Refurbishing the RCM Museum

Wednesday 22 June 2011


We are delighted to announce that we are investing in a refurbishment of our famous Museum of Instruments, described by The Independent on Sunday as: “The definitive place in Britain to see the history of music-making”.

The RCM is the home of world-leading collections of musical instruments, works of art, archives, manuscripts, books and music. Treasures of the collection include:

• The ‘clavicytherium’ – the world’s oldest surviving stringed keyboard instrument

• Original manuscripts by Mozart, Schubert, Elgar and Vaughan Williams

• Famous portraits of Haydn and Farinelli

• A major collection of 600,000 concert programmes.

All of these items enhance and inform the learning and research experience of RCM students and staff, as well as other musicians, scholars and members of the public.

As part of our commitment to the wider community and to life-long learning, we are now investing in a refurbishment of the Museum of Instruments. The newly refurbished museum will tell a series of fascinating stories about the creation and performance of music, all of which will be illuminated by instruments, documents and works of art from the RCM’s collections. The new developments will include:

• New, narrative-based displays, telling the story of music and offering new insights into the RCM’s collections

• The opening up of the museum into a more flexible space for concerts, workshops and master-classes

• A new programme of guided tours and outreach events

• A new temporary exhibition space, linked to major themes in the RCM’s artistic and educational programmes.

To allow for the necessary refurbishment, the Museum is currently closed to the public. The Museum’s main display will reopen to the public on 13 September 2011, and new displays will be installed during the September to December 2011.

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