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Director of Development and Engagement Lily Hariss, Chairman Lord Black and Director Colin Lawson at the RCM Virtual Gala

The RCM hosts Virtual Gala in aid of the More Music campaign

Monday 23 November 2020

On Thursday 8 October the Royal College of Music held its premiere online fundraising event, The More Music Virtual Gala, to raise money for the RCM Scholarships Fund. The event was filmed at the Royal College of Music in the new performance spaces and streamed internationally to over 100 guests. The event raised over £170,000 for the RCM Scholarships Fund, helping to bridge the funding gap of £230,000.

The Virtual Gala included a special message from our President, His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales, and guests of the evening enjoyed performances by some of the RCM’s most talented musicians and alumni. A special message from pianist Lang Lang was broadcast prior to pianist George Harliono’s exceptional solo performance of ‘Clair de lune’ by Debussy, followed by Carmen Variations by Bizet (arr Horowitz). Sir Thomas Allen CBE FRCM opened the RCM Opera Studio’s performances from Così fan tutte with striking interpretations of ‘Il core vi dono’ and ‘Soave sia il vento’. Introduced by the Harlem Quartet’s Melissa White, The Salome Quartet played the exquisite third movement of Borodin’s String Quartet no 2.

The evening culminated with an engaging conversation between the Polonsky Visiting Professor of Violin, Maxim Vengerov, and Artistic Director Stephen Johns. Maxim then treated guests to an exclusive performance of the ‘Burlesque’ from Shostakovich’s Violin Concerto no 1. One guest said that ‘Maxim Vengerov’s interview was fascinating and his Shostakovich astonishing.’

Chairman Lord Black of Brentwood and Director Professor Colin Lawson spoke of some of the achievements of RCM students over the past year, and the event also saw the unveiling of the College’s new performance spaces. Director of Development and Alumni Engagement Lily Harriss spoke with RCM scholars Alison Wormell and Doroti Vincler individually, giving insights into their RCM studies and the benefits of the College’s scholarships programme.

The Virtual Gala was a great success featuring incredible music-making and led to significant funds being raised to support talented students. One guest called it a ‘beautiful and poignant event’, while another said the evening provided ‘seamless and exhilarating entertainment.’

Visit the RCM Scholarships Fund page for more information about how to give.