A headshot of Professor Colin Lawson, a white man with white hair, smiling at the camera.

Editorial Autumn 2023

Welcome to Upbeat!

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A warm welcome to the autumn edition of Upbeat magazine.

Another successful term is underway, and I’m delighted that the Royal College of Music has been rated as ‘Outstanding’ in the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF). The RCM received the highest rating of Gold for its teaching, delivery of student experience and outcomes, which is testament to the deep commitment and dedication of our teaching staff and all who work to support our student community.

In this edition of Upbeat, we share with you the extraordinary story of how recent graduate and pianist Alim Beisembayev rose to the challenge of taking centre stage at this summer’s BBC Proms with just two days’ notice.

We also explore projects that demonstrate the College’s commitment to progress, from pioneering research in the field of arts and wellbeing led by the RCM’s Centre for Performance Science, to the recent refurbishment of the Britten Theatre, improving experiences for RCM students and audiences alike.

There’s all the latest news from RCM students, staff and alumni, plus a great way to support students through the Big Give Christmas Challenge and we remember those connected to the RCM who are sadly no longer with us.

Please continue to send us information about your recent projects and collaborations; we love to receive your news! Do send your updates for the next issue to news@rcm.ac.uk by Friday 26 January 2024.

Upbeat is published as a printed magazine in the Summer Term. If you currently receive the printed version and would like to support our commitment to sustainability, we encourage you to switch to the digital version. To arrange this please email DAE@rcm.ac.uk.

And, finally, do keep a watch over the coming weeks for announcements of forthcoming public events in the Spring Term. I hope you’ll be able to join us either in person or for one of our live-streamed performances in the New Year.

Wishing you a happy and healthy holiday season ahead. 

Professor Colin Lawson CBE FRCM, Director 

Colin Lawson

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


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