Resonate: July 2023

Welcome to your July 2023 edition of Resonate!

It has been wonderful to have so many of our community join us to mark the height of the RNCM’s 50th Anniversary celebrations over the past few weeks, with a series of special performances and events featuring hundreds of students, alumni and staff at the RNCM and beyond.

As our students now enjoy a well-deserved break over the summer, we’re excited that our autumn season is now on sale, as we look forward to welcoming you back through our doors for another year of innovative music making soon.

Read on for more about what’s going on in the RNCM community over the summer months.

You can catch our students, staff and alumni performing across the UK at major events this summer, including the BBC Proms and Buxton International Festival:

BBC Proms
Sir Stephen Hough, RNCM Chamber Choir and more…
Full programme

To round off our 50th anniversary year, it’s fantastic to see so many of our, staff and students and graduates involved in this year’s BBC Proms. If you’re in London this summer, there are still some tickets available.

18 Jul // Prom 6: Sir Stephen Hough Plays Rachmaninov featuring International Chair in Piano and alumnus Sir Stephen Hough and a world premiere by RNCM Associate Member Grace-Evangeline Mason.

11 Aug // Prom 36: A Space Odyssey featuring soprano and alumna Jennifer France and the RNCM Chamber Choir.

Other appearances include bass and current student Dominic Carver as part of VOCES8 (Prom 34), contralto and Principal Study Vocal Tutor Hilary Summers (Prom 43), Manchester Collective (Prom 46), mezzo-soprano and alumna Alice Coote OBE (Prom 64) and many of our musicians performing in the orchestras and choirs.

Colour My Song
Students Perform at Buxton International Festival
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Sopranos Jane Burnell and Olivia Tringham, alongside pianist Winnie Su, perform Colour My Song as part of Buxton International Festival on Fri 21 Jul.

The recital, inspired by the Williams-Howard Prize, features lesser performed works by composers of African heritage, giving audience members a rare chance to experience this glorious music.

Established and led by RNCM tutor Michael Harper, the Williams-Howard Prize is an annual competition held at the RNCM that celebrates and encourages the study and performance of art songs of composers of African heritage, to ensure that they are known, celebrated, and performed. Find out more about the Williams-Howard Prize on our website.

At the RNCM: Autumn 2023

Our Autumn 2023 season is now on sale, including our evening concerts and visits from guest artists. See below for some of the highlights, including collaborations with our artistic partners and our ever-popular December opera. Our lunchtime and student-led performances will go on sale later this year.

For full details of what’s on, visit our website.

Manchester Collective: Different Trains
Wed 20 Sep // 8pm
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Manchester Collective return as Artists-in-Residence, joining us for three spectacular events across the 23-24 season. They launch the second year of their residency with Different Trains, an exhilarating journey through time and memory.

Manchester Camerata and RNCM Chamber Orchestra
Sat 23 Sep // 7.30pm
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We’re delighted to welcome Manchester Camerata to perform alongside our students as RNCM Mills Williams Junior Fellow in Conducting Agata Zając takes the helm one final time at the RNCM.

Grażyna Bacewicz’s Divermento is a whirlwind opening, before RNCM Concerto Competition winner Ethan Gillespie performs one of Mozart’s most popular piano concertos. The concert closes with Dvořák’s profoundly intimate Symphony No 7 in D minor.

Scottish Ensemble Presents: Jasdeep Singh Degun
Sun 8 Oct // 4pm
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In this collaborative performance, the Scottish Ensemble and sitarist Jasdeep Singh Degun will spin a musical tale. Driven by the beautiful spontaneity of the Indian Classical tradition, you’ll be transported through layers of mesmerising melody.

RNCM Symphony Orchestra: John Adams’ Harmonielehrer
Fri 3 Nov // 7.30pm
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Join us for an unforgettable evening of music as Clark Rundell conducts the RNCM Symphony Orchestra in a trio of surprisingly lyrical selections, which make way for one of John Adams’ most iconic works. A rarely performed masterpiece, Harmonielehre take listeners on a harmonic expedition as Adams explores the sonic landscape of late Romanticism through the lens of minimalism.

The Snow Maiden: Rimsky-Korsakov
Sun 10 & Sat 16 Dec // 3pm
Tue 12 & Wed 13 Dec // 7pm
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Step into a wintry tale of magic and mystique as we bring Rimsky-Korsakov’s The Snow Maiden to life.

The child of Grandfather Frost and Spring Beauty, follow the Snow Maiden as she traverses the boundaries between myth and mortal. Surrounded by soaring melodies and sparkling strings, you’ll be swept away in a musical labyrinth of Slavic folklore and enchantment.

RNCM at Depot Mayfield
Anna Meredith: FIBS with the RNCM Festival Orchestra

The RNCM Festival Orchestra joined powerhouse composer Anna Meredith for a spectacular one-off performance at Depot Mayfield on Saturday, as part of Manchester International Festival 2023.

The first time an orchestra has performed at the Manchester venue, this genre-bending show brought together contemporary classical, art pop, techno and experimental rock as Anna, her band and our students performed new arrangements of Anna’s Mercury Prize-shortlisted album FIBS to a packed audience.

It was wonderful to hear some of the RNCM’s emerging classical/pop crossover artists performing in the iconic space before the main concert, including Norrisette, Molly Becker, Beatriz Carvalho, and Talland Quartet.

This first-of-its-kind performance was a fitting end to our year of celebrations, as the RNCM marked five decades of innovative music-making.

BBC Radio 3 Broadcast
RNCM50 Birthday Celebration
Listen now

We were thrilled to welcome BBC Radio 3 to record our RNCM50 Birthday Celebration recently, as alumni guest leaders joined forces with our String Orchestra and Chamber Choir for a stunning choral opening, before guest conductor Alpesh Chauhan OBE and Agata Zając unleashed the sheer power and excitement of the RNCM Symphony Orchestra, featuring alumni Soraya Mafi and Alexandra Dariescu.

You can listen to the live recording now on BBC Sounds.

While you’re on BBC Sounds…

  • The BBC’s Tom Service paid us a visit amidst our celebrations to talk to staff, students and alumni about our past, present and very exciting future! You can hear it all on Music Matters here.
  • Alumnus Daniel McDwyer recently spoke to BBC Radio Manchester about his journey at the RNCM and our 50th birthday celebrations. Listen now on here (from 3:34:40).

Alumni, Staff and Supporters
King’s Birthday Honours
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Congratulations to our alumni, staff and supporters who were recognised in the King’s Birthday Honours.

Amongst the names announced in the inaugural list are RNCM Fellow Richard Mantle, General Director of Opera North, who received a knighthood for services to opera; alumni Douglas Scarfe, CEO Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, and Gordon Stewart, organist, teacher and conductor, who were awarded the CBE and BEM respectively; and supporter Chris Oglesby, CEO of Bruntwood, who was awarded an OBE.

Winners Announced
RNCM Creative Innovators Award
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We recently announced the winners of the 2023 RNCM Creative Innovators Award. Generously supported by Yamaha, this unique award recognises students who excel in creative ambition and entrepreneurship.

Finalists pitched their new business ideas and artistic ventures to an expert panel, including industry experts and previous winners. This year’s winners, who receive financial support and mentoring to help them develop their projects, are:

RNCM Creative Innovator Award and Alumni Choice Award: Emily Pedersen (£1500)
RNCM Creative Innovator Award: Spark Sanders Robinson (£1000)
Yamaha Entrepreneurship Award: Gabriela Waclawska (£1000)
RNCM Creative Innovator Award: Eden Saunders (£1000)
RNCM Creative Innovator Award: Freddy Gillmore (£500)

11 July 2023