Spring 2019 at the RNCM

Spring at the RNCM promises even more innovation and musical exploration as it continues its Sounds Original?  journey, asking what makes something original, if originality in music exists, and if originality in music matters.

Following a successful Autumn season, the project resumes in 2019 with more from the Original Voices series and the launch of the RNCM’s Lab Week for students.

Trombonist Christian Lindberg (pictured)is first in the Original Voices line-up with a concert and Q&A alongside pianist Roland Pöntinen (08 Jan). Voted the greatest brass player in history by Classic FM, this is a rare chance to see Christian in concert as he presents a programme of Romantic and contemporary pieces.

Following this, pianist Alexandra Dariescu (24 Jan, pictured) returns with her enchanting take on Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker. The Nutcracker and I is a beautiful interpretation of the classic story, as Alexandra shares her journey from little girl to concert pianist with the help of a dancer and some stunning animation.

Violinist Pekka Kuusisto (‘The David Bowie of the fiddle’ – The Times) is next up, collaborating with violist Nadia Sirota and cellist Markus Hohti to create a fresh approach to contemporary American music (05 Feb). And British solo ensemble I Fagiolini close the Spring series with Leonardo: Shaping the Invisible, a fully immersive concert celebrating the life of the great scientist, artist and musician on the 500th anniversary of his death (12 Mar).

Spring’s Sounds Original? offering also includes the RNCM’s first Lab Week (Feb 05 – 08), an intensive few days of creativity as students step out of the practice room, collaborate with one another and create something new.

And the première of Sarah Hennies’ Contralto, which combines experimental music and documentary to explore transfeminine identity using the voices of trans women takes place as part of the innovative Decontamination series (22 Mar, pictured).

Festival Highlights

Spring at the RNCM is also a season of festivals, with the annual Strings, Brass and Chamber Festivals all featured.

With collaboration at its heart, the RNCM Strings Festival is two full-days of concerts, masterclasses and workshops where students work alongside guest artists, including the Elias String Quartet, violinists Ning Feng and Sophia Jaffé, conductor Henk Guittart, and the BBC Philharmonic (12 – 13 Jan).

As always, the RNCM Brass Band Festival boasts an all-star line-up with Cory, Black Dyke, Tredegar Town and Foden’s Bands all making an appearance (25 – 27 Jan). And the RNCM Chamber Music Festival brings to the fore the music of Haydn, as the growing talents of current students are showcased alongside artists such as Quatuor Mosaïques, Trio Wanderer and the Heath Quartet (15 – 17 Mar).

The RNCM and BBC Philharmonic celebrate the music of George Benjamin in this season’s two-day In Focus series (22 – 23 Jan). And there’s the annual RNCM Day of Percussion and RNCM Day of Song to look forward to as renowned percussionist Dame Evelyn Glennie teams up with Scottish ensemble Trio HLK (03 Feb, pictured), and tenor Christoph Prégardien takes to the stage with a captivating chamber arrangement of Schubert’s Winterreise (19 Mar).

The energy and excitement of the RNCM Session Orchestra and Choir is back in action, joined by their first guest vocalist, Mario Jose (02 Mar), while the RNCM Symphony Orchestra presents Mahler’s Fifth Symphony (07 Mar), and the RNCM Big Band welcomes trumpeter Nathan Bray (02 Feb).

Conducted by David Parry with direction from Jonathan Cocker, RNCM Opera’s Spring production is Vaughan Williams’ The Pilgrim’s Progress (31 Mar – 06 Apr). Unconventional, spiritual and uplifting, this work takes the audience on a righteous journey with some of the composer’s life-defining music, focussing on the light rather than the dark, and set during the First World War.

Full details of the RNCM’s new season, which also features Seth Lakeman (04 Mar), Vonda Shepard and Sharon Corr (08 Mar), Tommy Emmanuel (22 Mar), Gretchen Peters (16 Apr), and Tubular Bells for Two (29 Apr) can be found here.

13 December 2018