Head of Woodwind Simon Channing rehearses with students

Woodwind

The Woodwind Faculty and the wider RCM community foster a culture of nurturing all students in a supportive environment. You are encouraged to grow into a confident and imaginative performer, taking advantage of all the opportunities available to you. 

Bernard Haitink conducts Ravel Daphnis et Chloé

Watch woodwind musicians performing Ravel's Daphnis et Chloé with the RCM Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Bernard Haitink

Our outstanding team of woodwind professors combine careers as eminent performers with a passion and dedication for teaching. Many of whom hold principal positions in major orchestras. In addition to their one-to-one lessons, our students enjoy regular performance and ensemble classes, unlimited chamber coaching, orchestral playing and masterclasses with distinguished international musicians.

One-to-one lessons

One-to-one lessons are at the very heart of every RCM student’s learning experience. Our woodwind professors are truly world-class, many of them principal players in major orchestras as well as soloists and members of well-known ensembles.

Meet the professors

Performance opportunities

RCM students enjoy a wide variety of performance opportunities as part of the College’s diverse events calendar, which includes several hundred events per year.

All woodwind students have the chance to play in our orchestras, which include the RCM Philharmonic, the RCM Symphony Orchestra and the RCM Opera Orchestra. Here, students often have the opportunity to work with some of the finest conductors in the world. Recent visitors have included Vladimir Ashkenazy, John Wilson, Sir Roger Norrington and Bernard Haitink. We also have our own Wind Ensemble, which often commissions new works.

Students have the chance to perform concertos with RCM orchestras. Previous performances have included Mozart's Bassoon Concerto, Ibert's Flute Concerto, Ivan Fedele's Clarinet Concerto and Mendelssohn's Concert Piece for Clarinet and Basset Horn.

Woodwind students enjoy unlimited chamber coaching and the opportunity to perform in small groups as part of the RCM’s Chamber Music concert series and in venues across London.

Recent visiting artists

Our students enjoy regular masterclasses with high profile visitors including:

  • Clara Andrada de le Calle
  • Molly Barth
  • Arno Bornkamp
  • Katherine Bryan
  • Stefano Canuti
  • Nick Deutsch
  • Paul Edmund-Davies
  • Sir James Galway
  • Nacho Gascón
  • Einar Jonannesson
  • Ole Kristian Dahl
  • Giorgio Mandolesi
  • Maximiliano Martín
  • Emer McDonough
  • Jean-Charles Richard
  • Christian Schmitt
  • Jacques Tys
  • Marcus Weiss

Recent successes

Our students are regularly awarded prizes at major national and international competitions. Recent prizes have been awarded by:

  • Stockholm International Music Competition
  • Royal Over-Seas League Competition

Career development

The RCM’s Creative Careers Centre, which is recognised internationally for its innovative approach to supporting young musicians, provides an unparalleled service to current students and recent alumni. The dedicated team partners with leading consultants, reputable arts organisations and local communities, delivering unique career-building opportunities and a direct route to the music industry.

The work of the Creative Careers Centre allows students to discover their professional identity, gain hands-on experience and new skills, develop an entrepreneurial mind-set and build a fulfilling professional portfolio.

Extensive performance and teaching opportunities are available, as well as valuable guidance on CV and biography writing, concert programming, communication skills, project management, marketing and publicity, online promotion, financial matters and how to develop a business idea.

Find out more

Facilities

We continually invest in our facilities to ensure RCM students have the very best opportunities. Our impressive performance spaces are matched by top-quality academic and technical provisions, such as our historic library and professional grade studios. The Royal College of Music is proud to offer some of the finest facilities anywhere in the world.

The RCM’s largest performance spaces are the Amaryllis Fleming Concert Hall, which has an illustrious history, and the 400-seat Britten Theatre, which boasts excellent technical facilities for the RCM’s thriving International Opera School. In addition, more intimate spaces include The Parry Rooms, which have unparalleled views of the Royal Albert Hall, and our 100-seat Recital Hall.

As well as practice rooms and space for one-to-one and group teaching, the RCM contains dedicated opera rehearsal spaces, 11 Amadeus Music Pods and organ rooms. We have over 140 pianos, including 60 grand pianos and 20 early keyboards, instrument storage with special facilities for harps and double basses, plus in-house instrument workshops.

RCM Studios is a top commercial-grade facility, equipped with the latest audio, video and composition technologies, supporting the RCM’s recording needs and enabling live broadcast of performances around the world.

The RCM Library contains more than 400,000 items of printed music, 9,000 CD recordings, extensive music literature, more than 400 music journals, plus an internationally renowned collection of original manuscripts (including examples from Mozart and Elgar) and early printed editions.

The RCM Museum holds more than 1,000 instruments dating from the late 15th century to the present day, some of which are the earliest known examples of their kind. The collection is a unique resource and many of the instruments can be studied or played by RCM students.

The public museum is currently closed for refurbishment, but its vital resources are still available to our students. 

Graduate destinations

RCM woodwind graduates are enjoying unrivalled success in a range of professional settings. Since September 2014, RCM musicians have been awarded the following positions:

  • Principal Flute, Orchestra of English National Opera
  • Flute Fellowship, Sydney Symphony Orchestra
  • Principal Oboe, RTÉ Concert Orchestra
  • Principal Oboe, Orchestra of Scottish Opera
  • Principal Oboe, Kwazulu-Natal Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Cor Anglais, Orchestra of English National Ballet
  • Principal Clarinet, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Principal Clarinet, Great Falls Symphony Orchestra, Montana
  • Principal Clarinet, Kwazulu-Natal Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Clarinettist, Danish Chamber Players
  • Principal Bassoon, Sydney Symphony Orchestra
  • Principal Bassoon, Orchestra of English National Opera
  • Principal Bassoon, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
  • Second Bassoon, Israel Sinfonietta
  • Second Bassoon, Ulster Orchestra

Celebrated alumni

Flute

  • James Galway

Oboe

  • Evelyn Barbirolli
  • Leon Goossens 

Clarinet

  • Michael Collins
  • Dame Thea King
  • Gervase de Peyer
  • Frederic Thurston

Bassoon

  • Roger Birnstingl
  • Archie Camden

Saxophone

  • John Harle
  • Amy Dickson

Contact the Woodwind Faculty

If you have any general queries about woodwind at the RCM please contact our Woodwind Faculty Administration team. If you have any queries about auditions or the admissions process, please contact our Admissions team.

Woodwind Faculty administration

General enquiries about the operation of the faculty and consultation lessons

woodwind@rcm.ac.uk

Admissions team

Admissions and general audition enquiries

admissions@rcm.ac.uk