Conductor John Wilson

Autumn Season announced: John Wilson marks Armistice and Sir Thomas Allen directs Mozart

Tuesday 13 November 2018

The Royal College of Music is delighted to welcome international renowned conductor John Wilson to the College for the 2018 Autumn Season. Wilson will lead the RCM Symphony Orchestra in Vaughan Williams’ Pastoral Symphonyand Ravel’s Piano Concerto for the left hand, performed by rising star Nikola Avramovic. The concert, on 25 October, is part of the RCM’s Passing Youth series to commemorate 100 years since the end of WW1. The RCM’s former director Sir Hubert Parry is also remembered with a concert on 28 October bringing together choristers from Eton College and Twyford School, featuring his seminal 1916 work, Jerusalem.

Another hotly anticipated visitor this season is esteemed baritone and RCM alumnus Sir Thomas Allen, who returns to the College to direct a new production of Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro. With all the makings of a modern romantic comedy, Mozart’s classic opera runs at the Britten Theatre from 26 October to 1 December.

The RCM is delighted to welcome a roster of international stars to give intimate masterclasses, including Polonsky Visiting Professor of Violin Maxim Vengerov (17 October), alumnus Sir James Galway (27 November), Alina Ibragimova (16 October) and Thomas Trotter (23 November). The Harlem Quartet returns to contrast Haydn’s The Jokewith arrangements of world jazz on 30 November. There is more jazz with legendary trumpeter Mike Lovatt bringing his Big Fat Brass project and performing with the ever popular RCM Big Band on 6 November.

The popular International Festival of Viols returns on 27 November with virtuoso visitors Vittorio GhielmiRichard Boothby and Reiko Ichise. There are two new festivals – the Guitar Festival on 4 November and Bassoon Day on 11 November – offering aspiring musicians the opportunity to pick up tips from experts and witness world-class performances.

The Orchestral Masterworks series continues with performances of Shostakovich (11 October), Berlioz (26 October) and Elgar (22 November). Members of the Chamber Orchestra of Europe return to perform Brahms side-by-side with RCM performers on 5 October. Eminent conductor Jac Van Steen leads an all French programme including Fauré’s Requiem on 14 November and Bojan Cicic, director of the Academy of Ancient Music, conducts the RCM Baroque Orchestra on 17 October.

Bach Bites is a new series offering an exciting menu of 30 minute rush hour concerts throughout the season celebrating the RCM’s magnificent new Flentrop organ. In another first, RCM Sparks hosts a Family Concert, taking the audience on a spooky musical journey through Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique on 27 October. RCM Sparks, now in its 11th year, also presents its regular series of exciting workshops for budding musicians throughout the season.

Booking for the RCM’s Autumn Season is on sale now for RCM Friends. General booking opens on Wednesday 15 August 2018. For full details of what’s on this autumn visit

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