RNCM Wins THE Award for Excellence and Innovation

The RNCM has won the Excellence and Innovation in the Arts title at the Times Higher Education Awards for its off-site project After the Silence: Music in the Shadow of War.

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Picture caption (top) l-r: Rory Bremner, Michelle Castelletti (Artistic Director), Fiona Stuart (Learning and Participation Manager), Linda Merrick (Principal), Anita Taylor (Chair of Council for Higher Education in Art and Design)

Now in their 11th year, the THE Awards are widely recognised as the Oscars of the higher education sector, shining a spotlight on the outstanding achievements of institutions, teams and individuals in the UK higher education sector.

Professor Linda Merrick, RNCM Principal, said: ‘I am very proud that the RNCM has won the THE Award for Excellence and Innovation in the Arts 2015. This prestigious award is testament to the important role the College is playing in shaping the art form of the future. It is also a powerful public endorsement of the quality, creativity and impact of our work.’

Taking place in July 2014, After the Silence: Music in the Shadow of War was a three day event at IWM North commemorating the centenary of the First World War. Over 300 students took part, performing 85 works including 25 world premières, ranging from intense grittiness and iconic classical works, to morale-boosting jazz and ragtime, transforming the iconic venue into a living installation in which every emotion was exposed and examined.

RNCM Artistic Director, Dr Michelle Castelletti, added: ‘Excellence and Innovation in the Arts; it’s the accolade every artistic organisation would wish to be awarded, and, more so, an educational institution such as a conservatoire. It epitomises everything we do at the RNCM.

‘After the Silence was a great example of the exciting and innovative work the College produces, and we are absolutely thrilled that it has been recognised in this way.’

The win was witnessed by more than 1,100 people, who gathered at the Grosvenor House Hotel, Park Lane for the awards ceremony last night (Thursday 26 November), hosted by comedian Rory Bremner. The Minister for Universities and Science, Jo Johnson MP, joined universities from all over the country to celebrate the greatest ideas, the finest practice and the very best researchers and teachers in the sector.

The winners were chosen by a panel of judges including Alison Johns, Chief Executive of the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education, Sir Deian Hopkin, President, National Library of Wales, and Joanna Newman, Vice Principal (International), King’s College London.

The RNCM was also nominated in the Widening Participation or Outreach Initiative of the Year category for its Children’s Opera Into the Labyrinth.


27 November 2015