William Garfield Walker has been honoured with a resolution in the Mississippi House of Representatives, commending his 'musical genius' as an orchestral conductor.

Updates Summer 2020

Alumni updates

Share #UpbeatOnline

News, stories and updates from the RCM alumni network, plus posts from the #RCMCommunity on social media, which brought together our community’s music-making during lockdown.


RCM alumni have continued to keep connected throughout lockdown, posting videos of their performances, rehearsals and personal projects across social media. 

Louise Alder

Soprano Louise Alder debuted her new 'group', the Louloubelles, with an at-home performance. 

Jocelyn Freeman

Pianist Jocelyn Freeman launched an e-song series called 'Musical Greetings'.

Charlotte Harding

Composer Charlotte Harding has spent lockdown working on pieces that people are able to collaborate on remotely.

Soraya Mafi

Soprano Soraya Mafi and collaborative piano professor Simon Lepper came together for a remote performance.

Stephen Shepherd

Saxophonist Stephen Shepherd has been performing daily in his 'A Duet a Day' series during lockdown. Here he is on day 45 with alumna Amy Green.

Darren Sng

Darren Sng, composer, saw his composition Artificial Thyroarytenoids performed online by a group of RCM musicians.

New releases

Mark Bebbington

Pianist Mark Bebbington has released an album of work by Francis Poulenc, in which he plays with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Jan Latham-Koenig.

Paul Cassidy

Violinist Paul Cassidy has released a memoir. Get Beethoven! tells the tale of Paul’s time growing up during the Troubles in Northern Ireland, before his move to London to study violin at the RCM and his joining the Brodsky Quartet in 1982.

Pedro Faria Gomes

Composer Pedro Faria Gomes released his new chamber music CD in January. Chamber Works was released on Naxos and launched with a concert at Cardiff University in February.


Vaughan Jones

Violinist Vaughan Jones has released a new record called History of the Salon – Morceaux caractéristiques, 1823–1913. The disc contains 23 rare or previously unrecorded works from the 1820s through to the 1910s and is released on First Hand Records.

David Nebel

David Nebel has released his debut CD with Sony Classical. Glass & Stravinsky was recorded with conductor Kristjan Järvi, the London Symphony Orchestra and the Baltic Sea Philharmonic.

Harry Nowakowski-Fox and Alisa Liubarskaya

Harry Nowakowski-Fox and Alisa Liubarskaya – The Harry and Alisa Recital Duo – have released Schubert, Brahms and Schnittke Sonatas on Grand Empirical.

Alexandra Sostmann

Pianist Alexandra Sostmann has released a new album. Bach/Byrd/Gibbons + Contemporary Music came out on 5 June.


Audun Gundersen Vassdal

A new piece by composer Audun Gundersen Vassdal is featured on a release by the Janáček Philharmonic Orchestra. Prelude & Fugue for Orchestra appears on Prism Vol 3.

Concerts at home

Nicolas Constantinou

Pianist Nicolas Constantinou, a Steinway Artist, played two pieces by Constantinos Stylianou for a Steinway Lunchtime Concert, part of a series of at-home performances broadcast for online viewers.

John Paul Ekins

During lockdown in the UK pianist John Paul Ekins gave online concerts from his home on Sunday evenings, raising over £4,000 for the NHS.

Brendan Musk

Lantivet Duo, featuring pianist Brendan Musk, streamed three online concerts to raise money for the NHS. The April, May and June events each featured an eclectic programme of world music and new works by young composers. They have raised over £2,000 for health workers.

Riccardo Pes

Cellist Riccardo Pes created an online music festival during lockdown: Andrà tutto bene ('Everything is going to be alright'). The festival featured online performances from a variety of artists every day from 20 March to 9 April.


Nominations and awards

Milly Forrest

Milly Forrest reached the singers section final of the Royal Over-Seas League (ROSL) Annual Music Competition in a round that featured an all-female line-up.

Jean-Paul Gasparian

Pianist Jean-Paul Gasparian has won the prestigious Prix Thierry Scherz at Sommets Musicaux de Gstaad.

Anna Schreier and Raquel García-Tomás

Anna Schreier has been nominated for Best World Premiere at the International Opera Awards for Schade, dass sie eine Hure war ('Tis a Pity She's a Whore'), which was staged last year at the Deutsche Oper am Rhein. Raquel García-Tomás has been nominated in the same category for her work Je suis narcissiste, which was written as part of her doctoral studies at the RCM and staged at the Teatro Real in Madrid.

William Garfield Walker

Conductor William Garfield Walker has been honoured with a resolution in the Mississippi House of Representatives, commending his ‘musical genius’ as an orchestral conductor. The resolution was passed with a unanimous vote.

Performances and broadcasts

Aviva Chertok

Violinist Aviva Chertok coordinated a project that brought violinists from all 50 states in the USA together to produce a video thanking healthcare workers. The group performed Elgar’s Salut d’Amour.

Timothy Henty

Conductor Timothy Henty has collaborated with the London Mozart Players and their online video series 'At Home with LMP' to provide a selection of videos about conducting.

At the Drive-In

On 9 May, pianist Alexander Krichel performed what was billed as the world's first drive-in piano recital. At Germany’s first post-lockdown live classical concert, the pianist performed a socially distanced event at a drive-in cinema in Iserlohn, Germany, with tickets for 200 cars selling out and the concert streamed live online.


Georgios Lazaridis

Composer Georgios Lazaridis’ work Ek Nekron ('From the Dead' in Ancient Greek), was broadcast on National Greek Television during Orthodox Easter week in April. The piece was commissioned to commemorate 100 years since the end of World War 1.

Anne Nikitin

Anne Nikitin composed the score for the two-part BBC Agatha Christie adaptation, Pale Horse, which was broadcast in February.

Oliver Rudland

In March, Oliver Rudland’s Flying Free received its world premiere at the Clothworkers Centenary Concert Hall in Leeds, performed by the Orchestra of Opera North.

Luke Whitlock

The Lonely Death of Stanley Bate, produced by graduate and former member of staff Luke Whitlock, was broadcast in February on BBC Radio 3. Stanley Bate was a former student of the RCM, and the programme included interviews with Joseph Horovitz, Timothy Salter and Stephen Bell.

Wing-sie Yip

In February Wing-sie Yip, Music Director of the Hong Kong Sinfonietta, conducted the ensemble in its Bangkok debut, in an all-Beethoven concert featuring pianist Pavel Kolesnikov.

Appointments, commissions and achievements

Louis Sebastian Mander

Louis Sebastian Mander has been commissioned to create a new musical. An adaptation of the tale of Peter Pan, the children’s musical features lyrics and story by the poet Pam Ayres.

Victoria Samek

Clarinetist Victoria Samek has launched ‘Organise, Prioritise, Commit: The Practice and Performance Process’, a new performance theory and practice being delivered via mentoring online. The courses and mentoring stems from Victoria’s academic research during her Performance Science MSc at the RCM.

Lasma Taimina

Lasma Taimina has been appointed to the first violin section of the London Philharmonic.

Tamsin Waley-Cohen

Violinist Tamsin Waley-Cohen has been appointed Artistic Director of Two Moors Festival. The event, which is now planned for autumn, will be the festival’s 20th anniversary season.


Ben Woodgates

Composer Ben Woodgates has scored his first feature film, Dream Horse, which premiered at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival and is set to open in UK cinemas in September. Guy Button and Sergio Serra – contemporaries of Ben during his studies at the RCM – also play on the soundtrack.

Singing successes

In March, Louise Alder performed Susanna, Rowan Pierce performed Barbarina, Elizabeth Watts performed the Countess and Nardus Williams performed both Micaela and the Countess in Mozart's Le nozze di Figaro for English National Opera.

Eleanor Dennis

In February, soprano Eleanor Dennis made her debut with Opera North as Miss Jessel in Britten's The Turn of the Screw.

Soraya Mafi

In February, soprano Soraya Mafi performed the role of Susanna in Mozart's Le nozze di Figaro with Welsh National Opera.

Julien Van Mellaerts

Baritone Julien Van Mellaerts performed the role of Figaro in Mozart's Le nozze di Figaro in Salzburg’s Mozartwoche 2020, which took place from 23 January to 2 February.

Stephanie Windsor-Lewis

In March, mezzo-soprano Stephanie Windsor-Lewis performed as Suzuki in Puccini's Madam Butterfly for English National Opera.



Back to top