Resonate: September 2021

Welcome to Resonate, our new monthly blog jam-packed with news, stories and events from across the RNCM community!

We were overwhelmed by your positive responses to our Keep Music Playing blog, and as we approach the beginning of the 2021-22 academic year, we’ve given it a refresh so that we can continue to share all the exciting things going on within our community while we continue to recover from the effects of the pandemic.

Our students may be squeezing the final few weeks out of their summer break, but there’s still plenty going on, including an extra-special musical interpretation of stories from the Northern School of Music. Do get yourself down to St Ann’s Church tomorrow if you can, for what promises to be an unmissable event. Full details below.

There’s also news of some incredibly imaginative concerts from ensembles founded by recent RNCM alumni, some exciting new appointments, and a special programme from the RNCM archives.

Northern School of Music: Stories in Time

St Ann’s Church, Manchester
Sat 4 Sep // 2pm & 6pm

Join us on 4 September at the beautiful St Ann’s Church for Northern School of Music: Stories in Time. This musical interpretation explores the amazing stories and history of the Northern School of Music, one of the founding colleges of the RNCM, as we celebrate its centenary year. Its journey is one of resilience, joy, Mancunian spirit and music.

Tickets are free, but limited. For more information and to book, click here.

Kantos Chamber Choir: Drop, Drop

Victoria Baths, Manchester
Thu 16 Sep // 2pm & 7pm

Performing in Manchester’s incredible Victoria Baths, Kantos Chamber Choir creates a pool of sound to envelop the audience. Drop, Drop features a stunning programme of choral music from the 11th century right through to the present day, with new music composed especially for the occasion by RNCM alumna Shruthi Rajasekar. Kantos Chamber Choir was founded in 2015 by conductor and RNCM alumna Ellie Slorach.

For more information and tickets, click here.

Watch Ellie discussing Drop, Drop:

The Untold Orchestra: David Bowie, Nina Simone and Joni Mitchell

Various Manchester venues
Sep – Nov

The Untold Orchestra continue their series of Icon Shows: reimagined, orchestral renditions with music from artists including David Bowie, Nina Simone and Joni Mitchell. Their next performances take place on Thu 16 Sept (NIAMOS) and Fri 17 Sept (The Yard) with their journey through Joni Mitchell’s most captivating album, Blue.

Founded in 2017 by RNCM alumni Josh Poole, Sam Davies and Rory Storm, and featuring a host of RNCM talent, The Untold Orchestra is one of the most exciting and accessible new orchestras, based right here in Manchester.

For more information on all of the orchestra’s performances, including dates and tickets, click here.

Learn more about The Untold Orchestra and their incredible projects:

Richard Ion
RPO Welcomes New Principal Bassoon
Learn more

A huge congratulations to bassoonist and RNCM alumnus Richard Ion on his appointment as Principal Bassoon at the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.

Since graduating from the RNCM in 2014, Richard has carved out a successful orchestral career and found himself highly in demand as a guest principal with orchestras across the UK and abroad, including English National Opera, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, The Hallé, BBC Philharmonic, and Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, to name but a few.

Watch Richard introducing himself and his new role:

The Strad Podcast
Hannah Roberts
Listen here

Cellist and RNCM tutor Hannah Roberts recently spoke to The Strad about how she incorporates studies and etudes in her playing and teaching, and the important role imagination plays in her practice. To listen to the podcast, click here.

A Fellow of the RNCM, Hannah is also Principal Cellist with Manchester Camerata and you can watch her playing with them in Arnold Schoenberg’s Verklärte Nacht Op 4: 

Philippe Tondre
RNCM Buffet Crampon International Chair in Oboe
Learn more

We’re delighted to announce the appointment of Philippe Tondre as the RNCM Buffet Crampon International Chair in Oboe. One of the finest musicians of his generation, Philippe is Principal Oboe with the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, the SWR Symphony Orchestra, and the Saito Kinen Orchestra Matsumoto. He is also a member of the Mito Chamber Orchestra and the newly-founded Kammer Ensemble Paris.

Watch Philippe performing Mozart’s Oboe Concerto in C Major with the Budapest Festival Orchestra:

This Month in… 1979

On 24 September 1979, the RNCM Wind Ensemble performed a ‘Concert in Aid of the Student Travel Scholarship Fund’ in the RNCM Concert Hall to help raise funds to support students performing in concerts and attending masterclasses around the world.

The concert was conducted by former Head of the School of Wind and Percussion at the RNCM, Timothy Reynish, and (at the time) student conductor Sian Edwards, who has since enjoyed a successful conducting career, working with many of the world’s leading orchestras.

To take a look at the programme for this special concert, digitised from our archives, click here.

We’ll be sharing more treasures from our archives each month. To find out more about the archives, click here.

It’s still vital that our students are able to perform, audition and access training opportunities around the globe.

A gift to the RNCM Awards fund will enable us to offer support to students who face financial barriers to travel and can be the difference between taking up or turning down a life-changing opportunity. Please click here for more information about how a gift, of any size, could really help.

Thank you.


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! Click here to get in touch.

3 September 2021