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A photo of Professor Natasha Loges, who stepped down from her post in January.

Updates Spring 2022

Staff updates

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This term there have been a number of new appointments among Royal College of Music staff, as well as new releases and publications.

Changes to academic staff

Professor Natasha Loges (pictured above), Head of Postgraduate Programmes and Professor of Historical Musicology, stepped down from her post in February. Professor Loges has taken up the post of Professor in Historical Musicology (19th and 20th Century Music) at Hochschule für Musik Freiburg.

Over the course of her 17-year tenure, Professor Loges has made outstanding contributions to postgraduate programmes and to the College’s research activity and has been a wonderful ambassador for the RCM.

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Jonathan Cole (pictured above) has been appointed as Head of Composition, starting from the beginning of the Summer Term.

Jonathan has been teaching composition at the Royal College of Music since 2005, and has been Area Leader in the Masters composition programme since 2007. During this time, he has continued to compose a notable series of works and has been described as ‘one of the most strikingly original and provocative voices in British contemporary music.’

Professor David Wright has been appointed to a Personal Chair in the Social History of Music by the Royal College of Music. In addition to his role as a Research Fellow, he also gains the title of Professor of the Social History of Music in recognition of his outstanding contribution to research. Read more about the appointment in our news item, and his feature article on Vaughan Williams in this edition of Upbeat.

Awards

Violin professor Madeleine Mitchell won a Royal Philharmonic Society Enterprise Award for her proposal to make a short film fusing art and music inspired by the V&A Fabergé Exhibition, performed live in a special concert at the V&A. The film features archive material from the RCM Library.

Madeleine has also recorded alumna Grace Williams’ Violin Concerto live with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, which will be released by Nimbus as the first commercial recording of the work, and Vaughan Williams’ The Lark Ascending, broadcast live.

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Recent releases

RCM Junior Department Symphony Orchestra conductor Jacques Cohen recently released Cohen's Carols on ICMSM, which has been hailed as a ‘cracking collection’ by the Arts Desk. The album features the Oxford Camerata and comprises original compositions and arrangements for unaccompanied choir.

Saxophone professor Kyle Horch’s most recent album, Fairy Tales, is available for purchase, download or streaming from a variety of outlets including Spotify and Apple Music. The album is a recital of original and transcribed music for saxophone and piano by composers from Eastern Europe, and features pianists Yshani Perinpanayagam and Anya Fadina.

Composition professor Kenneth Hesketh's orchestration of three solo woodwind works by Henri Dutilleux has been announced as a BBC Music Magazine nominee for its 2022 Awards. The disc, Le Loup, was recorded by Sinfonia of London and John Wilson (released on the Chandos record label).

A CD by Vocal Repertoire Coach and Collaborative Piano Co-ordinator Simon Lepper, Heart and Hereafter with Elizabeth Llewllyn, has been nominated for a BBC Music Magazine Award. It features the songs of Samuel Coleridge-Taylor who was an RCM student at the beginning of the last century.

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Violin professor Sasha Rozhdestvensky has recently released a recording of John Mayer’s Violin Concerto on the FHR label.

RCM Junior Department Musicianship and Improvisation teacher Shirley Smart has released an album, Zeitgest², with pianist Robert Mitchell, released in January on Discus Music.

Performances

In October 2021, RCM Junior Department piano teacher Clara Rodriguez played two sold-out recitals at Arundells, the home of Sir Edward Heath in Salisbury. She was also part of the jury of two international piano competitions, the 2021 Wales International Piano Festival organized by former RCM student Iwan Llewelyn-Jones, and the 2nd América para Todos Piano Competition.

Research and publications

RCM Junior Department trumpet teacher Torbjörn Hultmark has published The Torbjörn Hultmark Tuning Method, a practice method for teachers, students, conductors and instrumentalists from elementary to advanced level who want to further improve their intonation skills. The method is the fourth in his series of methods, joining the Trumpet Method, Tuba Method and Tuning & Balance Exercises for brass.

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Dr Maiko Kawabata has been awarded an ARHC/BBC3 Fellowship in Celebrating Classical Music Composers from Diverse Backgrounds. Her project, The Music of Kikuko Kanai (1906–1986), will enable the composer’s orchestral music to be heard for the first time outside Japan, with music for piano heard on BBC Radio 3 on 2 February as part of an Afternoon Concert.

Professor Rosie Perkins and RCM doctoral student Debi Graham have convened an international meeting on the role of music in parental mental wellbeing. Held online in January 2022, over 50 attendees joined a series of presentations and discussions designed to bring together the wide community of people working in this area, with a view to building an ongoing network. A second event will be held on 24 May 2022.

Dr Wiebke Thormählen, Reader in Music and Area Leader in History, co-edited a volume of essays and case studies which was published in December 2021. This formed part of her AHRC-funded project Music, Home and Heritage: Making Music Matter in Historic Houses, a new scholarly field of study and a collaboration between the RCM, Southampton University, the National Trust, the Buccleuch Living Heritage Trust and the British Library.

Send your updates for the next edition of Upbeat to news@rcm.ac.uk by Friday 6 May.