Professor Colin Lawson CBE FRCM with his clarinet and his laptop at home

Editorial Summer 2021

Welcome to summer 2021 Upbeat

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As we conclude another academic year, it is my pleasure to welcome you to this summer edition of Upbeat. With the first in-person Graduation ceremonies since 2019 taking place in July, the end of this term has felt particularly poignant. I am immensely proud of the achievements of our students, staff and alumni alike as we have navigated these difficult times.

It’s been a year of great change, and the theme of this issue is A Digital Future. We reflect how the RCM embraced digital technologies during the pandemic, the positive transformation it had for the overall College experience, and look ahead to innovative partnerships still to come.

A Digital Future

  • Artistic Director Stephen Johns shares how the College was able to pivot to digital during the pandemic – and what the digital landscape looks like moving forward.
  • The RCM has joined with the Manhattan School of Music (MSM), the Royal Danish Academy of Music (RDAM), and the mdw – University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna (MDW) to launch the Global Conservatoire, which launches as a pilot programme in 2021–22.
  • We are delighted to become the first conservatoire in Europe to extend its digital resource offering in partnership with the Henle Library app.

Perspectives from members of the RCM community

  • Former editor of the Evening Standard Veronica Wadley CBE, Baroness Fleet, shares insights into her extraordinary career in the arts and journalism, in the first article in a new series shining a spotlight on our RCM Council members.
  • In Upbeat’s second video interview, RCM alumnus Timothy Henty takes us through his varied career from conductor to film director, and his recent digital work with the London Mozart Players.
  • Meet incoming President of the RCM Students’ Union Laura Williamson, as she shares her motivation for running for the position, and hear some parting words from outgoing President Joel Wilson.

All our news

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, 1 October to or tag @RCMLondon on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Weibo.

Professor Colin Lawson CBE FRCM, Director

Colin Lawson

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


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