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“This building has been absolutely at the centre of everything that I have done, everything that I have learnt.”
Sir Simon Rattle


The Royal Academy of Music is founded by Lord Burghersh, at the first premises in Tenterden Street, Hanover Square.
1830 King George IV grants a Royal Charter.
1856 Arthur Sullivan (later Sir Arthur Sullivan) enters the Academy.
1880 The Academy now has more than 340 pupils. A system of metropolitan examinations for teachers begins.
1911 The Academy moves to new custom-built premises in Marylebone Road.
1923 Sir Henry Wood, a former student, joins as a professor.
1935 The Junior Academy is founded.
1953 The official Coronation of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II: co-ordination of choral and orchestral arrangements is entrusted to Hugh Marchant and David Martin, both of the Academy. HM The Queen is the Academy's Patron.
1957 Harrison Birtwistle (later Sir Harrison) starts studies at the Academy.
1961 Sir John Barbirolli, a former student, joins the Academy as Conductor of the First Orchestra.
1968 The new Library is opened by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother.
1971 Simon Rattle (later Sir Simon), Chief Conductor/Artistic Director of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra from 2002, studies at the Academy from 1971 to 1974.
1976 The Sir Jack Lyons Theatre is opened in the presence of HRH Princess Alice, Duchess of Gloucester, the Academy's President.
1984 The Academy presents its first International Composer Festival, each of which is devoted to the work of a distinguished living composer, with a tribute to Wiltold Lutoslawski. The composer himself attends the festival.
1991 The Academy’s unique BMus degree course is launched. The Sinfonia’s first overseas orchestral tour travels to the Republic of Korea.
1992 The refurbished Duke’s Hall is re-opened.
1993 The Da Capo Composers Festival, featuring over 60 composers who studied at the Academy.
1996 The British and American Film Music Festival features four concerts conducted by Ron Goodwin, Michael Nyman, Michael Kamen and John Williams.
1998 HRH The Duchess of Gloucester becomes the Academy’s President. The Sinfonia makes its first orchestral visit to Beijing and Tokyo.
1999 The Academy becomes the first conservatoire to be admitted as a full member of the University of London, Britain's largest university.
2001 The Academy’s new museum and the David Josefowitz Recital Hall are both opened. The new two-year postgraduate Royal Academy Opera course is introduced.
2002 Elton John performs at the Royal Opera House with the Academy’s Symphony Orchestra and musical theatre choir, raising nearly £1million for the Academy’s Elton John Scholarship Fund.
2004 The Academy, with generous assistance from the Foyle Foundation, acquires Yehudi Menuhin's archive.
2005 A collaborative orchestra of students from the Academy and Juilliard School perform under Sir Colin Davis at the BBC Proms.
2006 In the final events of the Academy’s Paganini in London festival, Maxim Vengerov plays Paganini's Cannone violin — the instrument’s first visit to London since Paganini himself played it here.
2008 Academy students play crucial roles in critically-acclaimed performances of Luigi Nono’s Prometeo and Gérard Grisey's Les espaces acoustiques at the Southbank Centre, in collaboration with top professional ensembles.
2009 New facilities include a suite of practice facilities and an opera rehearsal suite. The Guardian's league tables show that Royal Academy of Music is Britain's top specialist institution in higher education, and also number one for Music. The Academy is ranked Britain’s top conservatoire in Times Higher Education Table of Excellence, which is based on results from the national Research Assessment Exercise.
2010 Honorary Doctorates are presented to Daniel Barenboim, Pierre Boulez and Stephen Sondheim.
2011 The acclaimed premiere production of Sir Peter Maxwell Davies’s Kommilitonen!. An Honorary Doctorate is presented to Sir Simon Rattle, who studied at the Academy in the 1970s. The Guardian’s table for music education is topped by the Academy for the third year running. The Academy celebrates a century in Marylebone, and 190 years since the first discussions which led to its founding in 1822.

Appointments include Maxim Vengerov, Semyon Bychkov and Sir Harrison Birtwistle. An orchestra of Royal Academy of Music and Juilliard School students performs at the BBC Proms, conducted by John Adams with soloist Imogen Cooper.


Installation of the new Sir Elton John / Ray Cooper Organ in the Duke’s Hall. Outline planning permission is granted for a new theatre and recital hall.