Resonate: February 2022

A very warm welcome to our February edition of Resonate.

It’s been a busy start to the year as undergraduate drummer Jacob Brown secured the first Barney Miller International Travel Award, we launched free resources for aspiring conductors, and the Wolfson Foundation continued its support of our young musicians.

We might only be a few weeks into 2022, but our students have already had the opportunity to work with a variety of international artists, including cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason MBE, who presented a masterclass for our School of Strings, supported by the Haworth Trust. And we’re overjoyed that, thanks to the help of our incredible community, we surpassed our recent annual appeal target by over £20,000 – more on that below.

Read on for exciting success stories about students and alumni, what’s coming up at the RNCM this month and beyond, and news of our Spring opera production, The Marriage of Figaro.

As ever, there’s also a treat from the RNCM Archives.

February at the RNCM

Our jam-packed Day of Percussion returns on Sun 6 Feb, and we’re excited to welcome back the Mugenkyo Taiko Drummers for our headline evening concert.

Vocal and conducting students present some of opera’s greatest moments in RNCM Opera Scenes on Mon 7 Feb – the perfect way to feed your curiosity!

There’s fun for all the family on Sat 13 Feb as RNCM Young Explorers present an interactive journey through iconic video game soundtracks and The Manchester Video Game Orchestra return for a gaming music extravaganza.

Join our talented vocal students as they perform their own selection of songs and arias in our annual Frederic Cox Award for Singing on Tue 22 Feb.

The RNCM Session Orchestra returns on Sat 26 Feb for a night of re-imagined chart hits. Experience The Beatles reworked as gospel funk, Katy Perry in the style of a Latin samba and Eminem as classic jazz, plus many more original stylings…

For our full Spring performance programme and to book tickets, visit our website.

The Marriage of Figaro
Sun 27 Mar – Sat 2 Apr

Book now

Lady with fan face with words le nozze di figaro

From its riveting overture to its magnificent arias, Le nozze di Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro) is theatrical comedy at its best with lust, love, and deception at the core of every twist and turn – the pinnacle of Mozart’s musical genius and flare for dramatically capturing the most human of desires.

Students from across the College team up with a renowned creative team to bring this iconic work to life this Spring across five performances.

For more information and to book now, visit our website here.

Bösendorfer & Forsyth
Manchester Salon Recital Series
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World-renowned piano manufacturer Bösendorfer and iconic Manchester music shop Forsyth have joined forces to present a series of free recitals, held in Forsyth’s Piano Showroom. We’re delighted to partner on this series, with several performances by RNCM staff and students, including:

Fri 18 Feb / ‘About Time’
with student pianist Victor Lim

Fri 25 Feb / A Musical Tribute to the Tragic Events of 9/11
with RNCM Deputy Head of Keyboard Studies Adam Swayne

Fri 4 Mar / Piano Recital
with student pianist Iyad Sughayer

Fri 25 Mar / ‘Faure and Friends’ at Forsyths
with RNCM Fellow Kathryn Stott and her students

Details on how to book your free tickets can be found on Forsyth’s website, and you can watch last Friday’s A Night at the Opera featuring vocal students their YouTube channel.

Thank You!
RNCM Annual Appeal Raises Over £73,000
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We’re over the moon that our recent Annual Appeal smashed its original target by more than £20,000! Kickstarted by a £10,000 donation from members of the RNCM Principal’s Circle, the appeal raised over £73,000 in total, well above its £50,000 target.

‘We are absolutely delighted to have raised such an incredible amount of funding to support current and future students here at the RNCM. Philanthropy is critical to the College and I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has generously donated and supported the future of music.’ Professor Linda Merrick, RNCM Principal

The funding will be used to invest in a range of student support initiatives over the coming year, including scholarships, bursaries, hardship funding and student well-being resources.

Thank you to everyone who donated. Your support means the world to us.

Elizabeth Llewellyn
BBC Music Magazine Award Nomination
Vote now

We’re excited that alumna and RNCM Fellow Elizabeth Llewellyn has been nominated for this year’s BBC Music Magazine Newcomer Award for Heart & Hereafter.

The soprano’s début solo album explores a collection of songs by the British composer Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, with pianist and collaborator Simon Lepper. You can read more about it here and there’s a series on how the album was made over on YouTube.

For more information and to cast your vote, click here. Voting closes at the end of February.

Anna Beresford
Winner of Youth Brass Band Conducting Competition
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Congratulations to postgraduate conductor Anna Beresford, winner of the inaugural National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain (NYBBGB) Weston Conducting Competition.

The competition was developed to provide an opportunity for up-and-coming musicians to make an impact on today’s music scene. As its first winner, Anna now has the chance to work as an Associate Conductor alongside Martyn Brabbins, Musical Director English National Opera, on the Summer Residential Course of the NYBBGB later this year.

Anna is currently in the final year of her Master’s and regularly assists conductors at the BBC Philharmonic and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic as part of her course. She is Director of the Macclesfield Mydel Choir and the Smithy Belles Choir in Hazel Grove and has worked as a freelance conductor with ensembles including the Northern Film Orchestra, Abney Orchestra and Opera Viva.

Edane Ng
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We’re thrilled that student pianist Edane Ng has been selected as one of the Manchester International Festival (MIF) Sounds 2022 cohort. Edane will receive £1,000 as well as peer-to-peer support and access to MIF’s Talent Development programme.

Successful applicants will receive peer-to-peer support through regular meetings with your MIF Sounds cohorts and members of the MIF Team, alongside opportunities to participate in workshops and talent development sessions – plus £1,000 to support your creative development.

Currently in the final year of her undergraduate course, Edane said: ‘This has helped me gain huge confidence and courage in my vision of bringing a societal purpose with classical music. It will allow me to pursue my ambition of digital animation which I hope to combine with classical music. As a classical pianist, I am beyond grateful that my unconventional ideas are encouraged and appreciated by MIF and I am looking forward to spreading the beauty of this genre.’

Jan Halen
New Release: Nebulae
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Alumna Jan Halen releases her latest EP, Nebulae, across all streaming and download sites today. Incorporating a variety of effects and techniques to mimic a full string orchestra, the EP features five original works for violin and loopstation, all composed and performed by Jan.

Ranging between funky basslines, gypsy-jazz influenced melodies, and atmospheric layering, Jan creates mellifluous and undulating loops in a wide variety of styles, all performed live with no pre-recorded samples.

Since graduating in 2009, Jan has enjoyed a career in classical music and jazz, and has been Head of Strings at several independent schools. She begins an Artist Master’s in Jazz at Guildhall School of Music and Drama later this year.

For more on Jan, click here.

The Marriage of Figaro
A Look at the NSM’s 1954 Production

RNCM Archive - The Marriage of Figaro cast 1954In anticipation of our upcoming production of The Marriage of Figaro, we’ve delved deep into our archives to share some photos from a 1954 production of the same opera at the Lesser Free Trade Hall by students of the Northern School of Music, one of the RNCM’s founding institutions.

You can also click here to take a look the programme from this production, and here to read a newspaper review praising the ‘beautiful singing’, ‘excellent casting… and a fine sense of Mozartian style’. To learn more about our Archives, click here.

If you’re an alumni, student or staff member, either current or former, and you’ve got an exciting event, story or piece of news that we could share in the blog, we’d love to hear from you

4 February 2022