'Our professors combine careers as eminent performers with a passion for teaching. We provide a supportive and challenging environment, and encourage you to find your own voice on your instrument.'
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.
An introduction to the Woodwind Faculty
Head of Woodwind, Simon Channing, joins saxophonist Isabel Kasimba to talk about the opportunities RCM students enjoy.
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 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.
RCM students enjoy a wide variety of performance opportunities as part of the College’s diverse events calendar, which includes several hundred events per 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, Sir Roger Norrington and 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.
'Concerts and performance classes provide opportunities to learn as a musician and to thrive. From day one I have felt so inspired by the positive and supportive atmosphere.'
Woodwind section performing with the RCM Philharmonic
Flautist rehearsing with the RCM Symphony Orchestra
Saxophonist with the RCM Big Band
Bassoons in rehearsal (c) Patrick Harrison
Piccolo players in rehearsal
Cor anglais player performs with the RCM Symphony Orchestra
Flautist performing at the Royal Academy of Art
Recent visiting artists
Our students enjoy regular masterclasses with high profile visitors including:
- Petri Alanko
- Juliette Bausor
- Sir James Galway
- Jean-Michel Tanguy
- The Berlin Philharmonic Wind Quintet
- Paolo De Gaspari
- Romain Guyot
- Maximiliano Martín
- Stefano Canuti
- Ole Kristian Dahl
- Giorgio Mandolesi
- Jacques Tys
- Jurij Likin
- Nikita Zimin
- Melanie Henry
- Gerard McChrystal
- Arno Bornkamp
- The Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Wind Quintet
- Naomi Sullivan
- Anna Wytko
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
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.
We continually invest in our facilities to ensure RCM students have the very best opportunities. Our impressive performance spaces are matched by top-quality academic and technical provisions, such as our historic library and professional grade studios. The Royal College of Music is proud to offer some of the finest facilities anywhere in the world.
The RCM has three major performance spaces. The Amaryllis Fleming Concert Hall which has an illustrious history and is the primary performance venue for RCM orchestras and large ensembles. Our 400-seat Britten Theatre boasts excellent technical facilities for the RCM’s thriving International Opera School. The Performance Hall offers an alternative space for ensemble performances and orchestral rehearsals, and boasts a retractable stage, comprehensive technical infrastructure and variable acoustics, providing versatility for the range of events staged by the College.
In addition, more intimate spaces for solo and chamber performance include the Performance Studio and The Parry Rooms, which have unparalleled views of the Royal Albert Hall, and our 100-seat Recital Hall.
As well as practice rooms and space for one-to-one and group teaching, the RCM contains dedicated opera rehearsal spaces, a number of sound-proofed Amadeus Music Pods and organ rooms. We have over 160 pianos, including 60 grand pianos and 20 early keyboards, instrument storage with special facilities for harps and double basses, plus in-house instrument workshops.
RCM Studios is a commercial-grade facility, equipped with professional audio, video and composition technologies, supporting the RCM’s recording needs and enabling live broadcast of performances around the world.
The RCM Library contains more than 400,000 scores, books and recordings in its lending collection, plus access to more than 400 music journals. The library also subscribes to many online resources including Oxford Music Online, Naxos Music Library, JSTOR, Met Online and the Berlin Philharmonic Digital Concert Hall. In addition, the RCM also boasts an internationally renowned collection of original manuscripts (including examples from Mozart and Elgar) early printed editions and archives.
The RCM Museum holds more than 15,000 instruments dating from the late 15th century to the present day, some of which are the earliest known examples of their kind. The collection is a unique resource and many of the instruments in the collection can be studied or played by RCM students.
The public museum is currently closed for refurbishment, but its vital resources are still available to our students.
RCM woodwind graduates are enjoying unrivalled success in a range of professional settings. Since September 2014, RCM musicians have been awarded the following positions:
- Principal Flute, Orchestra of English National Opera
- Flute Fellowship, Sydney Symphony Orchestra
- Principal Oboe, RTÉ Concert Orchestra
- Principal Oboe, Orchestra of Scottish Opera
- Principal Oboe, Kwazulu-Natal Philharmonic Orchestra
- Cor Anglais, Orchestra of English National Ballet
- Principal Clarinet, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra
- Principal Clarinet, Great Falls Symphony Orchestra, Montana
- Principal Clarinet, Kwazulu-Natal Philharmonic Orchestra
- Clarinettist, Danish Chamber Players
- Principal Bassoon, Sydney Symphony Orchestra
- Principal Bassoon, Orchestra of English National Opera
- Principal Bassoon, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
- Second Bassoon, Israel Sinfonietta
- Second Bassoon, Ulster Orchestra
- James Galway
- Evelyn Barbirolli
- Leon Goossens
- Michael Collins
- Dame Thea King
- Gervase de Peyer
- Frederic Thurston
- Roger Birnstingl
- Archie Camden
- John Harle
- Amy Dickson
Latest from the Woodwind Faculty
Rafael Payare, Juraj Valčuha, Roderick Williams and the Harlem Quartet feature alongside RCM students in this month's online concert series, taking classic performances from our archives. We are also pleased to announce an online showcase of some of our doctoral research.
The RCM is the top conservatoire for music in the 2021 Complete University Guide Arts, Drama and Music table for the second consecutive year
The Royal College of Music is the first institution to partner with digital sheet music library nkoda, offering students access to hundreds of thousands of scores.
Join us online as our digital performance programme continues, including an orchestral masterclass with Maxim Vengerov and Dvořák Symphony no 8 conducted by Thomas Zehetmair
The RCM has launched a free online concert series, offering audiences a diverse programme of broadcasts featuring talented RCM students and celebrated visiting artists.
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
Admissions and general audition enquiries