Royal College of Music tops Guardian university league table for music
26 May 2015, Katy Wright
The Royal College of Music (RCM) has been ranked first in the 2016 Guardian university league table for music.
The RCM was the only institution to score maximum marks of 100 in the table, which compares how final-year music students at a number of different institutions perceive their course.
The Guildhall School of Music and Drama and the Royal Academy of Music ranked sixth and seventh respectively. The Royal Welsh College placed 21st, Trinity Laban Conservatoire 28th and the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland 35th.
The Guardian said: ‘Students at London’s Royal College of Music have no excuse not to feel inspired ... Facilities are top-notch and the RCM is aware that it has a duty to prepare its students for viable careers in a difficult industry, not just teach them how to make beautiful music.’
The RCM’s career score was also the highest among universities offering music, with 97% of graduates in graduate-level jobs or further study within six months of graduation.
Individual investment in each student was scored 10/10 (which was also awarded to the universities of Edinburgh, Birmingham, Cambridge and East London).
Professor Colin Lawson, director of the RCM, said: ‘The RCM continues to be a natural first choice for talented students from around the world and I am delighted that the 2016 Guardian University League Table confirms our position as the UK’s leading institution for music education.’
Edinburgh University (ranked second) was the highest placing university, scoring 99.4 overall. Course satisfaction was highest at Sheffield University, which placed 8th. Brunel University came top for teaching satisfaction, with 99.2% of students satisfied with the teaching, while students at the University of Derby were most satisfied with feedback.
Chetham's student Yuanfan Yang wins Cleveland piano competition
26 May 2015
Yuanfan Yang, 18, is a student in the upper sixth form at Chetham’s, where he studies with Murray McLachlan.
He wins $25,000 and a debut recital at the Frick Collection in New York on 13 August.
The Cleveland International Piano Competition’s Young Artists Competition was launched in 2005 as a one-day competition for Ohio piano students.
It was expanded this year to include international pianists and follow the same format as the main competition, one of the most prestigious music contests in the world.
McLachlan said: ‘I have been so pleased and delighted to see Yuanfan’s amazing progress and development as an artist, musician, pianist and young person over seven years of teaching him at Chetham’s.
‘He is a phenomenal worker and is blessed with exceptional musical instincts, co-ordination and natural facility.
‘Already his diary is incredibly full and I expect him to continue developing the international career that has already started in the decades ahead.
‘As a person, Yuanfan has proved to have sensitivity, modesty and integrity and is a great ambassador for Chetham’s.’
Yang was also awarded first prize at the 2014 International Franz Liszt Competition for Young Pianists in Weimar and won the keyboard category of the BBC Young Musician of the Year in 2012.
Manchester’s RNCM introduces principal study recorder options
22 May 2015
The Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM) in Manchester will introduce principal study options in recorder from September at both undergraduate and postgraduate level.
Recorder students will be part of the college’s historical performance department, led by fellows in historical performance Roger Hamilton and Harvey Davies.
Lessons will be given by recorder player Chris Orton and a newly appointed international tutor in recorder, to be announced next year.
Students will also benefit from the RNCM’s partnership with the Academy of Ancient Music.
Paul Goodey, vice-principal (performance) at the RNCM, said: ‘Two years ago, the RNCM appointed two fellows in historical performance who engage with all students, in all schools of study.
‘Their work is closely linked to the instrument-specific training given by the tutors of early instruments.
‘This work is now firmly embedded in the curriculum and has resulted in some outstanding performances ranging from chamber music through to projects with orchestras and choirs, and full-length operas by composers including Handel and Monteverdi.
‘The college now wishes to enhance this work with the introduction of principal study recorder.’
Recorder students will also receive instruction in contemporary music and opportunities to collaborate with students in the school of composition to create new repertoire.
Jonathan Dove children's opera to mark LSO Discovery 25th anniversary
21 May 2015
The London Symphony Orchestra (LSO) will mark the 25th anniversary of its LSO Discovery education programme with the performance of a new children’s opera by Jonathan Dove this summer.
On 5 July, the LSO and music director designate Simon Rattle will be joined by students from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and 220 amateur singers from the LSO Community Choir and LSO Discovery Choirs.
The Monster in the Maze, which retells the story of Theseus, Ariadne and the Minotaur, has been composed specifically to allow students to perform alongside professional musicians.
The work will be premiered in Berlin in June with Rattle and the Berlin Philharmonic, and will receive two further performances by the LSO and the Mediterranean Youth Orchestra at the Aix-en-Provence Festival on 8 and 9 July.
The 5 July concert will also include a performance of Walton’s First Symphony, in which students from the Guildhall School will play alongside members of the LSO.
Music teacher Lila Hallett receives local outstanding contribution award
20 May 2015
A Cheshire music teacher has been honoured with the outstanding contribution award at a new awards ceremony.
Lila Hallet, 83, was presented with the prize at the inaugural Cheshire West Community and Voluntary Arts Awards at Chester Town Hall on Tuesday.
Hallett is a piano teacher and accompanist who has worked as a music teacher in four Chester schools.
She was also involved with setting up the Chester Music Society Youth Choir in the 1980s and is a longtime supporter of the city’s People to People Association, which chooses a talented musician each year from Chester to exchange with one from Colorado, US.
The Cheshire West Community and Voluntary Arts Awards were created by the Cheshire West Voluntary Arts Network to recognise the work of arts groups in the community.
There were award categories for music, children and young people, community performing arts and community visual arts. The music award was won by the Movers and Shakers Choir, a project for people with Parkinson’s disease.
The Chester Youth Symphony Orchestra performed at the awards ceremony.
David Woods, chairman of Cheshire West Voluntary Arts Network, said: ‘We want to celebrate the contribution that community and voluntary arts groups make to the cultural life of our community.
‘We know that participation in the arts either as a participant or as a member of the audience enriches the quality of life, improves a sense of wellbeing and promotes community cohesion.’
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