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Royal College of Music announces 2022 Summer season

Wednesday 30 March 2022

The Royal College of Music (RCM) is pleased to present a vibrant summer events programme. The eclectic mix of family-friendly festivals, classical concerts and innovative collaborations features a production of Jonathan Dove’s Flight, six brand-new operas and a host of masterclasses led by inspirational visiting artists.

Renowned international performers visit to share their expertise with RCM musicians through festivals, performances and masterclasses. Chloé van Soeterstède makes her debut at the Royal College of Music, leading the RCM Philharmonic’s performance of Brahms’ Symphony no 1 and a 21st-century reimagining of the Star-Spangled banner by Jessie Montgomery (28 April). Kevin John Edusei also makes his first visit to the RCM, conducting works by Stravinsky and Samy Moussa with the RCM Symphony Orchestra (30 June). Esteemed conductor Sir Andrew Davis leads an innovative workshop for singers and orchestra, culminating in a performance of Berlioz’s song cycle Les nuits d'été. Other visiting artists include Benny Greb, Francesca Dego and Stefan Dohr.

Throughout the season, the RCM showcases contemporary works by established musicians and RCM composers. A collaboration with pathfinding opera company Tête à Tête sees six brand-new operas, composed and performed by RCM students. Odysseys (14 and 15 May) explores the journey to self-acceptance through the eyes of diverse protagonists. At the end of June, acclaimed director Jeremy Sams leads the Opera Studio in a new production of Jonathan Dove’s Flight (28 & 30 June, 2 & 4 July), with set design by Nicky Shaw. Audiences will be transported to the most unlikely of operatic settings – an airport departure lounge – where the stories of another disparate group of people are explored. Elsewhere, Composition for Screen Showcase (28 April) gives concertgoers the chance to experience new audio-visual works in a cinematic setting.

This summer the RCM presents four festivals displaying the breadth and variety on offer at the College. String players take centre stage at Super String Sunday (1 May), which this year is dedicated to double concertos. The ever-popular Festival of Percussion (8 May) also returns, headlined by international rock, jazz, funk and fusion drummer Benny Greb. The RCM’s second FestivALL (26 June) shines a spotlight on diverse and under-represented voices across the classical music sector. Through performances and talks, feelings of belonging and representation will be explored. At all three events, family-friendly activities will be on offer from RCM Sparks, the College’s learning and participation programme, and the Royal College of Music Museum. This year’s Historical Performance Festival (28 and 29 June) focuses on the viol and recorder with sessions led by Dutch musician Kees Boeke, an expert on early music and the recorder, and Italian virtuoso viol player, Paolo Pandolfo. The season of festivals concludes with the RCM’s inaugural Festival of Conducting (3 July). The event gives the RCM’s dynamic conducting students, alumni and faculty a chance to shine in an exhilarating day of rehearsals, masterclasses and performances.

RCM musicians will also perform at prestigious venues across London. At Wigmore Hall, students from the Strings Faculty perform in the annual RCM String Showcase (22 May) featuring a range of chamber works in original form and in fascinating new arrangements. The RCM will also celebrate some of its trailblazing alumni and professors at this year’s Great Exhibition Road Festival (18 and 19 June) in South Kensington.

Booking for the RCM’s Summer Season is open now for RCM Friends and general booking opens on Wednesday 6 April 2022. Listings and detailed information can be found in the What’s On section of the RCM website. For all the latest updates, follow the RCM on social media on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.