Royal College of Music
Friday 03 August 2012
Royal College of Music
History: Founded in 1882 by the Prince of Wales - later Edward VII – the well known late Victorian playboy. Prince Albert had a vision, known as Albertropolis, to bring together the best of arts and science institutions in one square half-mile. Thus the Royal College of Art, the Royal Geographical Society, the Royal College of Music, the Royal Albert Hall and Imperial College were collected together next to the museums.
Address: Prince Consort Road, Kensington; surrounded on three sides by Imperial College.
Ambience: Compact site. Original purpose-built building is listed and contains a barrel-vaulted concert hall much admired by English Heritage – re-opened in March 2009 after a £5m major refurbishment. Major addition in 1965 when more practice rooms and a recital hall were constructed in yellow brick. Centenary appeal in 1986 resulted in new Britten Theatre, designed by Sir Hugh Casson. More practice rooms added in 2008.
Vital statistics: It's a small conservatoire with around 700 students, including 200 postgraduates. 40 per cent come from overseas. The college offers its own BMus degree as well as a BSc in physics and musical performance in partnership with Imperial College.
Added value: Exceptional collection of manuscripts, musical instruments and music, as well as Europe's oldest keyboard instrument: a clavicytherium, or portrait harpsichord. It runs exchange schemes with a number of institutions across Europe and the US.
Easy to get into? Depends on your ability - all applicants are auditioned. You need two good A-levels, one of which must be music at grade C or above.
Glittering alumni: Composers Gustav Holst, Ralph Vaughan Williams and Benjamin Britten; Mark-Anthony Turnage; Julian Anderson; singers Dame Joan Sutherland, Sir Thomas Allen, Andrew Kennedy, Elizabeth Watts; James Galway, flautist; Sir Colin Davis, conductor;
Transport links: South Kensington and Gloucester Road tube stations; various buses.
Who's the boss? Professor Colin Lawson, a well-known clarinettist and expert in early music.
Teaching: Scored 86 per cent for student satisfaction in the most recent National Student Survey.
Research: Made the largest submission to and received the largest amount of research funding from the 2008 RAE exercise. It did not take part in the complete university guide 2012.
Nightlife: The student bar organises events, mainly on Friday nights. The hall of residence in Hammersmith houses 170 students, has good music rooms and is a social centre. Glamorous summer ball. Rag Week in February is energetic. Oh, and it's in London, so there's a few things to do there.
Any accommodation? Yes, but a single room in halls costs between £125 and £144 per week without food.
Cheap to live there? Nope. Private rents in the local area start at £100 per week.
Fees: The college will charge the maximum tuition fee of £9,000 for its undergraduate degrees as of 2012.
Bursaries: RCM scholarships are offered to students that have performed exceptionally well at audition. A non-repayable merit-based bursary is also available for students with a household income of less than £27,180.
Prospectus: 020 7589 3643; www.rcm.ac.uk
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