Resonate: October 2022

RESONATE: Stories, news and events from the RNCM community

Welcome to your October 2022 edition of Resonate.

It is wonderful to hear the RNCM alive with music again as the autumn term begins, and to have welcomed a brand-new intake of students through our doors at the start of a very special academic year – our 50th!

We officially launched our landmark anniversary year last week and you can catch a glimpse of the RNCM50 Launch over on our YouTube channel. Our 2023 performance programme is jam-packed with exciting and innovative projects and collaboration between students, alumni and special guest artists. Check out what we have coming up in the What’s On section below.

Why not kickstart your evening with our series of Spotlight performances where students create, prepare, and perform innovative programmes together? Spotlights take place before a selection of our evening performances and are free to attend (ticket required).

Elizabeth Llewellyn (soprano) and Simon Lepper (piano)
Tue 11 Oct // 7.30pm
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Alumna and Honorary Fellow, soprano Elizabeth Llewellyn MBE, and pianist Simon Lepper join us for an inspired evening of music, full of hidden gems and old favourites.

Spotlight: Duets and Arias – Gaetano Donizetti’s L’Elisir D’Amore.

Elizabeth Llewellyn credit Frances Marshall

Steven Osborne (piano)
Wed 26 Oct // 7.30pm
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Internationally-acclaimed pianist and alumnus Steven Osborne returns with a rare opportunity to hear him perform Rachmaninov’s Piano Sonata No 1 in D minor Op 28.

Spotlight: Lullabies and Siciliennes for Violin and Piano

Steven Osborne

RNCM Session Orchestra: A Tribute to Black British Artists
Sat 29 Oct // 7pm
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The RNCM Session Orchestra is back with a sensational evening celebrating the music of Black British Artists, curated by Popular Music student Jean-Paul Asumu in collaboration with International Chair in Music Education Nate Holder and tutor Wayne Ellington.

RNCM Session Orchestra

RNCM Symphony Orchestra: Mahler Symphony No 10
Fri 4 Nov // 7.30pm
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With renowned conductor Antony Hermus at the helm, join our students for an incredible evening of music as they bring Deryck Cooke’s completion of Mahler’s final composition to life.

Spotlight: Sondheim – Reinventing the American Musical

RNCM Symphony Orchestra credit Robin Clewley

In Focus: Sally Beamish
Thu 20 Oct // various times
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We’re delighted to welcome awarding-winning composer and alumna Sally Beamish back to the College for a celebration of her life and music. Each performance in this In Focus festival features works by Sally, plus a glimpse into the next generation of composers with new works by current students.

1.15pm / Thursday Lunchtimes

An inspiring afternoon of chamber works, alongside a new work by student Sophie Nolan.

6pm / Works for Solo and Duo

Sally joins us for an in-depth conversation and performances of her works for solo strings by RNCM students, plus a new work by student Christopher Cook.

8pm / RNCM Brand New Orchestra

The innovative RNCM Brand New Orchestra round-off the festival with Sally’s Nordic-inspired Cage of Doves and her work for chamber orchestra, Reckless, alongside new works by RNCM composers.

Sally Beamish credit Ashley Coombes

There is plenty more going on this month, with Future Music #4 (25-29 Oct) bringing together creatives at the forefront of developments in new music and technology and asking what possibilities lie ahead for the music creators of the future.

Enjoy fun with fun for all the family at RNCM Young Explorers: Halloween Spooktacular (16 Oct) and as ever, you can catch our Lunchtimes recital series each Monday and Thursday at 1.15pm.

Visit our What’s On page for our full programme.

News and Stories heading

Live Music Experiment
RNCM Involved in Ground-Breaking Research

Dr Michelle Phillips (RNCM) is leading a ground-breaking research experiment examining whether the differences people say that they experience between live and recorded music are evident in their neurological and biological responses. The project, a world-first, is being carried out by a cross-institutional Manchester-based research team and Manchester Camerata.

Until now, research in this area has relied upon people self-reporting their experiences. This research is game-changing because it will simultaneously measure both neurological and physiological listener responses to live and recorded music.

This research is particularly pertinent given what the live music industry has gone through during the Covid-19 pandemic and its aftermath.

We know that live music is a special experience due to factors which are difficult to replicate in a livestream or recording. What we hope to find out in this study is whether our non-conscious responses show that we find live music to be a different experience to livestreamed or recorded music performance. If this is the case, the study will provide evidence for the demand for live music (which cannot be met by non-live means such as televised or streamed performance), and the need for this industry to continue to make a full recovery following the pandemic, and to be supported to do so.’ Dr Michelle Phillips, Senior Lecturer Music Psychology and Head of Enterprise (Academic)

Alumni Folk-Fusion Collective
New Album and Tour from Kabantu
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Award-winning folk-fusion collective Kabantu – featuring RNCM alumni Katie Foster, Ali McMath and Delia Stevens, plus guitarist Ben Sayah – release their second album freehand on 29 Oct.

Kabantu have created large-scale works for the BBC Singers, Sinfonia Cymru and Manchester Camerata, performed across the UK and internationally, and their debut album Of the People won critical acclaim.

You can catch Kabantu in Manchester on 27 Oct at the International Anthony Burgess Foundation, or across the UK throughout October, as part of their album tour. The collective also present a talk as part of TedxNewcastle on 19 Nov.

‘freehand is an album of original music composed collaboratively and taking inspiration from global folk sounds and cross-genre influences. We recorded each track in as “live” a way as possible – to replicate how we write and perform the songs live, with spontaneity, autonomy, trust, and vibrancy at the core of the album’s identity.’ Katie Foster violin, whistling, vocals

Piri & Tommy
BBC Radio 1 Future Sounds
Listen now

Piri & Tommy (featuring RNCM Popular Music alumnus Tommy Villiers) have found incredible success after establishing an audience on TikTok during the pandemic, and have received acclaim from BBC Radio 1, Apple Music and Spotify.

The duo, whose track Soft Spot has been streamed over 16 million times on Spotify, recently performed live on BBC Radio 1 Future Sounds with Clara Amfo – listen here (Piri & Tommy feature 1:09:30-1:25:00).

Their mixtape froge.mp3 is set for release on 21 Oct, and the pair are touring across England, Amsterdam and Paris in November.

Soraya Mafi
Handel’s Alcina at Glyndebourne
Watch now

Back in July we shared news that Soprano, alumna and RNCM Associate Member Soraya Mafi was to perform the role of Morgana in Glyndebourne’s first ever staging of Handel’s Alcina this summer.

Soraya recently shared a stunning video of her ‘favourite Handel aria to perform’, Credete al mio dolore, from her Glyndebourne performance this summer with the Orchestra of The Age of Enlightenment – watch here.

You can also watch Soraya’s beautiful performance of Tornami a vagheggiar from Alcina here.

Miguel Sepulveda
RNCM Student Wins Conducting Competition

Congratulations to second year Master’s student Miguel Sepulveda who has won the Prémio Jovens Músicos – Portugal’s premier competition for young conductors. As part of his prize, Miguel recently conducted the Metropolitana Orchestra of Lisbon.

A huge well done also goes to conductor and RNCM Alumni Diogo Costa, who took third prize in the competition.

RNCM50 Alumni Open House
Celebrating 50 Years of the RNCM

We are hosting a special Alumni Open House celebration on Sunday 4 December 2022. If you’re one of our alumni, check your inboxes for your invitation!

If you have not received an invitation yet, contact us at [email protected] and we’ll send you the details.

7 October 2022