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Prach Boondiskulchok's new CD of CPE Bach's Piano Trios

UpdatesAutumn 2020

Staff updates

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All the latest news from the RCM staff, along with our pick of the best social media posts.

Prach Boondiskulchok

Junior Department piano teacher has released the first ever recording of the complete CPE Bach Piano Trios with his ensemble, the Linos Piano Trio.

Professor Terrence Charlston

Professor Terrence Charlston’s recording of Johann Jakob Froberger’s complete fantasias and canzonas has been released on the Divine Art label. It was recorded in the RCM Studios last autumn on a reconstruction by Andreas Hermert of a South German clavichord, which is in the Berlin Musical Instrument Museum. In addition, Terrence’s Three Duets for mezzo-soprano and baritone were premiered in a live broadcast from the St Pancras Clock Tower, London in July and have been recorded by Delphian Records for release next year. His piece Prelude for harpsichord was broadcast by BBC Radio 3’s Home Sessions in August.

Carola Darwin

A chapter by music history lecturer Carola Darwin is being published in The Routledge Companion to Women and Musical Leadership: the Nineteenth Century and Beyond, edited by Laura Hamer and Helen Julia Minors. The chapter is called 'Odaline de la Martinez - conductor, composer, entrepreneur, leader.' Carola also took part in the Oxford Lieder Festival on 14 October.

Danny Driver

Piano professor Danny Driver has contributed to The Arts Desk. In his ‘First Person’ article he highlights the importance of music education and the challenges of teaching music during the current pandemic.

Norma Fisher

Piano professor Norma Fisher’s 2019 recording from Sonetto Classics, Norma Fisher at the BBC Vol 2, has been awarded the 41st Liszt Ferenc International Grande Prix du Disque this year.

Jessie Grimes

RCM Junior Department clarinet teacher Jessie Grimes has hosted a series of livestreamed music concerts called ‘Jessie’s Homemade Garden Jam’, raising money for Help Musicians. Guests have included soloists from BBC Proms, musicians from famous West End shows, principals from major British orchestras and many RCM alumni. Featured in The Guardian, the series raised over £800 and fundraised fees for the performers. Jessie has also launched ‘Jessie’s Homemade Kitchen Jam’, a series to be filmed indoors during the colder weather. All episodes can be viewed on Jessie’s website.

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Janet Hilton

Clarinet professor Janet Hilton has released a CD of chamber music by Arnold Cooke. It features the little-known Trio for clarinet, cello and piano, alongside the Quartet for flute, clarinet, cello and piano. The CD is part of a series by the Pleyel Ensemble of all Arnold Cooke's chamber music and these are world premiere recordings.

Kyle Horch

Saxophone professor Kyle Horch has released Kokoschka's Doll on the Champs Hill Records label. The programme is themed around the love affair between Alma Mahler and Oskar Kokoschka. It also includes two premiere recordings of a previously unknown Trio by Anton Webern and a new work, Transformation, by David Matthews. The album concludes with a substantial new work by John Casken, Kokoschka's Doll.

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Professor Janis Kelly

Professor Janis Kelly, Chair of Vocal Performance, has appeared in two productions with Grange Park Opera. In socially distanced live performances on 12 and 13 September, she sang the role of McGuire in the world premiere of A Feast in the Time of Plague with libretto by David Pountney and music by Alex Woolf. The production also featured alumni Harry Thatcher and Soraya Mafi, plus RCM Head of Conducting Toby Purser led the orchestra. Janis has also appeared as Mrs Coyle in Britten’s Owen Wingrave, which was released online in November.

Judith Kleinman and Peter Buckoke

In July Judith Kleinman and Peter Buckoke, two of the RCM’s professors of the Alexander Technique, were involved in a conference about 'Alexander in Education’. The conference is available on the Developing Self website and has received thousands of views, with plans to release more talks later in the year.

Justin Lavender

Arcadia Opera, a company led by vocal studies professor Justin Lavender, returned to live events during the summer. Two open-air distanced performances of Dido and Aeneas were staged on the north entrance portico and steps of Stowe House, near Buckingham, on the afternoons of 29 and 30 August. Distanced rehearsals had been held in Justin’s garden, and when the weather was bad, in an open-sided barn belonging to a friendly local farmer.

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Professor Colin Lawson

RCM Director Colin Lawson has launched this year’s International Malcom Arnold Festival, which took place online on Saturday 17 October.

Simon Lepper

Collaborative Piano Co-ordinator and vocal repertoire coach Simon Lepper has recorded a new Schubert song disc with Ilker Arcayurek. He has performed in Switzerland and at Wigmore Hall, the latter being broadcast live on BBC Radio 3, in September. In addition, he also curated and recorded recitals for the Festival of Voice in Northern Ireland, broadcast in October. 

Simon also accompanied soprano Elizabeth Llewellyn at a recital at Wigmore Hall. 

Dr Natasha Loges

Head of Postgraduate Programmes Natasha Loges has featured in this year’s Oxford Lieder Festival with an online talk about Brahms. The event also featured performances by alumna Katy Thomson and current student Ana Manastireanu.

Cecilia De Maria

Cecilia De Maria, Junior Department coach of ensembles and harp sectionals, has signed an exclusive contract with Sony Music Masterworks as a harpist. Cecilia will release a record featuring new works written especially for her alongside unique arrangements of classical harp repertoire. The album will be produced by the award-winning Anna Barry.

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Madeleine Mitchell and Errollyn Wallen

Madeleine Mitchell has commissioned a new violin piece from professor Errollyn Wallen CBE, supported by the Ralph Vaughan Williams Trust. It will be premiered on International Women's Day 2021 in the South Bank International Chamber Season with the London Chamber Ensemble. Directed by Mitchell in her 'Century of Female British Composers’ programme, other works include music by RCM alumni Rebecca Clarke, Grace Williams and Helen Grime MBE alongside Judith Weir CBE and Thea Musgrave CBE.

Errollyn Wallen has also been nominated in this year’s Royal Philharmonic Society Awards. The event was streamed online on Wednesday 18 November.

Natalie Murray

Natalie Murray, staff member of the Opera & Vocal Faculty, made her Royal Opera House conducting debut on the main stage on 24 October. The performance was also livestreamed. New Dark Age was directed by Katie Mitchell and presented work by RCM alumna Anna Meredith, among others.

Margaret Phillips

Organ professor Margaret Phillips took the opportunity of having spare time during lockdown to learn Bach's Art of Fugue. She recorded the work for the Regent Records label at the end of August on the magnificent organ of St George's Hanover Square, built by Richards, Fowkes & Co of Tennessee, USA, in 2012.

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Toby Purser

Head of Conducting Toby Purser has featured in one of the ENO’s exclusive live online events for ENO Members, presenting a class in the art of conducting.

Professor Ashley Solomon

Chair and Head of Historical Performance Professor Ashley Solomon has featured on BBC Radio 3’s The Early Music Show. The programme explored the turbulent history of Latin America through its sacred and secular music, with Ashley discussing his work to set up a national choir and ensemble: Arakaender - Bolivia’s first baroque orchestra on period instruments.

Professor Aaron Williamon, Dr Rosie Perkins and Dr George Waddell

Professor Aaron Williamon, Dr Rosie Perkins and Dr George Waddell from the Centre for Performance Science, alongside Professor Jane Ginsborg of the Royal Northern College of Music, have authored a textbook for musicians wishing to conduct research. The first of its kind, it will be used on the RCM’s pioneering MSc in Performance Science programme and internationally. It is available for preorder now on the Performing Music Research website.

And finally...