Royal College of Music
Prince Consort Road, South Kensington, London SW7 2BS
- Gloucester Road Tube Station (0.6 km)
- South Kensington Tube Station (0.7 km)
- Contact us:
020 7589 3643
- Opening hours:
For details of concerts and recitals, please see website. Those wishing to visit the Library who are not members of the College should make contact in advance to discuss their requirements.
1 review of Royal College of Music in English
Founded in 1882 by Edward, Prince of Wales (later Kind Edward VII), the RCM is one of the great educational institutions of the UK. A world-leading conservatoire of music, the list of former students reads as a ‘Who’s Who’ in the world of British Classical music, including Gustav Holst, Ralph Vaughan Williams, Benjamin Britten, Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber, the conductor Leopold Stokowski, Dame Joan Sutherland and Sir James Galway.
Designed by Sir Arthur Blomfield, the main building was completed in 1894. Its red-brick façade rather freely mixes Classical, Romanesque and Gothic elements, all framed by two large towers in the French Baronial style. It provides an imposing prospect from the steps of the Royal Albert Hall opposite. The interior includes two major performance spaces in the Concert Hall (added in 1901 to the designs of the architect Sidney J Smith) and the more intimate Britten Theatre, alongside practice rooms and a smaller recital hall.
The Library has an important collection of original scores and manuscripts from late mediaeval times to the present, and an impressive museum of instruments, which includes 800 items from 1480 to the present.
The college provides academic courses for 600 students from undergraduate to postgraduate level, and the libraries and museum can be accessed by those undertaking research – contact them ahead of your visit to discuss your requirements.
The building is open to the public for performances, which focus on major classical works, opera and chamber music, and the museum is open to the public (free entrance) from Tuesday to Friday from 14h until 16.30h. Recitals are also held in nearby churches and other public buildings. The studios can be hired by musicians, and the halls can be booked for conferences and other major events.
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