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RCM Director Professor Colin Lawson stands in front of a dark background holding a clarinet.

Editorial Spring 2022

Welcome to Upbeat!

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A very warm welcome to the spring issue of Upbeat, and the first edition in a very special year for the Royal College of Music. In 2022, we mark 150 years since the birth of RCM alumnus and professor – and the most quintessential of British composers – Ralph Vaughan Williams.

In the next three issues of Upbeat magazine, we will be exploring aspects of Vaughan Williams’ life, his impact on classical music, and lesser-known stories from his time at the RCM. I hope you can also join us at the RCM over the course of this momentous year and enjoy the performances of Vaughan Williams’ music, from his symphonies to his chamber repertoire. Do keep an eye out for further announcements over the coming months.

Ralph Vaughan Williams at 150

We begin our Upbeat celebrations of Vaughan Williams at 150 with two features exploring his time at the Royal College of Music, both as a pupil and teacher.

  • Discover the composer’s role as a teacher, advocate and supporter of women composers while on the RCM Composition Faculty, as told by David Wright, RCM Professor of the Social History of Music.
  • Watch our new Upbeat video interview, as Richard Martin, Digital & Documentation Officer at the Royal College of Music Museum, reveals what a sketch of Vaughan Williams in the RCM collection tells us about the young composer.

Events on campus

Recent successes

Keep up to date

  • Meet alumna Laura Peh in the next instalment of our After the RCM series, as she tells us about her career in business and the art world and shares her tips for graduates.
  • Keep abreast of all the news from RCM students, staff and alumni, as they share their recent updates.
  • Join us in paying tribute to the lives of RCM community members in In memory.

Share your updates

As ever, we would love to hear news of your recent projects and collaborations. Please send your updates for the next issue of Upbeat by Friday, 6 May to news@rcm.ac.uk.

Professor Colin Lawson CBE FRCM, Director

Colin Lawson

Professor Colin Lawson is the Director of the Royal College of Music.