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RNCM NEWS Autumn 2010

Benjamin Wallfisch

RNCM conductor, composer and orchestrator wins film-industry acclaim

News 3 Sensational Venezuelan Brass to perform at RNCM Festival 4 S tunning recital room opens thanks to music lover Carole Nash F olk duo Twelfth Day launch their first album FEATURES CONTENTS

5 Alec Crowe Retires after 29 years



Janine Roebuck page 16

8 A  cclaim for composer/conductor Benjamin Wallfisch Sipho Fubesi

10 S ipho Fubesi – on the brink of a professional career. 11 China insight

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Venezuelan Brass page 3

12 RNCM Youth Perform stage The Wiz

Alumni news 16 J anine Roebuck makes it onto the Happy List

Twelfth Day page 4

Benjamin Wallfisch page 8

18 Coull Quartet welcomes Rose Redgrave A  lumni success at Kathleen Ferrier Awards

RNCM Friends 19 Forthcoming Friends’ Events

For Large Print copies of RNCM News, or if you’d prefer to receive it electronically, contact: 0161 907 5338 You can also download it from RNCM, 124 Oxford Road, Manchester. M13 9RD

RNCM Youth Perform stage The Wiz page 12

Venezuelan Brass Ensemble

The sensational 60-strong Venezuelan Brass Ensemble, which wowed the BBC Proms audience in 2007 and performed sell-out concerts at the Royal Festival Hall in 2009, will bring their blend of classical and South American repertoire to The Bridgewater Hall on the closing day of next year’s RNCM Festival of Brass on 30 January. Paul Hindmarsh, artistic director of the Festival is excited about the Ensemble’s involvement, ‘It is going to be a fantastic concert, which will continue to develop the international dimension which we’re gradually introducing into the Festival of Brass. Having heard the Ensemble’s Prom performance, I was thrilled when the opportunity of bringing them to Manchester as guests of the Festival arose. They will be with us at the RNCM on the first two days of the event as well, so they will also have the chance to experience the best of British brass.’ The Venezuelan Brass Ensemble is one of the ensembles born of the famous ‘El Sistema’ education

programme in Venezuela which encourages children and adolescents to get involved in the world of music while giving them new perspectives on life. The majority of the Ensemble’s brass and percussion players are also members of the Simón Bolivar Youth Orchestra, a group which has caused a major sensation across the world in recent years. The Daily Telegraph commented that ‘The power of the sound they make is immense and intense. Great waves of fabulous brass hit you somewhere in your stomach.’ Members of the Ensemble will also be working with the RNCM Outreach team to deliver their Aimhigher World Music

RNCM to feature on BBC Radio 3 The RNCM will feature on BBC Radio 3’s Performance on 3 for five successive days in the autumn. Over the last few months, the BBC has recorded interviews with students, staff and performers for five programmes, with each one looking at a different strand of our performance programme: La Clemenza di Tito, RNCM Gospel Choir and RNCM Day of Song, RNCM Violin Weekend, the Alexander Goehr Festival and the RNCM Symphony and Concert Orchestras at the Bridgewater Hall. In addition to the radio programmes, there will be a promotional film on the BBC website which followed the production of La Clemenza di Tito. Transmission dates will be confirmed shortly and you can check for updates. London Chamber Orchestra premières new works by RNCM Students

Day. They will be working with around 100 young people from local schools participating in practical workshops.

The London Chamber Orchestra performed the world premières of A Room Where You Can Sing by postgraduate cellist Anna Menzies and Chiaroscuro by undergraduate composer David Futers at St John’s Smith Square in London in May.

Venezuelan Brass Ensemble

The compositions were selected as the result of a nationwide competition run by the orchestra. Anna and David took part in an initial study day last November, attended by over 70 composers from across the UK, which explored the relationship between music and architecture in a day of lectures and tours. The scores of six composers were chosen to be rehearsed and recorded in a workshop as part of London’s East Festival in March, before the performance itself a couple of months later.


Sensational Venezuelan Brass to perform at RNCM Festival




RNCM students and visiting artists will soon be able to perform in a stunning new recital room at the College thanks to the generosity of Cheshire-based business-woman and music lover Carole Nash.


Her major gift to the College will fund the transformation of the Lord Rhodes Room into a performance space with a state-of-the-art recording suite. ‘We are delighted to announce the creation of such an exciting new project,’ said RNCM Principal, Profesor Jonty Stockdale, ‘and we are extremely grateful to Carole for her generous gift which is enabling us transform our public recital

room in a way that will inspire performers and transform the experience of our audiences. The ability to vary the acoustic of the room, to use flexible lighting to create the right atmosphere, and the capacity to make high quality professional recordings in this environment is a leap forward for the College.’ Carole is really happy to be playing a part in helping our young musicians to develop their

potential: ‘The RNCM provides the foundation to so many young talented musicians in their career development, and I feel sure that these new facilities will enhance their opportunities for the future,’ she said. The room will be renamed the Carole Nash Recital Room and converted into a modern recital and function space. The refurbishment will enable the College to use the room for a greater variety of events and

An artist’s impression of the new Room

will add the highest quality acoustics, together with a stateof-the-art recording suite for use by students, staff, and visiting musicians enabling interactive live performance work and top quality professional recording. The inspirational design incorporates variable acoustics, a glass gallery and sophisticated lighting control, ensuring that it will also be a wonderful room to welcome guests to the College.

Folk duo Twelfth Day launch their first album RNCM undergraduate students Catriona Price and Esther Swift have been gathering fans and critical acclaim as folk duo Twelfth Day in recent months and have just released their first album, Northern Quarter, on their own record label (Orange Feather Records). The BBC’s James Sutherland described their music as ‘...glorious… heavenly… utterly beguiling.’

Esther Swift and Catriona Price

Catriona, a violinist and Esther, a harpist, both left the College this summer are now on a UK tour including a stint at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Catriona plans to move to London to study at the Royal Academy of Music, but they will continue to perform as Twelfth Day. They said, ‘Everything that we have learned and experienced at the RNCM has given us the

confidence to not limit our musical ambitions and to be receptive to whichever doors open for us.’ In May they headlined the monthly For Folks Sake night which is held at different venues across Manchester, and their album was launched at the June gig. The album includes both self-penned tracks and their own arrangements of traditional folk songs. Catriona and Esther were both steeped in traditional folk music from an early age. Catriona grew up in the Orkney Islands and Esther in Peebles, but they met and became friends at St Mary’s Music School in Edinburgh, both then coming to study at the RNCM four years ago.

Alec Crowe

Alec Crowe Retires after 29 years

It was Alec’s skill as a pianist that first brought him to the Opera Staff at the RNCM in 1981 after eight years as repetiteur and Head of Music Staff at the Niedersächsische Staatstheater in Hannover. That long stint accounts for more than just his familiarity with the German language and its more abstruse sayings. (Alec is quite a linguist – a spell in Helsinki as a research student means that he has a good working knowledge of Finnish, too). It also gave him added value as a candidate for his first post here as Senior Music Tutor as there was no-one on the existing opera staff who specialised in German repertoire. Having worked in an opera house which performed 45 different pieces every year for eight years, Alec’s knowledge in this sphere was already extensive. Alec was drawn to the RNCM by its already considerable reputation and by a desire to

teach and share his knowledge with people who wanted to learn: ‘I wanted to work with young people who were fresh, ambitious, and who loved what they were doing.’ Throughout his 29 years in various roles, as Senior Music Tutor, Head of Music Staff and, finally, Head of School in 2001 he has enjoyed witnessing a steady rise in the standard of student candidates and noted how the world of opera has changed for the graduates with whom he has worked: ‘There are fewer companies now, but more people. In the Eighties the top flight people could expect to be doing cover roles at ENO and the like within eighteen months of graduating. Now it’s ten years before they reach that stage. As a result, a lot of people seem to be setting up their own small companies – like Janet Fischer (soprano, 2008) and her Elemental Opera.’

RNCM operas that are particular highlights for him include the 2000 Magic Flute ‘that was pretty special’, The Queen of Spades and the small scale productions that followed the opening of the Studio Theatre – Tamerlano, The Turn of the Screw and The Cunning Little Vixen. ‘But the biggest highlight of all in connection with opera has been working with Head of Opera Stefan Janski – working with an inspirational genius as a director.’ Alec will be returning to the RNCM and elsewhere as repetiteur and teacher, as well as doing more work for the Royal School of Church Music. He does not hide the fact that he relishes leaving all the administrative demands of the post behind, swapping the computer keyboard for the piano once again.


Alec Crowe retires as Head of School of Vocal and Opera Studies in August 2010, bringing to a close 29 years of dedicated teaching and leadership at the RNCM. Above all, it is his role as a teacher and nurturer of young talent that Alec has valued most: ‘It has been a most amazing privilege to work with such talented young people. There is no body of people that I would rather work with ever, because they are so rewarding and you learn so much from them. It is a real two-way process.’ No doubt the countless students who owe him so much over the years would have no quarrel with that. Paying tribute to his commitment to the College, Principal Jonty Stockdale said: ‘I should like to thank Alec for his huge contribution to the work of the College. His professionalism and dry sense of humour have been greatly appreciated by staff and students over the years, and we look forward to welcoming him back, albeit in a different capacity, next term’.

Historic Musical Instruments Catalogue Published A complete catalogue of the College’s collection of historic musical instruments has been published, bringing together two collections that were originally assembled by Dr Henry Watson (1846-1911) and Josiah Thomas Chapman (1843-1907). It now contains over 300 instruments. The collection consists of European wind, strings and

keyboard and non-European wind, strings and percussion. In addition to a number of keyboards by Broadwood, viols by Barak Norman and Collingwood and a violino piccolo by Stradivarius it also contains an interesting collection of bows from prominent makers of the late 18th and early 19th centuries.

Among the musically-related artefacts is a death mask of Chopin, one of the originals made by the sculptor Clésinger immediately after the composer’s death. The catalogue is available for £40 (Postage and packing costs: UK £9.50, international £17.50). Contact anna.wright@rncm. for further details.



RNCM triumphs at YCAT finals

Vincent David and Joan Rodgers Appointed as International Chairs

The RNCM has continued its excellent record in the Young Concert Artists Trust finals as mezzo-soprano Kathryn Rudge and the Rhodes Piano Trio were selected for representation at the Public Final Auditions held at Wigmore Hall in May. In both 2008 and 2009 three of the four selected had RNCM training. Kathryn is currently a postgraduate student at the College studying with Susan Roper and will join the RNCM Opera Studio in September. She recently reached the semi-finals of the BBC Radio 2 Dame Kiri Prize, and will perform the lead role in RNCM Opera’s December production of Carmen. She has also just won an Allcard Award from the Worshipful Company of Musicians to assist her postgraduate study.

French virtuoso saxophonist Vincent David and Joan Rodgers, one of the best-loved British sopranos, have joined the RNCM as International Chairs. Their appointments mean that students will benefit from performances and masterclasses led by the musicians throughout the year.

Kathryn Rudge

A member of the contemporary music ensemble Ensemble Intercontemporain, he has worked with many leading artists, including Pierre Boulez, David Robertson, Jonathan Nott and Peter Eotvös. In 2001 Vincent collaborated with Pierre Boulez, to create a new version

The Rhodes Piano Trio Michael Gurevich (violin 2009), David Edmonds (cello 2004) and Robert Thompson (piano 2008) was formed at the RNCM in September 2003 under the guidance of the late Dr Christopher Rowland and they have performed at the annual RNCM Chamber Music Festival since 2005. Rhodes Piano Trio

Vincent David graduated from the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris, where he studied musical analysis with Alain Poirier and Alain Louvier, and saxophone with Claude Delangle. He has won three international saxophone competitions, The Concours International Adolphe Sax de Dinant in 1994, The Concours d’exécution musicale de Genève in 1995 and The Concours International Jean-Marie Londeix de Bordeaux in 1996.

Vincent David

of Boulez’s Dialogue de l’ombre double for saxophone, and now performs this in recitals and concerts around the world. Alongside performing, Vincent gives masterclasses throughout Europe and Asia, as well as teaching at the Conservatory of Versailles in France. Joan Rodgers, who trained at the RNCM, joins the School of Vocal Studies as International Chair in Singing. She has appeared in recitals throughout Europe and the USA including London, Paris, Vienna, Amsterdam, Moscow and New York, and in concert with conductors including Solti, Barenboim, Mehta, Rattle, Harnoncourt, Mackerras, Ashkenazy, Salonen and Rattle.

Joan Rodgers

She is also a frequent guest at the BBC Proms. Her operatic engagements have included regular appearances at the Royal Opera House, English National Opera, Glyndebourne, and other leading companies in Britain, Europe and the USA. Joan’s many recordings include Mozart’s da Ponte trilogy with Daniel Barenboim and the Berlin Philharmonic, The Turn of the Screw (Virgin), solo discs of Tchaikovsky, Mozart and Wolf (Hyperion), The Creation (Philips) and Rachmaninov songs with Howard Shelley (Chandos). Hyperion recently released a CD of songs by Prokofiev, Mussorgsky, Shostakovich and Britten. Joan, a Fellow of the RNCM, was awarded the CBE in the 2001 New Year’s Honours List.

RNCM Gala Dinner to take place on the set of Carmen We are delighted to announce that the inaugural RNCM Gala Dinner will take place on Tuesday 7 December 2010 on the set of the RNCM’s Christmas production of the world-famous opera Carmen.

opens. All proceeds from this event will go towards supporting our talented young students, many of whom would not be able to take up their places at the RNCM without your support.

Guests will have the unique opportunity to dine on the opera set and be dazzled by the brightest young stars studying at the RNCM, with the chance to take a look behind the scenes before the Christmas production of Carmen

This gala event will be presented in association with Manchester’s premier party organisers TLC and our media partner RMS. For tickets to this exclusive event (£100 per person) or to find out about sponsorship

opportunities, please contact Elizabeth Blanckenberg on 0161 907 5394 or visit

A ‘SPECTACULAR OFFERING’ AT THE BRIDGEWATER HALL Praised in the music press as ‘yet another spectacular offering’ from the Royal Northern College of Music, this year’s annual concert at The Bridgewater Hall, featuring the RNCM Symphony and Concert Orchestras, attracted an unprecedented audience of more than 1300 people.

André de Ridder conducts The Rite of Spring


‘Every now and then the city comes good and its citizens are treated to something extra special,’ said one journalist, describing an exceptional evening of avant-garde experimentalism as students performed music by Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood, alongside Icelandic phenomenon Ólafur Arnalds. Conducted by André de Ridder, the experimental work proved to be a must-see for all Radiohead fans. In addition to the main classical showcase, RNCM Ensembles performed arrangements of songs from Radiohead’s Kid A, The Bends and In Rainbows albums, creating a truly festival buzz in the bars and lounges of the Bridgewater Hall.


The students performed Stravinksky’s, highly influential, The Rite of Spring and the Dyad Percussion Duo performed Spices, Perfumes and Toxins by contemporary Israeli composer Avner Dorman. Toby Smith, Director of Performance and Programming, explained his inspiration for the event; ‘I was taken with the idea of The Rite of Spring being such a cultural turning point, and was amazed at the number of artists who have cited it as a key influence in their own artistic development. By programming Jonny Greenwood’s Popcorn Superhet Receiver and commissioning Ólafur Arnalds to arrange his latest set of songs for symphonic forces, we created a programme that is attractive to people new to orchestral sounds, where each work relates to those around it, and together defines in a single evening the different ways that a symphony orchestra comes to life in the modern age.’

André de Ridder

Beats and Pieces Big Band

Greenwood’s Popcorn Superhet Receiver

Eva Thorarinsdottir

Ólafur Arnalds

DYAD Percussion Duo


Acclaim for composer/conductor Benjamin Wallfisch When conductor, composer and pianist Benjamin Wallfisch (2001) was commissioned to write his debut film score for Lars von Trier’s film Dear Wendy at the age of 24, he couldn’t have expected it to receive a nomination as Discovery of the Year in the 2005 World Soundtrack Awards and Best Original Score in the 2006 Danish Film Academy Awards.


Benjamin’s debut film score was for Lars von Trier’s film Dear Wendy

Benjamin with composer Dario Marianelli and director Terry Gilliam during the recording sessions for Gilliam’s 2005 movie The Brothers Grimm

This was just the beginning of his hugely successful career as a composer and conductor, working regularly in the cinema, recently including his orchestration of Marc Stretienfeld’s original score for one of this summer’s blockbuster films, Ridley Scott’s Robin Hood. To date, Benjamin has contributed to 29 feature films and recently received an Ivor Novello Award nomination for his original score for Rupert Wyatt’s The Escapist, featured in the 2008 Sundance Film Festival, as well as Emmy and multiple World Soundtrack Award nominations for other projects. He works closely with Italian composer Dario Marianelli as orchestrator and conductor, collaborating on a number of awardwinning films including Marianelli’s Oscar® winning score for Joe Wright’s Atonement. Now based in both London and Los Angeles, Benjamin just completed orchestrating and conducting Marianelli’s score for Julia Robert’s new film, Eat Pray Love. He is about to start composing the score for Joe Cornish’s film Attack the Block and next year will begin writing a major concert work commissioned by the London Philharmonic. Although working regularly in film music, his musical life is still influenced by conducting and concert music. ‘It is important not to be too prescriptive in your influences as a musician – cinema, live performance, theatre, ballet all come together and keep my writing and conducting fresh.’

Benjamin’s musical pedigree is second to none his father is Raphael Wallfisch: one of the most celebrated cellists performing on the international stage today and a visiting tutor at the RNCM, and his mother, Elizabeth, is the renowned violinist and interpreter of 17th and 18th violin music, and participated earlier this year in the inaugural RNCM Strings Day. He is also the grandson of the celebrated cellist Anita Lasker-Wallfisch and pianist Peter Wallfisch. Following in a tradition of outstanding musical achievement, Ben studied on the Joint Course at RNCM/University of Manchester and graduated with a first class degree in Composition in 2001. Anthony Gilbert, the then Head of the School of Composition, had a major influence on his Ben’s development, setting very high expectations for the young composer at a time when he says he needed someone to guide him. ‘Tony helped me see that everything in the score needs to have a reason to be there – the method and music might be quite complex but must be driven by something coherent, consistent and honest. His teaching still influences both my composing and conducting today.’ Benjamin describes the environment of the RNCM as ‘an opportunity to explore what I was about as a musician in a wonderful atmosphere. I was given


Benjamin conducting rehearsal with the Hamburg Symphony, 2008


the chance to explore my composing, conducting and piano playing with the best possible training.’ In addition to his composition work, Benjamin conducts orchestras around the world including the London Symphony, Philharmonia, Sydney Symphony and the Los Angeles Philharmonic and from 2002–2007 was Associate Conductor of the English Chamber Orchestra. He made his BBC Proms debut in 2006 conducting the world première of Escape Velocity, which he composed under his tenure as Associate Composer of the Orchestra of St John’s. Acclaimed by The Strad as ‘one of the finest accompanists anywhere on the podium’, he has performed with some of the world’s leading soloists including Evelyn Glennie, Dame Felicity Lott and Igor Oistrakh. Benjamin’s debut CD was released in 2006 to critical acclaim and he has written for the Belcea Quartet, Hallé, Manchester Camerata and Netherlands Radio Philharmonic among many others. His music has been performed all over the world at venues including the Barbican, Berlin Philharmonie, Cadogan Hall and Sadler’s Wells. Benjamin’s career is undoubtedly in the ascendance, leading the way as one of a new group of musicians enjoying a dual career as both composer and conductor.

Left: Benjamin orchestrated Ridley Scott’s Robin Hood Below: Benjamin collaborated with composer Dario Marianelli on The Soloist and Atonement


Sipho Fubesi Sipho Fubesi


Sipho in La Clemenza di Tito

RNCM Opera Studio student, Sipho Fubesi, is earning growing national acclaim as an outstanding tenor. Here we recount his remarkable story, which began just eight years ago with a chance encounter in Cape Town … Gifted South African RNCM tenor, Sipho Fubesi, has overcome significant challenges to pursue his ambition to become a professional singer. In this article, we describe the path followed by this promising young singer, who, despite the odds, finds himself on the brink of a professional career. As winner of the John Hosier Music Trust Award for 2010, Sipho Fubesi recently met Patron of the Trust, Sir Simon Rattle at the Royal Albert Hall – an occasion which marks a major highlight in the singer’s burgeoning career. And this Autumn, Sipho joins the RNCM Opera Studio, which is designed to train and prepare exceptional performers for the professional world. The year will begin with rehearsals for the lead role of Don Jose in the RNCM’s production of Carmen to be staged in December.

“Sipho Fubesi is an attractive …character actor with a strong, mature tenor” Manchester Evening News

Sipho in La Belle Hélène

Born on South Africa’s Eastern Cape, as a child Sipho had access to church and choral music but no exposure to classical music or opera. By the time he started secondary school he was fascinated by music and singing. Inspired by

a teacher who played him a recording of the Three Tenors, Sipho continued to sing in choirs and have informal singing lessons but he couldn’t yet read music. A chance encounter in Cape Town led to a life-changing opportunity. In 2002, while working in his cousin’s shop, Sipho met two members of Cape Town Opera. They advised him to attend the auditions being held by the company the following week. The men (Loyiso Dlova and Mpendulo Yawa who now perform with South African group, the Gugulethu Tenors) then helped Sipho to learn his audition pieces. Sipho was awarded a place on the Cape Town Opera Choral Training Programme which was highly unusual for a young singer with no formal music education. While on the programme, he learned to read music and about the different languages used by opera composers, which in turn dramatically improved his English (Sipho’s first language is Isixhosa, spoken by the majority of people in the Eastern Cape). Sipho subsequently won a full scholarship to the University of Cape Town, after which he joined Cape Town Opera’s Voice of the

Nation Studio programme, a scheme for 10 of South Africa’s most promising singers. During this time, he performed principal roles in many operas, including Verdi’s Rigoletto and Tamino in The Magic Flute. It was at this time that Sipho auditioned to attend the RNCM and he joined the MMus course on a full scholarship. He received the Anne Ziegler Award and is currently supported by the Thomas Edward Wilson Bursary, the Countess of Munster Trust, the Lord and Lady Lurgan Trust, and the Leverhulme Trust. Despite moving to another continent, Sipho has thrived during his time at the College. He has performed several lead roles, including Paris in La Belle Hélène and Tito in La Clemenza di Tito. He has received some excellent reviews, including for La Belle Hélène being praised for his ‘strong presence’ and his ‘full-toned expressive singing’. Sipho recently reached the final 11 candidates for the Jette Parker Young Artists Programme 2010/11 and the programme’s artistic director, David Gowland, offered to mentor Sipho. He has also performed for internationally renowned bass-baritone and RNCM President, Sir Willard White.

China Insight

There is an extraordinary musical revolution underway in China, where more than 45 million children are learning the piano and 20 million are learning to play the violin. RNCM Director of Development Kate Seeckts gives an account of the RNCM’s part in this exciting venture. Superb concert halls are being built in cities across China, and there is an increasing interest and passion among young people for classical music, which is now central to their education. So it’s not surprising that some very talented and already established musicians are emerging by the end of their school days. Staff from conservatoires around the world increasingly flock to Beijing, and Shanghai in particular, to see just what is going on in China. In 2001, the then Principal Edward Gregson travelled to Beijing on the RNCM’s first official visit, to discuss developing relations with China’s prestigious Beijing Central Conservatory of Music and he returned with a signed partnership agreement. He was accompanied by violin teacher Wen Zhou Li and Chinese RNCM alumnus and cellist Qin Liwei (1999), who performed with the China National Symphony Orchestra during the visit. This year Liwei’s teacher and RNCM International Chair in Cello, Ralph Kirshbaum, performed in Beijing’s recentlybuilt National Concert Hall again with the China National Symphony Orchestra. He also

gave masterclasses to students at Beijing Central and in Shanghai. Since the initial visit, relations have moved on considerably. We have developed formal partnership agreements with the other major conservatoires – the Shanghai Conservatory, Sichuan Conservatory and most recently, with Wuhan Conservatory following a visit by RNCM Dean of Performance Studies Professor Malcolm Layfield, the College has also established links with the Shengyang and Guanzhou Conservatories and Huangzhou Arts School and has created a formal friendship agreement with the Hong Kong Academy of the Performing Arts. In 2008 we began a new venture, taking us beyond teaching, performing and auditioning students. We needed to help our Chinese students afford to study in Manchester and felt that the best way to do this was to raise the money in China itself. So we established the RNCM China Fund in Shanghai. The Fund was the first overseas charity to be set up in China with full tax benefits for businesses and individuals who make donations - this was enabled by establishing our

fund within the Governmentsponsored Shanghai Science Popularization Foundation. Besides having a remit to raise money to support the costs of bringing over Chinese musicians, the Fund has a responsibility to ‘popularise’ music amongst the children in Shanghai. This relationship has allowed the College to establish a number of outreach projects which include running both a violin and piano competition for school children, with prizes that include the opportunity to visit Manchester. The finals of the inaugural competition were held in November 2009 when RNCM Head of Keyboard Studies Graham Scott and two of our most eminent violin teachers, Yair Kless and Wen Zhou Li, flew to Shanghai to act as the jury as well as offering masterclasses at the Conservatoire. Graham then went on to give a recital at the Beijing Concert Hall. The first recipient of the RNCM China Award is Jingya Sun, who comes from the Sichuan Conservatory, which was badly hit during the earthquake in 2008. Also supported by the Sino-British Fellowship Trust and a private sponsor, Mr

Stuart Kinsey, Jingya has just completed a MMus in piano, studying with Benjamin Frith. Working with the Shanghai Government through the Foundation has enabled us to substantially strengthen our links in the past year with a whole range of bodies. In February we were awarded the 2010 UK Trade & Investment China Education Links award. We are delighted to have secured a major partnership with Finnair, which enables us to fly to China throughout 2010. The College has also featured widely in national press campaigns promoting Finnair’s scheduled routes from Manchester to Asia and has been the subject of a film made by Finnair during the Shanghai trip, which can be viewed at With the support of Finnair, fifteen students will fly to China this Autumn for performances in Shanghai to catch the end of the Expo, travelling to Wuhan, Chengdu and Beijing. For a sneak preview of the first two pieces of the tour programme, come to the RNCM String Orchestra Concert on Friday 1 October at 7.30pm.


Kate Seeckts Director of Development



Brodsky opening september 2010

RNCM Youth Perform stage The Wiz The RNCM’s youth theatre group, Youth Perform, delivered an enthralling performance of The Wiz in April, wowing audiences and delighting critics.

12 Students and visitors will be able to enjoy a stylish new restaurant and bar when a new outlet, Brodksy, opens in the College in September. Brodsky will be open each day from 11am – 11pm providing a range of mouth-watering dishes, snacks, hot and cold drinks and a fantastic selection of wines, sprits, lagers and its famous cask ales. Manchesterbased architects Building Design Partnership have been appointed to develop the space, which will also be available to hire. The new restaurant is named after Russian violinist Adolf Brodsky, the former Principal of the Royal Manchester College of Music, Director of the Hallé Orchestra and founder of the Brodsky Quartet. Brodsky came to Manchester at the invitation of Charles Hallé, to teach at the College and direct the Hallé Orchestra. He taught at the College from 1895 until his death, becoming Principal in 1896. He also famously held a Christmas dinner in Leipzig, at which Johannes Brahms, Tchaikovsky and Edward Grieg met.

Adolf Brodsky

‘The strong cast do an admirable job and provide boundless energy from the off, bringing Clegg’s clear and pacey production vividly to life,’ said one reviewer. The RNCM Outreach team created Youth Perform in 2009 and it now has around 30 members aged 14-18 years from all over the North West. Caroline Clegg, artistic director of Feelgood Theatre Productions, directs the group and also mentors the RNCM students who work alongside her during rehearsals. The group’s members experienced how a professional production is put together and RNCM students also developed skills which will help them in their future careers.

Many of the cast came from Youth Perform but students from the RNCM and our Junior School also took part which created a team with differing backgrounds and experiences who could all learn from each other. ‘The RNCM opened my eyes to musical theatre and has definitely inspired me,’ said Kira Maher, Youth Perform member ‘I’ve met so many amazing people and would definitely recommend anyone who is passionate about performing arts to get involved.’ The RNCM Outreach team, Michelle Robinson, Fiona Stuart and Louise Godfrey, were thrilled with the success of the show. ‘The members of Youth Perform really rose to the occasion,’

said Michelle Robinson, RNCM Outreach Manager ‘and we hope it has established them as a group that will continue to go from strength to strength. They are a real asset to the College and an example of young people working very hard to achieve their goals.’ The Wiz drew on a wealth of experience and skills from within the College which contributed to its success. RNCM undergraduate singer Soraya Mafi, horeographed the show, the role of Musical Director was taken by Tom Newall, a current RNCM postgraduate conducting student, who was mentored by Clark Rundell, Head of Conducting with RNCM students making up the band.

Future Talent Champions visit RNCM


a momentous thirty-seven years’ service A scene from La Belle Hélène

Philip Edwards’ first paid job in the theatre, back in July 1959, was as lighting operator for a local dance school in his native Aberystwyth. 51 years later in July 2010, when he marked his 66th birthday by throwing the switch for the last time as RNCM Venues Lighting Manager, he was working on very much the same sort of production: a showcase performance by the Heatherlea Dance School of Glossop. In the intervening years he worked on at least 75 RNCM opera productions, designed the lighting for over 90 per cent of those, and has taken great pleasure in providing a professional service for the numerous visiting companies using the RNCM Opera Theatre. Philip joined the RNCM in April 1973, returning to full-time theatre after eight years in London in what he describes as the ‘sausage factory’ world of

Set from the production of Die Fledermaus

BBC television production. ‘I was attracted to the RNCM in particular because the theatre was big enough for opera, unlike so many of the theatres opening at that time. I’m not a musician and have no musical training, but I had drifted into opera some years earlier.’ He also enjoyed being part of a new team in a new building; ‘We had to address the things that the architect had left out, and establish the protocol. Then, as now, it was a unique place – the only music college with full-time professional venues staffed by professionals.’ There was obviously an exceptional excitement about those early years, when visiting companies for whom Philip operated the lights included the Royal Shakespeare Company, Scottish Opera and two seasons at Sadlers Wells, a

Scandinavian tour or two and even a season in LA ‘though all I saw there was the inside of the theatre. I had one afternoon off.’ Pushed to identify some highlights of his time at the RNCM, Philip will only say that ‘all the operas have been in one way or another very satisfying. Funnily enough, the opera scenes – so important for the students’ training - have been even more so, because they are probably the most difficult to light: you don’t get the time and the indepth research for those like you do for the main operas.’

Two promising young musicians spent the day at the RNCM as part of their involvement with the Future Talent Champions project run by Future Talent, a charity founded by the RNCM’s former President, Katharine Kent. Viola player Tim Bailey played with the RNCM String Collective and singer Catherine Cropper spent the day with the director and cast of RNCM Opera’s production of La Clemenza di Tito as they rehearsed. Tim will join the RNCM as an undergraduate this autumn.

What he will miss most about the RNCM is the people: ‘I have worked with a lot of extremely good people, not only in the theatre and the opera department, but all the orchestral staff, and the academic and building staff.’ He particularly mentions his strong partnership with Stefan Janski which has led to a number of MEN Theatre Awards for RNCM opera productions over the years.

The project is run in conjunction with the Education Department of the Hallé and local Music Services in Greater Manchester, and provides bursaries and development opportunities to talented musicians aged between five and 18 across the UK who otherwise may not have the opportunity to advance their musicianship.

As to the future, Philip will continue running the theatre lighting business which he set up with his wife Christine a few years ago, and plans to carry on with his freelance lighting design work – no doubt some of it here at the RNCM. The RNCM has almost certainly not seen the last of Philip Edwards, lighting designer extraordinaire.

‘We are so grateful for the support that the RNCM has given Future Talent. All of our musicians are nurtured throughout their time with us and experiences such as this ensure that we are able to provide the best possible development opportunities for the young musicians we’re supporting.’ said Charlotte Penton-Smith, Director of Future Talent


Liverpool Opera Circle 75th Anniversary Gala Concert


Brazilian postgraduate singer Flávia Lima, who holds the 2010 Liverpool Opera Circle Vocal Award, delighted members of the Liverpool Opera Circle at their 75th Anniversary Concert, earlier this year, along with fellow RNCM students Hanna-Liisa Midwood-Kirchin, Matthew 14 Moss and Andrew Fellowes. The concert was held in the Reading Room of the historic Athenaeum Club in Liverpool – a perfect setting for the Gala Concert; ‘We took away with us, in joy, an indelible memory fused with the conviction that greatness lay ahead.’ said Ursula Hamilton, Chairman of the organisation. ‘We wish them the ultimate success.’ Flavia who was in the second year of her Masters degree studying with Thomas Schulze, was born in São Paulo and was taught by Brazilian contralto Leilah Farah, following her graduation from the Carlos Gomes Music College. The Liverpool Opera Circle Vocal Award, which was established in 2008, holds a gala concert each year to raise money for a bursary for vocal students at ther RNCM.

Flávia Lima

Terence Greaves MA BMus (Oxon) FRNCM FBSM Dean of Development 1973 – 1980 Dean of Undergraduate Studies 1980 – 1989 Acting Principal 1984 – 1985

A Tribute to Terence Greaves It is with great sadness that we record the death of Terence Greaves at the end of last year. Terry was the first senior external appointee of the newly formed Royal Northern College of Music in 1973. Arriving from the Birmingham School of Music, Terry joined the former Principals of the ‘old’ colleges, Ida Carroll and Dr John Wray, as Dean of Development. He played a crucial role in establishing and developing the Academic courses in the ‘new’ College and in stabilising

staff and student relationships during a time of intense change and new initiatives. Under Sir John Manduell’s dynamic leadership, Terry proved an ideal, even-handed foil. In the maelstrom of new projects and ambitious developments he was a model of good sense, practicality and real integrity. He preferred to shun the limelight, but was an effective acting Principal when Sir John Manduell was seconded to oversee Britain’s contribution to European Music Year in 1984-5.

Terry also worked for the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music as a valued adviser and examiner for many years – work of immense value to the College, which continued throughout his retirement. He was an accomplished composer/ arranger and pianist, writing music which reflected his own qualities of warmth and approachability. The ‘off-duty’ Terry was a raconteur of great hilarity with a fund of anecdotes delivered with panache. He is sadly missed by his wide circle of friends and colleagues.

Manchester Airports Group become RNCM’s International Partner The Manchester Airports Group (MAG) has become International Partner of the RNCM. As part of this partnership, RNCM musicians will work with schools in the Airport’s local communities, bringing live music to new audiences, and the Airport will sponsor performances by top international artists appearing at the College. To launch this new partnership, MAG sponsored the performance by the Kyle Eastwood Band on 12 June and will sponsor the upcoming concert by California Kirana on 5 November.

MAG have been strong supporters of arts and culture for many years and are one of the largest arts sponsors in the UK, giving a share of their profits to arts sponsorship each year. This is the first time that the RNCM and MAG have worked together in this way and this new partnership will reflect both organisations’ prestigious profiles within the North West region, the UK and worldwide. The RNCM’s students represent over 50 different countries and many of our renowned teachers fly into Manchester from all over the world to train and inspire our talented young musicians. Manchester Airport

is the UK’s largest regional airport serving more than 190 destinations worldwide and contributing over £1,000 million to the North West economy every year. ‘We are delighted to be working with the Manchester Airports Group, such long-standing supporters of the arts in the North West. ‘The RNCM enjoys international renown and this new partnership celebrates this and our vital role in the cultural life of the region,’ commented Kate Seeckts, the RNCM’s Director of Development.


Benefactors’ Evening celebrates support for RNCM students As well as those mentioned, the full programme included performances by:


Steven Proctor The Oglesby Charitable Trust Michael Davies The Milton Waring Scholarship Rhys Matthews The John Fewkes Leicestershire Instrumentalist Awards Zoe Milton-Brown The Fenton Arts Trust Sipho Fubesi The John Hosier Music Trust, Lord and Lady Lurgan Trust, The Leverhulme Trust, The Anne Ziegler Award and the Thomas Edward Wilson Bursary Tim Abel The RNCM John Wilson Junior Fellowship in Piano Accompaniment Gemma Sheehan-Dare The Dobie Award and the Pat Barney Bursary Kathryn Rudge The BBC Fame Academy Bursary Mikhail Nemtsov The Pidem Fund Elena Nemtsova The Leverhulme Junior Fellowship in Piano Accompaniment.

Zoe Milton-Brown

The annual Benefactors’ Evening, held on 10 May, was both a celebration and an opportunity for students and staff to thank the many benefactors whose generous financial support makes such an enormous difference to RNCM students. During the evening, two solo pianists performed including second year undergraduate Julian Clef from India. Julian had no formal training before coming to the UK in 2006 but thanks to a Trust established by his guardians and many friends and supporters, money is raised each year to pay for his fees and living expenses. There are many interesting and touching stories behind both the students’ personal journeys through their studies and also the motivations behind the gifts received. Postgraduate composition student Michael

Cutting is supported by the Arnold Cooke Award. The royalties from Arnold Cooke’s compositions pay for the award and his daughter visits every year to meet the award-holder. This year the Riga Heesom Award was established as a result of a bequest from Miss Heesom who studied piano at the Northern School of Music during the late 1940s and early 1950s. Her close friend Simon Marriott and her cousin Albert Heesom both travelled to the College to meet the first two recipients of the Award - violinist Kay Stephen and double-bassist Geoff Chalmers. Neither had visited the RNCM before and both enjoyed the performances and the chance to talk to Geoff and Kay. Geoff Chalmers also received the Martyn Edwards Jazz Bursary established by Diana

Tim Abel

Kealey-Edwards in memory of her late husband. Geoff was joined by last year’s bursary holder Rory Duffy as they concluded the evening’s programme with Luiz Bonfa’s Black Orpheus. The College’s many sponsors derive great pleasure from knowing they have helped nurture the next generation of musicians and often they get to know their students well. Sometimes, however, distance or circumstances prevent regular visits to the RNCM so the event is a chance to meet individual students and to enjoy a selection of performances. If you would like to talk to someone about what is involved in supporting a student, please contact Christine Henstock on 0161 907 5392 or


Left to right Janine as Vladimir in Fatinitza, Pitti-Sing in The Mikado and in the lead role of Carmen

Janine makes it onto the Happy List…


Janine Roebuck

It was while studying French at Manchester University that Janine Roebuck (mezzo soprano, 1980) was advised that, due to her hearing loss, she should give up her dream of being an opera singer and just sing as a hobby. This marked the start of her long battle to find ways of compensating for her deafness as she ignored the advice and continued to perform in the University’s Gilbert and Sullivan Society’s productions. Janine went on to study at the RNCM with Nicholas Powell and the late Frederick Cox, but during this time and her subsequent studies at the National Opera Studio in London and Paris Conservatoire, no one knew she was deaf. She developed methods of concealing her hearing problems by watching the other singers’ breathing out of the corner of her eye to ensure they came in together and had to learn to sing by sensation and not by what she could hear. She trained her eyes to substitute for her ears by watching the conductor’s baton – although this method wasn’t foolproof, as she discovered during one performance at The Bridgewater Hall when the conductor took to the podium wearing a white jacket so his white baton merged into the background and completely disappeared! She made her debut with New Sadler’s Wells Opera as Tessa in The Gondoliers in 1984 but had still not told anyone as she was terrified no one would employ her – she wanted to succeed on her own merit and not through sympathy or special treatment. Janine as Isabella

Janine wasn’t born deaf but inherited the deaf gene from her father. Her great-great-grandmother was completely deaf (half of her 13 children inherited the gene) and Janine’s paternal grandparents were deaf. She had no problems with her hearing until she was 18 and, despite knowing that it would continue to deteriorate throughout her life, was determined that she would not give up on her dream to sing professionally, which had been sparked by appearing in a school production of Amahl and the Night Visitors. From the age of 28 her hearing really started to fail and she got her first hearing aids at the age of 30; she is now severely/profoundly deaf and relies heavily on lip-reading. In May 2007 she decided to be open about her hearing, ‘I felt that it was too much of a strain trying to keep it hidden and I was also proud of what I had achieved. One conductor told his orchestra that I was deaf only after they’d heard me sing. Their standing ovation is the reaction that I treasure the most.’ Among her many roles, Janine has sung the title role in Bizet’s Carmen on a nine-week tour of the Middle and Far East, performed the role of Thisbe in Rossini’s Cenerentola at the Royal Opera House’s Linbury Theatre in Covent Garden, a Rossini double bill for Scottish Opera and at a Gala Opera evening in the Manaus Opera House, Brazil. Janine now manages to juggle her singing career with an active involvement in many charities, which was recognised by her recent inclusion on the Independent on Sunday’s Happy List that heralds those who give, rather than make or take. In November 2009 she was elected as a Trustee of the Royal National Institute for Deaf People (RNID) to focus on the Don’t Lose the Music strand of their work which seeks to ensure that people protect their hearing while enjoying music. 2011 is the RNID’s centenary year and Janine will sing at Buckingham Palace at a ceremony where trustees will be awarded specially minted medals. Last November, she was awarded a Champion Award at the Leonard Cheshire Disability charity’s inaugural Ability Media International awards. The awards indentify outstanding creative projects that encourage a more inclusive world for disabled and marginalised groups of people. Janine was also recently made a patron of Auditory Verbal UK, a charity which teaches profoundly deaf babies and toddlers to listen and speak, in addition to her work with Music and the Deaf that helps deaf primary school children to enjoy music and find their voices. Alongside performing, she has recently developed a new career as a Reiki healer and animal communicator (intuitively helping animals express their feelings) and in 2011 will qualify as an animal healer.

Ailis chosen by PRS for prestigious scheme

She will be working with Abandon Normal Devices (AND) Festival and Cornerhouse Manchester to produce a new music event later this year. Her mini-opera We Know We Got Soul, written with local author David Gaffney, was performed

by Sawn-off Opera (most of whom are RNCM graduates) and they performed three of Ailís’ short operas at this year’s Tete a Tete opera festival at Riverside studios in August.

Ailís works in a range of media and has had a varied career since she left the RNCM. Among the highlights is Lighthouse Lullaby, her sound installation for a lighthouse in Maryport in Cumbria, which featured on BBC Radio 4’s The Today Programme and in a short film made by Channel 4 for the Big Art series. It was also nominated by the Contemporary Music

Centre of Ireland for the British Composer Awards. Recently The Manchester Modernist Society commissioned Ailís to create Conversations We Wish We’d Had, a music installation for an old fashioned red telephone box at Manchester’s Museum of Science and Industry as part of the FutureEverything Festival which was held in May. She is also a published playwright. Her debut play Beaten has been performed in Ireland, Liverpool, London, Glasgow, Gothenburg and is presently in repertoire in Berlin.

This May’s Brighton Festival programme featured several string quartets with RNCM connections. The prize-winning Navarra and Heath Quartets, both represented by the Young Concert Artists Trust (YCAT), were formed at the College under the late Dr Christopher Rowland and performed together at the Festival. Also appearing were the Elias Quartet, recently awarded Newcomer of the Year by BBC Music Magazine, and the Finzi Quartet who have just been appointed as RNCM Leverhulme Junior Fellows in Chamber Music for 2010/2011. Heath Quartet

Cricket, football, rugby …and opera It was a chance performance at a football match while he was still a student that offered Seán Ruane (tenor, 2001) an opportunity to develop a parallel career to opera. When Russell Watson dropped out of the gig, Seán filled in and has since performed at many sporting events, including both the 2005 and 2009 Ashes series victories and the Irish Rugby Six Nations internationals. He recently flew to Barbados to perform at the 20/20 cricket World Cup but rushed back to attend the UK première of a new documentary film, One Night in Turin. The film is based on a bestselling book about England’s football World Cup campaign in Italia 90 and Seán performs Nessun Dorma, which became synonymous with the tournament when Luciano Pavarotti’s recording was used for the BBC’s coverage. Seán is currently in discussions to perform at the Commonwealth Games in Dehli and the next

PhD success for Carola Seán Ruane

Ashes series in Australia, both to be held later this year. Seán is still very much involved with singing opera. He made his debut with Opera Holland Park in Manon Lescaut in 2001 and has returned each summer since; this year he will be taking the role of Don José in Carmen. In 2004,

he made his debut at The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden in The Tempest and moved with the production to the Opéra National du Rhin. Seán has also appeared on the bill of the Teenage Cancer Trust concerts, alongside the likes of Paul Weller, Jools Holland and comedian Johnny Vegas.

Carola Darwin (soprano, 1996), the great-great-granddaughter of Charles Darwin, has recently been awarded a PhD in Music from the University of Sheffield. Her thesis explored the representation of women in opera in Vienna in the early 20th century. Part of her submission was her own multimedia creation, The Vienna Show, a one-woman show which presented some of the ideas from her research in a mixture of music, words and images. Carola studied chemistry at Trinity College, Cambridge and briefly worked as a teacher and a journalist before attending the RNCM. She subsequently earned a scholarship to study at the Banff Centre for the Arts before embarking on a career in classical opera.


Composer and writer Ailís Ní Ríain graduated from the RNCM in 2002 and was recently selected as one of eight North West new music producers to take part in the Performing Right Society (PRS) for Music Foundation’s prestigious professional development New Music Plus Scheme.

Alumni perform at Brighton Festival


Jin Ju tours with I Virtuosi Italiani


Jin Ju (piano, 2003) has completed a successful tour with I Virtuosi Italiani. All the concerts were filmed by the Chinese television company CCTV, and will be broadcast during the summer. She also played Cajkovskij’s first piano concerto with the Nanjing Symphony Orchestra, conducted 18 by her brother, Yun Ju, and will shortly be returning to China to give masterclasses and concerts.

Jin Ju

Tom joins The Hallé Trumpeter Tom Osborne has been appointed 3rd trumpet in The Hallé. Tom studied with Murray Greig at the College, where he also won a prestigious Gold Medal Award before his graduation in 2006. He continued his studies under the tuition of Swedish trumpeters Håkan Hardenberger and Bo Nilsson. As a freelance orchestral trumpeter Tom has played with orchestras including Opera North, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, BBC Philharmonic, Hallé, Orchestra of the Northern Ballet Theatre, Ulster Orchestra and BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra.

Coull Quartet welcomes alumna Rose Redgrave (viola, 1997) has recently joined the Coull Quartet. Rose studied at the RNCM with Yossi Zivoni and Vicci Wardman between 1992 and 1997 and has ‘…spent the last fifteen years living the frenetic life of a freelance musician, haring around the world playing with most of the UK ensembles and orchestras!’ Quartet-in-Residence at the University of Warwick since 1977, the Coull Quartet has performed and broadcast extensively throughout the UK, the USA and Western Europe, and has also toured China, India, the Far East, South America and Australia. In the UK the Quartet has appeared at most of the major music societies and festivals, and is frequently invited to take part in P&O Cruises’ ‘Music Festivals

The Coull Quartet

at Sea’. The Quartet gives an annual series of recitals at the renowned Warwick Arts Centre, where it is actively involved in the University of Warwick’s flourishing musical life. When asked what it was like to join such a well-established group, Rose said: ‘It’s a

tremendous privilege to be playing with musicians who have such a wealth of experience of quartet playing and repertoire, and who as an ensemble play with the fine polish and artistry of a group who have grown up together. From day one I felt very much at home, and the quartet gives me a great sense of well-being.’

Alumni success at Kathleen Ferrier Awards Two RNCM alumni were among the winners in this year’s finals of the Kathleen Ferrier Awards at the Wigmore Hall in April. Laurie Ashworth (soprano, 2006) won the 2010 Kathleen Ferrier Song Prize. She studied at the RNCM with Caroline Crawshaw, graduating with first class honours and winning an RNCM Gold Medal. Her future engagements include a performance of Schubert’s Mass in Eb, under the direction of Bob Chilcott at the Dartington International Summer Festival. Soprano Sarah Power completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Performance in 2006 studying with Susan Roper and won

Laurie Ashworth

second prize at the finals. She is currently rehearsing with Diva Opera and this summer she’ll be performing with them around

Sarah Power

the UK, Switzerland, France and the Channel Islands in productions of Falstaff, Die Fledermaus and Carmen.

rncm Friends

We are keen to encourage more people to join as RNCM Friends. Membership starts at £20 a year for which you could enjoy: • Invitations to exclusive events • Tickets for the opera dress rehearsals • Invitations to meet students and staff • Advance notice of the most popular RNCM events • RNCM News and Events Guide delivered to your door • Discounts on selected RNCMpromoted events

Forthcoming Friends’ Events

Bronze Performance Club members are invited to the Annual Benefactors’ Evening private recital, non-public student master classes and to the end-of-year Bridgewater Hall Symphony Concert. Membership starts at £120 a year. Silver Performance Club members make an annual donation of £300 and are included in all the above plus an invitation-only Festival Reception hosted by the Director of Chamber Music. If you would like to become an RNCM Friend, join the Performance Club or 200 Club please contact the Friends’ Administrator, Lindsey Hampton Name a Seat Do you have a favourite place in the RNCM Theatre or Concert Hall? You can name your chosen seat in memory of a loved one, for yourself or as a gift. Contact the Friends’ Administrator for further information. Contact the Friends’ Administrator Lindsey Hampton 0161 907 5338 or visit us online at

Friends Day Thursday 4th November 2010 12.00 noon The first Friends’ event of the 2010 autumn season is an exclusive opportunity to book lunch on a reserved Friends table in Brodsky the RNCM’s new restaurant bar and grill. Afterwards enjoy the Lunchtime Concert featuring the RNCM Concert Orchestra performing a programme of film music by John Williams, before afternoon tea and biscuits with performers and staff. You are offered • A two-course waiter-served lunch in Brodsky • Reserved seating in the Concert Hall • Tea, coffee and biscuits on the Recital Room Balcony, joined by staff and students • Optional tour of the Carole Nash Recital Room and Recording Studio Tickets are £15.00 per head, from the box office.

200 CLUB The 200 Club began as an idea presented by Graham Merriam, a former trustee and Chairman of the Friends. At first, winners were selected by using Cloakroom tickets drawn from a Biscuit Tin. Hi-tech it wasn’t, but it worked well and the idea and the 200 Club was established as a fun way of making money to assist students studying at the College. For the three years from 2007 to 2009, the money raised by the 200 Club has totalled £5,500, but we need more members, not just because we can donate larger amounts, but because the prizes will be bigger. There are four prizes each month and the December Draw has an added 50% to the prizes to allow winners to indulge just a little more over the festive season. By paying your £25 to join there may be two simple outcomes: You may win. (Much more than you would leaving the money in the bank with such low interest rates or leaving it under the bed to collect dust). You may not win, (but you know

Opera Dress Rehearsal Carmen Sunday 5th December For Autumn 2010 season, we are proud to present Georges Bizet’s, Carmen, one of the most beloved operas of all-time. Bizet’s hot-blooded masterpiece, deals with the love and jealousy of Don José, who is lured away from his duty as a soldier and his beloved Micaëla by the gypsy factory-girl Carmen. It will be sung in French and feature the two RNCM Opera Studio stars Sipho Fubesi and Kathryn Rudge in the lead roles. Friends and Performance Club members are invited to join RNCM staff at the Dress Rehearsal on Sunday 5th December and are offered up to two tickets each at £12.50 per ticket. The performance starts at 3.00pm and tickets are available from the Box Office. John Swiffin 200 Club Promoter that all the spare money after awarding prizes will go to support the student fund). Either outcome makes you feel better because you are giving to such a worthy cause, and finally this increases happiness and this is good for you. With 200 people participating in the draw each month, we could raise £2,500 for the College each year. So we extend a warm welcome to all new parents/ guardians with students joining the College, to all the Friends, and Friends of Friends, to all Staff and to everyone else we have not mentioned. For £25.00 per year we will pay out in prizes 50% of the total invested and after the smallest of expenses, will pay the remainder to the Funds to support our Students. Join us. You may win, you may not. But there will always be winners. The students, which is why we are all here. For the draw results visit


How to become an RNCM Friend


rncm news autumn 10  
rncm news autumn 10  

Benjamin Wallfisch RNCM conductor, composer and orchestrator wins film-industry acclaim Autumn 2010