RNCM Engage West Cumbria
RNCM Receives Transformational Funding
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The RNCM has secured a transformational philanthropic gift from the Benny Walker Charitable Trust to roll out its award-winning music education programme, RNCM Engage, for school aged young people in west Cumbria. This hugely significant investment will launch a new five-year project in partnership with Cumbria Music Hub, part of Cumbria County Council.

The RNCM will boost the provision of music education and engagement for under 18’s, providing access to a programme of world-class tuition, tailored support and CPD for teachers based in Cumbria. With RNCM students playing a key part as mentors, tutors and role models, we will also be developing their skills and experience, encouraging them to feed back into the professional music education landscape, not least those who come to study at the College from Cumbria.

Rhiannon McKay-Smith, RNCM Director of Development says: ‘We are so thankful to have received what is the most significant philanthropic donation the RNCM has received in recent history, and it will be transformational for the musical lives of children and young people in this area.’

Read the full story on our website.

RNCM Alumni Win Multiple Awards
Royal Philharmonic Society Awards
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The Royal Philharmonic Society (RPS) awards took place recently, with prizes awarded to the members of the classical music industry who have excelled in various areas of the sector. We’re incredibly proud that our alumni featured so heavily in the list of winners:

RNCM Artist-in-Residence, Manchester Collective, received the Ensemble Award for their transformative performances attracting new audiences from Birkenhead to the BBC Proms.

Manchester Camerata received the Storytelling Award for their film Untold – Keith charting the benefits of music for people living with dementia.

Composer Gavin Higgins received the Large-Scale Composition Award for his rousing Concerto Grosso for Brass Band and Orchestra.

Cellist and Honorary Associate Artist Abel Selaocoe received the Instrumentalist Award following the release of his acclaimed debut album and mesmeric performances.

You can watch the ceremony in full on the RPS website.

Agata Zajac composing.

Agata Zając
Junior Fellow Wins Audience Vote
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Congratulations to Agata Zając, our current Mills Williams Junior Fellow in Conducting, who secured second prize at the Siemens Hallé International Conducting Competition 2023, and was winner of the audience vote. Less than a week later, she also reached the semi-final of the Donatella Flick Conducting Competition in London – an incredible feat.

Between October and March, as well as numerous projects with the RNCM, Agata has conducted the BBC Philharmonic, Tonhalle Orchestra (Zurich), Manchester Camerata, Barcelona Symphony Orchestra, the Hallé, and London Symphony Orchestra in concert, as well as at some of the highest profile conducting competitions and masterclasses internationally.

Through July and August, she will be one of two Conducting Fellows at the famous Tanglewood Festival in Massachusetts, where she will work with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and several other visiting orchestras.

Natalia Senior-Brown
Classic FM Rising Stars
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We’re delighted to that violist/violinist and alumna Natalia Senior-Brown has been selected as one of Classic FM’s ‘Rising Stars in 2023’.

Natalia studied at Manchester’s Chetham’s School of Music before studying at the RNCM, and has since performed with the Chineke! Orchestra and HER Ensemble, as well as at The Brit Awards, Glastonbury and a Louis Vuitton fashion show.

The list of 30 musicians under the age of 30 that Classic FM are championing as names you should get to know as future stars on the classical music scene was compiled with the help of several industry experts, including the renowned cellist and conductor Julian Lloyd Webber.

Norma Kendall
A Lasting Legacy

Each year we are kindly remembered by music lovers who leave a gift for the RNCM in their will. These ensure that a lasting, often transformative, legacy is left by every donor. Here, we tell you the story of one such donor, Norma Kendall.

Norma Kendall adored music. She was a primary school teacher, enjoyed coming to opera performances at the RNCM with her mother Alice, and was from a musical family. Norma showed incredible generosity by leaving a gift to the RNCM in her will, establishing the Alice Orrell and A&N Kendall Award.

Since 2017, the award has already supported 19 students and, as an endowed award, Norma’s gift has been invested carefully so that it will go on to support students for years to come, indefinitely.

Norma’s family receive regular updates from recipients of the award and enjoy coming to the RNCM to watch them perform and experience the incredible impact of her generosity.

You can read the full story, which includes one of the students who had benefitted from this award, on pages 32-33 of our alumni magazine The Northern online here.

To find out more about leaving a gift in your will, or in memory of a loved one, visit our website.

7 April 2023