Chamber Music

The RNCM is one of the most respected destinations for aspiring chamber musicians in Europe.

Our proud tradition in ensemble training is witnessed regularly in the great concert halls of the world with RNCM-trained players appearing with ensembles such as the Elias, Heath and Navarra String Quartets, Gould Piano Trio, Haffner Wind Ensemble, Nash Ensemble, Colin Currie Group and Chamber Music Society of the Lincoln Center.

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We are the only UK member of the highly prestigious European Chamber Music Academy which enables our advanced chamber ensembles to participate in classes at the highest level with tutors and ensembles from other leading European institutions such as the Paris Conservatoire and the University of Music and Performing Arts, Vienna.

RNCM chamber ensembles are regularly successful in international competitions with recent awards being won at The Royal Over-Seas League Competition, Young Classical Artists Trust (YCAT), Orlando String Quartet Competition, Kuhlau Flute Competition and Park Lane Group.

I’m proud to be part of one of Europe’s busiest and most exciting chamber music programmes and feel privileged working with some of the most talented young musicians in the world as they discover the unique richness and joy that is chamber music.
Jeremy Young, Head of Chamber Music

How You Will Learn

Chamber Music is at the heart of every performing musician’s education at the RNCM and there are wide ranging opportunities to develop your skills as an ensemble player whilst you study here. Ensemble activity is a core and compulsory part of your course during your first two years of study. The department will support you in forming your ensemble after which there are regular lessons and classes taught throughout the year with both resident and visiting tutors. After this you can choose to take clear Chamber Music pathways as an integral part of your undergraduate and postgraduate studies.

All Chamber Music studies are independent of your Principal Study provision and are supported by a dedicated team of chamber music specialists that include former and current members of Chilingirian, Škampa, Talich string quartets, Gould and Sitkovetsky piano trios, Ensemble 360, Metropolitan Brass Ensemble and The King’s Singers.

Recent Masterclasses and Learning Opportunities

RNCM students have the opportunity to learn in a variety of settings. Regular performance classes take place alongside individual ensemble coaching, collaboration between composers and ensembles is encouraged and tutored and there is a busy schedule of visiting world class artists. Recent masterclasses have been given by Frans Helmerson, Hatto Beyerle, Ralph Kirshbaum, Kathryn Stott, Hansjörg Schellenberger and the Guarneri Piano Trio.

The annual Chamber Music Festival, directed by Petr Prause, is the largest of its kind in Europe and attracts a truly international following. Recent festivals have featured the Borodin, Henschel and Pavel Haas Quartets, the Guarneri Piano Trio, Jane Manning and Rachael Podger, among many others.

Chamber Music Staff

Head of Chamber Music
Jeremy Young LRAM ARAM

Deputy Head of Chamber Music
Rob Buckland (Wind, Brass and Percussion)
Donald Grant (Strings)

International Chair of Chamber Music
Frans Helmerson

Ensembles in Association
Elias Quartet
Sitkovetsky Piano Trio
Talich Quartet

Waverley Junior Fellows in Chamber Music
Solem Quartet

Tutors in Chamber Music
Tim Barber BMus(Hons) RNCM, PPRNCM, PGDip (Perf)
Sara Bitlloch
Levon Chilingirian ARCM, FRCM, HonPhD
Leonard Elschenbroich
Emma Ferrand DipRAM, ARAM, LRAM, FRNCM
Pavel Fischer
Ben Frith BA, ARCM
Matthew Hunt
Laura Jellicoe GMusRNCM(Hons), PPRNCM
Melinda Maxwell BA, HonARAM, LTCL, ARCM
Professor John Miller MA, FGSM, FRNCM
Petr Prause
Wu Qian
Simone Rebello GMusRNCM, PPRNCM
Dr Tim Reynish
Simon Rowland-Jones ARCM
Thomas Schulze

Tutors in Historical Performance
Roger Hamilton MA, MA, ARCM
Harvey Davies GRNCM

Tutors in Jazz
Steve Berry FHEA
Mike Hall BSc, PGDipRNCM

Chamber Music Administrator
Melanie Smith


What Our Students Say

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“Whether a curious newcomer to chamber music or an experienced chamber musician looking for a challenge and to broaden your horizons, there are plenty of opportunities to suit everyone. Open lessons, public masterclasses, competitions and internal performances are plentiful as well as resources and expertise on professional development to aid successful groups in transitioning to a professional career.

What made an impression on me most was probably the rich variety of coaching that is available to students but also the open-mindedness of the department. All sorts of projects come about from traditional classical repertoire to jazz, funk and folk music – the boundaries are constantly being pushed. To have had the chance to not only work with so many musicians but also learn from each other through performance has been so rewarding. My highlight so far was performing to Andreas Ottensamer of the Berliner Philharmoniker with my trio, Aeris, and prospective plans for us promise many more to come!”
Hayley Parkes, BMus (Hons), Piano