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Woodwind students playing oboe and flute in rehearsal

Woodwind

The Woodwind Faculty and the wider RCM community foster a culture of nurturing all students in a supportive environment. You are encouraged to grow into a confident and imaginative performer, taking advantage of all the opportunities available to you. 

Our outstanding team of woodwind professors combine careers as eminent performers with a passion and dedication for teaching. Many of whom hold principal positions in major orchestras. In addition to their one-to-one lessons, our students enjoy regular performance and ensemble classes, unlimited chamber coaching, orchestral playing and masterclasses with distinguished international musicians.

One-to-one lessons

One-to-one lessons are at the very heart of every RCM student’s learning experience. Our woodwind professors are truly world-class, many of them principal players in major orchestras as well as soloists and members of well-known ensembles.

Meet the professors

Performance opportunities

RCM students enjoy a wide variety of performance opportunities as part of the College’s diverse events calendar, which includes hundreds of events each year.

All woodwind students have the chance to play in our orchestras, which include the RCM Philharmonic, the RCM Symphony Orchestra and the RCM Opera Orchestra. Here, students often have the opportunity to work with some of the finest conductors in the world. Recent visitors have included Vladimir Ashkenazy, John Wilson, Holly Mathieson, Sir Antonio Pappano and Vladimir Jurowski. We were regularly visited by the late Bernard Haitink. We also have our own Wind Ensemble, which often commissions new works.

Students have the chance to perform concertos with RCM orchestras. Previous performances have included Mozart's Bassoon Concerto, Ibert's Flute Concerto, Ivan Fedele's Clarinet Concerto, Mendelssohn's Concert Piece for Clarinet and Basset Horn and Weber's Concerto for Bassoon in F major.

Woodwind students enjoy unlimited chamber coaching and the opportunity to perform in small groups as part of the RCM’s Chamber Music concert series and in venues across London.

Recent visiting artists

Our students enjoy regular masterclasses with high-profile visitors including:

  • The Berlin Philharmonic Wind Quintet
  • The Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Wind Quintet
  • Petri Alanko
  • Clara Andrada de la Calle
  • Juliette Bausor
  • Arno Bornkamp
  • Sam Coles
  • Ole Kristian Dahl
  • Elaine Douvas
  • Sir James Galway
  • Paolo De Gaspari
  • Romain Guyot
  • Melanie Henry
  • Giorgio Mandolesi
  • Maximiliano Martín
  • Gerard McChrystal
  • Gustavo Núñez
  • Miriam Pastor Burgos
  • Naomi Sullivan
  • Jacques Tys
  • Anna Marie Wytko
  • Nikita Zimin
  • Elaine Douvas
  • Ramón Ortega Quero
  • Anthony McGill

Recent successes

Our students are regularly awarded prizes at major national and international competitions. Recent prizes have been awarded by:

  • Stockholm International Music Competition
  • Royal Over-Seas League Competition

Career development

The RCM’s Creative Careers Centre, which is recognised internationally for its innovative approach to supporting young musicians, provides an unparalleled service to current students and recent alumni. The dedicated team partners with leading consultants, reputable arts organisations and local communities, delivering unique career-building opportunities and a direct route to the music industry.

The work of the Creative Careers Centre allows students to discover their professional identity, gain hands-on experience and new skills, develop an entrepreneurial mind-set and build a fulfilling professional portfolio.

Extensive performance and teaching opportunities are available, as well as valuable guidance on CV and biography writing, concert programming, communication skills, project management, marketing and publicity, online promotion, financial matters and how to develop a business idea.

Find out more about the Creative Careers Centre

Facilities

The Royal College of Music is proud to offer its students fantastic practice and performance facilities with resources to support teaching and learning. We continually improve our facilities to ensure RCM students have the best opportunities.

Explore our facilities with a video tour of the RCM

Key facilities at the RCM include:

  • The Amaryllis Fleming Concert Hall - our primary performance venue for orchestras and large ensembles.
  • Our 400-seat Britten Theatre, home to the RCM’s thriving International Opera School.
  • A new Performance Hall, offering an alternative space for ensembles, with a retractable stage, Fazioli grand piano and variable acoustics.
  • Intimate spaces for solo and chamber performance in our Performance Studio and Parry Rooms.
  • Sound-proofed Amadeus Music Pods for private practice.
  • A purpose-built percussion suite – you can watch a video tour on YouTube.
  • Over 160 pianos, including 60 grand pianos and 20 early keyboards, as well as organ rooms.
  • A Blüthner Practice Suite which holds ten Blüthner Model A upright pianos.
  • Instrument surgeries including luthier services.
  • RCM Studios: a commercial-grade facility, enabling live broadcasts around the world.
  • Digital Innovation Lab: a state of the art recording and mixing suite.
  • RCM Library with more than 200,000 scores, books and recordings in its lending collection, as well as access to more than 400 music journals.
  • Recently refurbished RCM Museum, holding more than 14,000 instruments, portraits and images, as well as a climate-controlled performance space and dedicated research facility.

Find out more about RCM facilities

Graduate destinations

RCM woodwind graduates enjoy unrivalled success in a range of professional settings. RCM musicians have been awarded principal woodwind positions with:

  • Sydney Symphony Orchestra
  • Shanghai Symphony Orchestra
  • Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra
  • KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Great Falls Symphony Orchestra (Montana)
  • RTÉ Concert Orchestra
  • Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
  • Philharmonia
  • English National Opera Orchestra
  • London Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Orchestra of the Royal Opera House
  • Orchestra of Scottish Opera

Celebrated alumni

Flute

  • James Galway

Oboe

  • Evelyn Barbirolli
  • Leon Goossens 

Clarinet

  • Michael Collins
  • Dame Thea King
  • Gervase de Peyer
  • Frederic Thurston

Bassoon

  • Roger Birnstingl
  • Archie Camden

Saxophone

  • John Harle
  • Amy Dickson

Courses available

Undergraduate

Bachelor of Music, BMus(Hons)

Postgraduate

Master of Performance, MPerf

Master of Music in Performance, MMus(Perf)

Artist Diploma in Performance, ArtDip

Audition requirements

Fellowships available

Mills Williams Junior Fellowship

Constant & Kit Lambert Junior Fellowship

Please note that the audition and application process for Fellowships is not the same as it is for our courses. Please refer to the individual Fellowship pages for more details.

Contact the Woodwind Faculty

If you have any general queries about woodwind at the RCM please contact our Woodwind Faculty Administration team. If you have any queries about auditions or the admissions process, please contact our Admissions team.

Woodwind Faculty Administration

General enquiries about the operation of the faculty and consultation lessons

woodwind@rcm.ac.uk

Admissions

Admissions and general audition enquiries

+44 (0)20 7591 4362

admissions@rcm.ac.uk