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Royal Academy of Music

From Academic Kids

The Royal Academy of Music is a music school in London, England and one of the leading music institutions in the world. It was founded by Lord Burghersh in 1822 and in 1830 was granted a Royal Charter by King George IV 'to promote the cultivation of the science of music and to afford facilities for attaining perfection in it by assisting with general instruction all persons desirous of acquiring knowledge thereof'. Many of the most important musicians have studied at the RAM since then.

The Academy enjoys a prime location in central London, alongside Regent's Park. Facilities, which include the 450-seat Duke's Hall and a modern Theatre, were expanded in 2001 with the opening of a new 150-seat recital hall and the York Gate Collections, a public museum of musical instruments and artefacts from the Academy's prestigious collections. The Royal Academy of Music is fortunate to have a fine collection of more than 200 stringed instruments from the violin family. These have been acquired for the benefit of students and recent leavers and they are maintained in playing order by the Academy's resident luthier and include several Stradivari, Amatis & Guarneris. The library has over 160,000 items, with a large stock of books and sheet music including significant collections of early printed and manuscript materials and good audio facilities. The Library also houses a Sir Arthur Sullivan archive and a Sir Henry Wood archive. Among the Library's most valuable possessions are the manuscripts of Purcell's The Fairy Queen, Sullivan's The Mikado, Vaughan Williams' Fantasia on a Theme of Thomas Tallis and Serenade to Music and the newly-discovered Handel Gloria ("this piece will give boundless pleasure to singers and players" - Rodney Milnes, The Times, March 2001). A grant from the National Heritage Memorial Fund has assisted in the purchase of the Robert Spencer Collection - one of the finest sets of Early English Song and Lute music, as well as a fine collection of lutes and guitars. The York Gate Collections now display many of these items. The Orchestral Library has about 4,500 sets of orchestral parts, constantly augmented with new acquisitions. Important collections include the libraries of Sir Henry Wood and Otto Klemperer.

The Academy's students, who make up a vibrant community in which over fifty countries are represented, follow diverse programmes ranging from performance to composition, jazz, media, musical theatre and Royal Academy Opera.

Every year the Academy celebrates the work of a living composer with a festival in the presence of the composer. Previous composer festivals at the Academy have featured Witold Lutoslawski, Michael Tippett, Krzysztof Penderecki, Olivier Messiaen, Hans Werner Henze, Luciano Berio, American composers including Elliott Carter, Academy graduates, Alfred Schnittke, György Ligeti, British and American Film, Franco Donatoni, Russian composers including Galina Ustvolskaya, Arvo Pärt, György Kurtág and Mauricio Kagel.

The Academy collaborates with other conservatoires world-wide, including participating in the SOCRATES student and staff exchange programme. In 1991 the Academy became the first conservatoire in Britain to introduce a fully-accredited degree in Performance Studies. In September 1999, the Academy was the first conservatoire to become a full constituent college of the University of London.

The current principal is the noted American scholar Curtis Price.

Past students include:

Many important musicians have had close relation with the Academy:


In 1999 the Academy became a full member of the largest British university, the University of London.

External links


Recognized bodies of the University of London

Birkbeck | Goldsmiths | Heythrop | Imperial | Institute of Cancer Research | Institute of Education | King's | London Business School | LSE | London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine | Queen Mary | Royal Academy of Music | Royal Holloway | Royal Veterinary College | St George's | SOAS | School of Pharmacy | UCL

Listed bodies

British Institute in Paris | Courtauld Institute of Art | School of Advanced Study | University Marine Biological Station, Millport

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