Sir John Tomlinson Joins as International Chair in Singing

The RNCM is delighted to announce the appointment of Sir John Tomlinson as International Chair in Singing, commencing in September.

The critically-acclaimed bass has a strong connection to the College after graduating from the Royal Manchester College of Music (RMCM) in 1970. Since then he has performed leading roles with companies throughout the world and regularly appears at Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, with English National Opera, in Bayreuth and all leading Opera Houses of Europe.

Talking of his new position Sir John, who started to sing at the age of 21 after qualifying as an engineer, said: ‘My four years at the RMCM were fantastic; I was not a ‘star’ but learnt an immense amount. Although history, harmony, languages, improvisation, movement and drama, piano, sight-reading, and musicianship are all immensely important, it’s the development of the voice itself which is the crucial thing.

‘Learning to sing for most young singers is a lengthy and difficult process that needs time, patience, and devoted work, which is why I want to contribute to the development of RNCM vocal students. It’s a long hard road with lots of wrong turns that can be taken, and I feel duty bound to spend some of my time now, in the latter part of my performing career, helping them on their journey. The old College was of enormous benefit to me – perhaps I can return the favour.’

Lynne Dawson, Head of the School of Vocal Studies at the RNCM, added: ‘We are absolutely delighted and honoured that Sir John Tomlinson, one of our most distinguished alumni and an international artist of such talent, experience and reputation, should have agreed to be our International Chair in Singing. His presence here will be a huge inspiration to our students and we are all looking forward enormously to his participation.’

Knighted in 2005, Sir John was a recipient of a 1993 Grammy Award and was honoured with a Special Award at the 2007 Oliviers. He will visit the RNCM each term, working with students in the School of Vocal Studies and Opera.

7 May 2014