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Horn players in rehearsal

Brass

The Royal College of Music’s Brass Faculty is an active and supportive community. Every student is provided with the means to recognise their full ability as a performing musician. You will receive a challenging and carefully structured bespoke programme of study and performance, with particular emphasis on identifying and unlocking your individual potential.

One-to-one lessons

One-to-one lessons are at the very heart of every RCM student’s learning experience. The RCM’s impressive list of professors includes renowned principal players in major London ensembles, including the BBC Concert Orchestra, English National Opera Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Philharmonia, London Sinfonietta and Orchestra of the Royal Opera House. Our world-class professors offer students not only first-rate teaching but also mentorship and networking opportunities.

Meet the professors

In addition to their one-to-one lessons, our students enjoy regular performance and ensemble classes, chamber coaching, orchestral playing and masterclasses with distinguished international musicians, who have included Stefan Dohr, Berlin Philharmonic Principal Horn, and trumpet virtuoso Gustav Melander.

Performance opportunities

RCM students enjoy a wide variety of performance opportunities as part of the College’s diverse events calendar, which includes hundreds of events each year. It is also possible for RCM musicians to form their own chamber groups in which they can pursue an additional body of repertoire.

All brass students have the chance to play in our orchestras, which include the RCM Philharmonic, the RCM Symphony Orchestra and the RCM Opera Orchestra. Here, students often have the opportunity to work with some of the finest conductors in the world. Recent visitors have included Vladimir Ashkenazy, Sir Antonio Pappano, Holly Mathieson, Vladimir Jurowski, Sir Roger Norrington, Rafael Payare, Jac van Steen, John Wilson, Thomas Zehetmair and the late Bernard Haitink.

Sit-in schemes

RCM brass players have joined the BBC Symphony Orchestra for BBC Proms rehearsals, as part of the sit-in scheme for postgraduate students on the Masters programme. Each participating student is assigned a mentor from the BBC Symphony Orchestra and sits alongside them in rehearsals throughout the year.

Other sit-in opportunities have included schemes with the Philharmonia, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra of Europe and the English National Opera Orchestra.

Jazz at the RCM

Jazz trumpet and jazz trombone are available as second or related study options to promising students. Brass players also have the opportunity to join the RCM Swing Band and Jazz Orchestra, who perform regularly at the RCM and further afield.

Recent visiting artists

The Brass Faculty regularly hosts masterclasses with high-profile visitors. Recent visitors have included:

Horn

  • Laurence Davies
  • Stefan Dohr
  • Alberto Menéndez Escribano
  • Sarah Willis
  • Katy Woolley

Trumpet

  • Philip Cobb
  • Håkan Hardenberger
  • Gustav Melander
  • Gareth Small
  • Gábor Tarkövi

Trombone

  • Brandt Attema
  • Håkan Björkman
  • Dudley Bright

Tuba

  • Øystein Baadsvik
  • Patrick Harrild
  • Oren Marshall

Graduate destinations

Graduates of the Brass Faculty currently hold the following positions:

  • Principal Horn, Philharmonia Orchestra
  • Principal Horn, Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden
  • Principal Horn, English National Opera
  • Principal Horn, Northern Sinfonia
  • Principal Trumpet, Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden
  • Principal Trumpet, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra
  • Co-Principal Trumpet, BBC Symphony Orchestra
  • Principal Trombone, Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden
  • Principal Trombone, BBC Concert Orchestra
  • Principal Trombone, Opera North
  • Tuba, Ulster Orchestra

Career development

The RCM’s Creative Careers Centre, which is recognised internationally for its innovative approach to supporting young musicians, provides an unparalleled service to current students and recent alumni. The dedicated team partners with leading consultants, reputable arts organisations and local communities, delivering unique career-building opportunities and a direct route to the music industry.

The work of the Creative Careers Centre allows students to discover their professional identity, gain hands-on experience and new skills, develop an entrepreneurial mind-set and build a fulfilling professional portfolio.

Extensive performance and teaching opportunities are available, as well as valuable guidance on CV and biography writing, concert programming, communication skills, project management, marketing and publicity, online promotion, financial matters and how to develop a business idea.

Find out more about the Creative Careers Centre

Facilities

The Royal College of Music is proud to offer its students fantastic practice and performance facilities with resources to support teaching and learning. We continually improve our facilities to ensure RCM students have the best opportunities.

Explore our facilities with a video tour of the RCM

Key facilities at the RCM include:

  • The Amaryllis Fleming Concert Hall - our primary performance venue for orchestras and large ensembles.
  • Our 400-seat Britten Theatre, home to the RCM’s thriving International Opera School.
  • A new Performance Hall, offering an alternative space for ensembles, with a retractable stage, Fazioli grand piano and variable acoustics.
  • Intimate spaces for solo and chamber performance in our Performance Studio and Parry Rooms.
  • Sound-proofed Amadeus Music Pods for private practice.
  • A purpose-built percussion suite – you can watch a video tour on YouTube.
  • Over 160 pianos, including 60 grand pianos and 20 early keyboards, as well as organ rooms.
  • A Blüthner Practice Suite which holds ten Blüthner Model A upright pianos.
  • Instrument surgeries including luthier services.
  • RCM Studios: a commercial-grade facility, enabling live broadcasts around the world.
  • Digital Innovation Lab: a state of the art recording and mixing suite.
  • RCM Library with more than 200,000 scores, books and recordings in its lending collection, as well as access to more than 400 music journals.
  • Recently refurbished RCM Museum, holding more than 14,000 instruments, portraits and images, as well as a climate-controlled performance space and dedicated research facility.

Find out more about RCM facilities

Courses available

Undergraduate

Bachelor of Music, BMus(Hons)

Postgraduate

Master of Performance, MPerf

Master of Music in Performance, MMus(Perf)

Artist Diploma in Performance, ArtDip


Audition requirements

Fellowships available

Mills Williams Junior Fellowship

Constant & Kit Lambert Junior Fellowship

Please note that the audition and application process for Fellowships is not the same as it is for our courses. Please refer to the individual Fellowship pages for more details.

Contact the Brass Faculty

If you have any general queries about brass at the RCM please contact our Brass Faculty Administration team. If you have any queries about auditions or the admissions process, please contact our Admissions team.

Brass Faculty Administration

General enquiries about the operation of the faculty and consultation lessons

brass@rcm.ac.uk

Admissions

Admissions and general audition enquiries

+44 (0)20 7591 4362

admissions@rcm.ac.uk