Student in green dress with a soprano saxophone, against a light green background.

The Royal College of Music presents the music of America in Spring 2023 Season

Tuesday 20 December 2022

The Royal College of Music (RCM) welcomes world-renowned artists as part of a varied season of concerts and events.

Music from America plays a central role in the Royal College of Music’s 2023 Spring Season, with orchestral and chamber concerts featuring a variety of composers from Bernstein, Barber and Florence Price, to Gershwin, Copland and William Grant Still. The RCM Philharmonic’s Orchestral Masterworks series features all-American programmes with guest conductors Joana Carneiro, leading Bernstein’s iconic and vibrant Symphonic Dances from West Side Story (2 March), and RCM alumnus Wayne Marshall, a celebrated interpreter of Gershwin, takes to the podium for some of the composer’s best-known works (26 January).

The RCM Symphony Orchestra is joined by renowned guest conductors including Vasily Petrenko, Music Director of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, and Jessica Cottis, Chief Conductor and Artistic Director of the Canberra Symphony Orchestra, both visiting the Royal College of Music for the first time. Petrenko explores Strauss’ epic tone poem Also sprach Zarathustra and Saint-Saëns' virtuosic Cello Concerto with Shizuku Tatsuno as soloist (23 and 24 March), while Cottis leads the orchestra in Debussy’s ethereal Nocturnes and Ravel’s Daphnis et Chloé Suite no 2, often described as his orchestral masterpiece (23 February).

The varied spring masterclass series includes an inspiring evening with Visiting Professor and world-renowned violinist Maxim Vengerov sharing his expertise of Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto (8 February), as well as a masterclass with the Pavel Haas Quartet (31 January) the evening before they perform at Wigmore Hall. Elsewhere members of the Chamber Orchestra of Europe join RCM musicians for a week-long residency, culminating in a side-by-side performance of Beethoven’s Pastoral symphony (19 January).

The Royal College of Music celebrates the 75th birthday of Japanese composer Jō Kondō who features in three concerts including an evening of some of his greatest works (22 February). RCM musicians also pay tribute to the life of pianist Andrew Ball, RCM Head of Keyboard from 1999 to 2005 (13 February), and celebrate the memory of renowned composer and RCM professor Joseph Horovitz in a concert that brings together some of his most cherished works including witty songs and familiar theme tunes (9 March). 

This season also boasts the College’s annual Chamber Music Festival (11 and 12 February) with performances ranging from string quartets to percussion duos, as well as the Keyboard Festival (12 March). The International Festival of Viols returns with a solo recital and masterclass by special guest Atsushi Sakai (31 January to 1 February).

Finally, the RCM Opera Studio takes audiences through the fantasy worlds of Ravel’s one-act opera L’enfant et les sortilèges and Respighi’s telling of the timeless fairytale Sleeping Beauty, in a compelling double bill directed by Liam Steel (13, 15, 17 and 18 March).

General booking for the RCM’s Spring Season is open now. Booking for the Ravel/Respighi opera double bill opens on 25 January (18 January for RCM Friends). 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 TwitterFacebook and Instagram.

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