A man holding a trombone looking into the camera

Updates Autumn 2023

Staff updates

Share #UpbeatOnline

RCM professors and staff members continue to engage in a diverse array of projects in the UK and around the world.

Welcome to Amos Miller!

Trombonist Amos Miller joined the RCM as Head of Brass in September 2023. Founding member of internationally acclaimed brass ensemble Onyx Brass and Principal Trombone with the Royal Ballet Sinfonia, Amos is an experienced performer and educator, and brings a wealth of industry experience to the role.

New releases and publications 

RCMJD Symphony Orchestra conductor Jacques Cohen has released a recording of his chamber opera, The Lady of Satis House, following a successful run. The album is released on the Meridian label and features RCM alumna and recipient of the Tagore Medal, Marie Vassiliou, in the title role.   

Dr Sarah Fuchs, Area Leader for History, is soon to publish a new book entitled Operatic Artifacts: Opera, Archives and Audio-Visual Media in Paris and the Provinces. It explores how emerging audio-visual technologies were used to navigate the complex politics of Third-Republic France.  

Research by Dr Christina Guillaumier, Reader in Music and Cultural Practice, and Dr Sarah Whitfield, Research Associate, was shared at the 2023 Royal Musical Association Annual Conference, ahead of journal publication. The pair has been using innovative digital humanities-based methodologies to explore the records of performances at Wigmore Hall during 1910–25.  

Saxophone professor Kyle Horch has collaborated with clarinet professor Peter Sparks to release a recording with the Art Deco Trio entitled Classical Changes. Available for streaming, the album features a programme of favourite classical and folk music in new arrangements with a jazz twist by Iain Farrington.  


Recorder professor Sarah Jeffery was quoted in a recent Guardian article ‘in defence of the recorder’, saying ‘it’s a vastly complex instrument […] It’s even a little bit dangerous because every little move you make can be heard.‘


Norbert Meyn’s Music, Migration and Mobility research project was featured in The Telegraph as it reached its culmination with a special concert and the completion of an extensive online resource. The project sheds light on the musical émigrés who fled Nazi-occupied Europe and contributed to Britain’s musical history.  

Violin professor Madeleine Mitchell’s album Violin Conversations entered the classical charts at number 13 and received glowing reviews in The Telegraph and The Observer


Dr Jessica Pitt, lecturer in Music Education, has published a new online resource for the Froebel Trust entitled Communicative Musical Play with Young Children. Based on her ground-breaking research with young children, their caregivers, artists and educators, the resource explores the role of music and sound in developing creativity, communicative strategies and autonomy.  


Dr Ann van Allen-Russell, BMus Programme Coordinator, has a commissioned chapter in the newly-published book Music Borrowing and Copyright Law: A Genre-by-Genre Analysis. The text critically explores a rich diversity of music genres from across the world and creative borrowing practices throughout history – timely, considering the current conversations surrounding the emergence of AI in the creative industry. 

Recent performances

An oratorio composed by RCMJD Symphony Orchestra conductor Jacques Cohen received its premiere at the Barbican in March. Creation was performed as the centrepiece of the Lloyd’s Choir centenary by several ensembles and soloist Mae Heydorn, conducted by Jacques.  

RCMJD piano teacher Clara Rodriguez’s recent performances have included Gershwin’s Piano Concerto in F under the baton of Levon Parikian in London in June, and a recital featuring Chopin and Venezuelan composers at the Museo Colonial de Caracas in July.  


Awards, accolades and appointments 

Assistant Librarian Jonathan Frank was awarded the International Association of Music Libraries, Archives and Documentation Centres’ Vladimir Fédorov Award for his recent article on the discovery of Samuel Coleridge-Taylor’s Nourmahal’s Song in the RCM Library.  

Composition professor Ken Hesketh has been commissioned by the Orchestre national du Capitole de Toulouse, the Barcelona Symphony Orchestra and Festival Ravel to orchestrate Maurice Ravel’s early piano works for Ravel’s anniversary year in 2025.  

Deputy Head of Vocal & Opera, Audrey Hyland, was appointed Vice President of Jackdaws Music Education Trust in August. She joins RCM alumni Dame Sarah Connolly and Sarah Walker CBE, plus RCM professor Roger Vignoles, as an ambassador for the organisation. Jackdaws seeks to improve music participation and enjoyment through courses for amateur musicians, education projects, and its Young Artists Programme and performances.  

Head of Keyboard & Associate Director for Partnerships in Asia, Professor Vanessa Latarche, has been appointed Artistic Advisor of the Lang Lang Foundation.

Simon Lepper, previously Collaborative Piano Co-ordinator, is now Assistant Head of Keyboard (Collaborative Piano), reflecting the important role of collaborative piano within the Keyboard Faculty.  

Jazz guitar professor Milton Mermikides has been appointed as the 37th Professor of Music at Gresham College, a role he will take on alongside his work with the RCM.  

Professor Rosie Perkins from the RCM’s Centre for Performance Science has received funding from the Arts and Humanities Research Council to launch the Music and Parental Wellbeing Research Network. Co-led with Dr Katie Rose Sanfilippo at City, University of London, the network is the first of its kind to foster novel, international and interdisciplinary collaborations to explore the role of music in supporting parental wellbeing.  

Academic and composition professor Jonathan Pitkin was recently awarded a grant by the PRS Foundation’s International Showcase Fund to present his new composition Study: Boots… at the New York City Electroacoustic Music Festival.  

Scottish tenor Nicky Spence has joined the Vocal and Opera Faculty as Visiting Professor of Voice, and renowned flautist Adam Walker and distinguished oboist Nick Deutsch joined the Woodwind Faculty as Visiting Professors. 


Send your updates for the Spring 2024 edition of Upbeat to news@rcm.ac.uk by Friday 26 January.


Back to top