‘We pride ourselves in being a nurturing faculty, encouraging you to achieve your personal goals and develop the skills to be successful in today’s music profession.’
The Keyboard Faculty provides opportunities for you to experience tuition and masterclasses in a variety of subjects. Our programmes encourage you to fulfil your own potential and enable you to specialise in a variety of areas such as solo piano, contemporary piano, collaborative piano and organ, as well as fortepiano and harpsichord.
The Royal College of Music boasts a wealth of high quality instruments. Pianists receive individual lessons on Steinway, Fazioli and Bechstein grand pianos, and our impressive Blüthner Practice Suite holds ten Blüthner pianos available for practice. Organists have access to the RCM’s selection of mechanical action instruments, including our custom-built Flentrop organ, as well as opportunities to play and have lessons on external organs, such as at the Royal Albert Hall.
One-to-one lessons are at the very heart of every RCM student’s learning experience. High quality performance, radiating artistry, technique, integrity and depth of stylistic understanding is only possible with the input of teaching staff of the highest level. Our distinguished and experienced professors will help you achieve your personal goals in a supportive environment, where you can develop the skills to be successful in today's music profession.
The Keyboard Faculty offers collaborative piano and contemporary piano as principal study specialisms to postgraduate students. The RCM’s thriving Historical Performance Faculty provides keyboard students with access to masterclasses and dedicated tuition in fortepiano and harpsichord.
Pianists enjoy being part of a faculty that achieves unrivalled success in international competitions and provides a range of performance opportunities from solo recitals in London and beyond to concerto performances with RCM orchestras.
Organists enjoy regular study trips abroad to France, Germany and the Netherlands. Training built into the core of the BMus programme includes preparation for the diplomas of the Royal College of Organists.
All keyboard students at the RCM have the opportunity to learn from the biggest names in the industry through our regular programme of masterclasses.
An organ lesson in the West Parry Room
RCM pianist Misha Kaploukhii performing with the RCM Symphony Orchestra and Chorus at the Amaryllis Fleming Concert Hall
One-to-one piano lesson with Professor Vanessa Latarche
Public masterclass with Boris Berman
One-to one piano lesson with Ian Jones
Performing at the annual keyboard festival
Public masterclass with Lang Lang
Harpsichordist playing with musicians from Historical Performance
Soloists have the opportunity to perform concertos with RCM orchestras, which are regularly joined by world-renowned conductors. Performances have included Beethoven’s Piano Concerto no 5, conducted by Sakari Oramo; Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G major, conducted by Sir Antonio Pappano; Liszt’s Piano Concerto no 2, conducted by Adrian Partington; and Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto no 3, conducted by Andrew Gourlay at the Royal Festival Hall.
Many organ students hold scholarships while studying, for example, at Westminster Abbey, Royal Hospital Chelsea, Chapel Royal Hampton Court, Southwark Cathedral, St Martin-in-the-Fields, Farm Street Church and other significant churches in and around London.
Students are encouraged to form their own chamber groups, which can benefit from unlimited coaching. You can also receive invaluable preparation for international competitions.
The RCM runs an annual Keyboard Festival, which represents a fantastic opportunity for a wide range of keyboard students to perform often in front of a worldwide audience thanks to the RCM’s live streaming capabilities.
The great number of students and instruments in the Keyboard Faculty allows us to stage unusual performances, such as a ground-breaking performance of John Cage’s HPSCHD for seven harpsichords.
'The quality of teaching, especially the one-to-one lessons, is first class and I feel that I have really developed as a person and a musician during my studies.'
Recent visiting artists
Our students enjoy regular masterclasses with the most renowned international visiting artists, including:
- Stephen Hough
- Boris Berman
- Angela Hewitt
- Stanislav Ioudenitch
- Martin Schmeding
- Susanna Stranders
- Mitsuko Uchida
- Mira Yevtich
- Emanuel Ax
- Olivier Cazal
- Angela Hewitt
- Adolf Pla
- Yuri Shadrin
- Sir András Schiff
- Mitsuko Uchida
- Mikhail Voskresensky
- Dina Yoffe
The RCM's keyboard students regularly achieve the highest professional success, winning international competition prizes and finding places on highly regarded scheme. Recent examples include:
- Franz Liszt International Piano Competition
- Leeds International Piano Competition
- Van Cliburn International Piano Competition
- Hong Kong International Piano Competition
- The online Piano Cleveland Virt(ual)oso Competition
- BBC Young Musician of the Year
- Jaques Samuel Intercollegiate Piano Competition
- Beethoven Intercollegiate Piano Competition
RCM Collaborative pianists regularly win accompanist prizes, including in the Kathleen Ferrier Awards.
Our pianists have also enjoyed positions as BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artists and City Music Foundation Artists and in the Young Concert Artists and Young Classical Artist Trust programmes.
RCM graduate pianists are performing concertos with major orchestras world-wide, and giving solo recitals at the world’s leading festivals.
Piano alumni are chosen to take part in the Park Lane Group Series at the Southbank Centre each year. A number of our pianists have signed exclusive CD contracts with record labels including Decca and Sony BMG.
RCM graduate organists hold key full-time posts at churches and cathedrals, including St Paul’s Cathedral.
- Malcolm Binns
- Barry Douglas
- Megumi Fujita
- Peter Jablonski
- Andrei Korobeinikov
- Sofya Gulyak
- Piers Lane
- John Lenehan
- John Lill
- Alexander Romanovsky
- Howard Shelley
- Kathryn Stott
- Melvyn Tan
- Katya Apekisheva
- Alisdair Beatson
- Ian Brown
- Julius Drake
- Malcolm Martineau
- Gary Matthewman
- Ian Tindale
- Roger Vignoles
- Jane Chapman
- Sophie Yates
- Nicholas Danby
- Peter Hurford
- Nicholas Kynaston
- Wayne Marshall
- Jane Parker-Smith
- Gordon Stewart
- Thomas Trotter
- Jane Watts
- Dame Gillian Weir
Postgraduate collaborative piano
Principal study in collaborative piano (available at postgraduate level only) is designed to explore and develop all aspects of a pianist's skills as a collaborative artist with a focus on the vocal and instrumental duo repertoire. Students enjoy regular group classes with internationally renowned pianist Roger Vignoles as well as a generous allocation of time each week with their one-to-one professor.
In addition, students will receive tuition to develop the many skills required of a collaborative artist, including:
- Chamber Music
- Vocal coaching
- Orchestral piano
- Ballet piano
- Musical Theatre piano
- Harpsichord and continuo
Students of collaborative piano enjoy close links with instrumental faculties at the RCM as well as the RCM Opera Studio. Our collaborative piano students play for song classes and projects, weekly language classes and have the opportunity to play for Opera scenes. Externally, students have been involved in projects with Leeds Lieder and Oxford Lieder Festivals as well as observing rehearsals and receiving guidance from pianists at the Royal Ballet and Royal Opera at the Royal Opera House.
Recent student and alumni successes include prizes in the following national and international competitions:
Yuanfan Yang: 2020 Royal Overseas League Competition
Marie Otaka: 2020 28th “Gianluca Campochiaro” International Music Competition: Chamber Music Category
Avishka Edirisinghe: 2020 Association of English Singers and Speakers, Courtney Kenny Award, Pianist’s Prize
Hamish Brown: 2019 Wigmore Hall International Song Competition Britten Pears Young Artist Prize, 2019 National Mozart Singing Competition
Ella O’Neill: 2019 Kathleen Ferrier Competition, Accompanists’ Prize
Ana Manastireanu: 2019 Maureen Lehane Vocal Award, Accompanist Prize
Ian Tindale: 2019 International Vocal Competition ‘s-Hertogenbosch, 2017 Wigmore Hall/Kohn Foundation International Song Competition, 2016 Kathleen Ferrier Competition, 2015 Royal Overseas League Competition, 2013 Maggie Teyte Competition, 2013, Association of English Singers and Speakers, 2012 Gerald Moore Award
João Pontes de Araujo: 2018 Concours Musical International de Montréal, 2017 Maureen Lehane Vocal Awards
Gamal Khamis: 2017 Kathleen Ferrier Competition, 2017 Royal Overseas League Competition
The RCM boasts a number of renowned alumni and former teaching staff, celebrated for their song accompaniment and collaborative work. This includes Benjamin Britten, Geoffrey Parsons, Julius Drake, Malcolm Martineau, Kathryn Stott, Katya Apekisheva and Alasdair Beatson.
Postgraduate contemporary piano
Principal study in contemporary piano provides you with the opportunity to expand your repertoire interests. As a complement to your principal study, you will take part in workshops on subjects such as minimalism and post minimalism, prepared piano, aleatoric music and improvisation.
You will work alongside staff and student composers in preparing pieces for concert performance. Students of contemporary piano have the chance to develop orchestral piano playing, duo and ensemble playing, as well as solo performance.
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.
The Royal College of Music is proud to offer its students fantastic practice and performance facilities with resources to support teaching and learning. We continually improve our facilities to ensure RCM students have the best opportunities.
Key facilities at the RCM include:
- The Amaryllis Fleming Concert Hall - our primary performance venue for orchestras and large ensembles.
- Our 400-seat Britten Theatre, home to the RCM’s thriving International Opera School.
- A new Performance Hall, offering an alternative space for ensembles, with a retractable stage, Fazioli grand piano and variable acoustics.
- Intimate spaces for solo and chamber performance in our Performance Studio and Parry Rooms.
- Sound-proofed Amadeus Music Pods for private practice.
- A purpose-built percussion suite – you can watch a video tour on YouTube.
- Over 160 pianos, including 60 grand pianos and 20 early keyboards, as well as organ rooms.
- A Blüthner Practice Suite which holds ten Blüthner Model A upright pianos.
- Instrument surgeries including luthier services.
- RCM Studios: a commercial-grade facility, enabling live broadcasts around the world.
- Digital Innovation Lab: advanced recording and mixing suite.
- RCM Library with more than 200,000 scores, books and recordings in its lending collection, as well as access to more than 400 music journals.
- Recently refurbished RCM Museum, holding more than 14,000 instruments, portraits and images, as well as a climate-controlled performance space and the associated Wolfson Centre in Music & Material Culture | Royal College of Music (rcm.ac.uk)
Latest from the Keyboard Faculty
Pianist Thomas Kelly has been announced as the recipient of the Benjamin Britten Piano Fellowship for 2023-24, awarded by the Royal College of Music (RCM) and generously supported by the Philip Loubser Foundation (PLF).
The Royal College of Music is delighted to announce a new global partnership with the industry-leading online platform Forte offering lessons with RCM teachers to students in the global Inspired Schools group.
Distinguished conductor Sir Andrew Davis makes his debut at the College, and world-renowned piano virtuoso Lang Lang shares his expertise with students as part of the RCM's masterclass series.
Professor Vanessa Latarche will provide artistic expertise and offer support and guidance to the foundation and assist in the development of their Young Scholars.
The Royal College of Music (RCM) presents an inspiring events programme and shines a spotlight on women composers throughout the Summer Season
28 September 2023, 5:15pm
05 October 2023, 6:00pm
Amaryllis Fleming Concert Hall
Please note that the audition and application process for Fellowships is not the same as it is for our courses. Please refer to the individual Fellowship pages for more details.
Contact the Keyboard Faculty
If you have any general queries about keyboard at the RCM please contact our Keyboard Faculty Administration team. If you have any queries about auditions or the admissions process, please contact our Admissions team.
Keyboard Faculty Administration
General enquiries about the operation of the faculty and consultation lessons
Admissions and general audition enquiries
+44 (0)20 7591 4362