Tickets to our Autumn season are on sale

-Posted on 19.07.2017

Highlights include visits from Semyon Bychkov, Edward Gardner, Angelika Kirchschlager and James Newton Howard, Bach Cantatas, London Jazz Festival appearances and a new production of Don Giovanni

Tickets to our Autumn season went on sale online today, 19 July, and will be available in person from our Box Office when it opens on 4 September. Most of our events are free and don’t require booking.

As a new intake of the finest young musicians from around the world joins us to pursue their dreams of musical excellence, the events reflect the broad range of disciplines they engage with here, from historically informed Bach to music freshly minted by our composition department. They also demonstrate the high calibre of musical guidance students find here.

Orchestral highlights include Semyon Bychkov continuing his celebrated Mahler readings with the Academy Symphony Orchestra, conducting the Ninth Symphony on 13 October. Nick Breckenfield of Classical Source wrote of their collaboration in the Second Symphony at the Festival Hall in June: ‘This was a performance that gripped from that very opening… [It] laid down a benchmark to the London Symphony Orchestra.’ The orchestra will perform at the Royal Albert Hall with Hollywood composer James Newton Howard, who has written music for blockbusters such as The Dark Knight, The Hunger Games, The Sixth Sense and Pretty Woman (3 November). The programme will include many of these greatest hits alongside clips of the films themselves.

Edward Gardner, who graduated from the Academy in 2000, pays one of his regular visits to conduct the Academy Symphony Orchestra in dance-inspired music by Tippett, Gershwin and Rachmaninov (10 November). Oliver Knussen conducts an all-Stockhausen programme at the Royal Festival Hall with the Academy’s Manson Ensemble side-by-side with the London Sinfonietta (6 December), and Clio Gould directs the Sainsbury Royal Academy Soloists in a programme of Schnittke and Stravinsky (6 October).

As building work on our new theatre comes to completion and Royal Academy Opera (RAO) prepares to move back to the Marylebone Road early in 2018, it ends its nomadic On the Road series at the Round Chapel in Hackney with a new production of Don Giovanni, themed around Mexico’s Day of the Dead. Mozart’s masterpiece is directed by Christopher Cowell, who has previously directed productions for Chicago Opera, Danish National Opera and Glyndebourne on Tour. Music website Planet Hugill wrote of RAO’s Alcina in October: ‘This was the very best sort of ensemble playing with a finely balanced team all contributing something to form a greater whole.’ RAO is known for producing singers who go straight into the profession at the highest levels, and its productions offer excellent opportunities to spot the stars of the future, as do their Opera Scenes, which this term are directed by Ashley Dean (29–30 November).

Our composition department goes from strength to strength, with students regularly winning awards and commissions: Freya Waley-Cohen and Austin Leung have just been appointed as two of three of the new intake of Philharmonia Orchestra’s Composer’s Academy, and Marco Galvani and Alex Woolf have won RPS/Classic FM commissions. The public has a chance to hear some of the exciting emerging musical personalities with our Composers’ Platform (16 November). We also have a visit from Composer in Residence and Grawemeyer Award winner Andrew Norman, who will be interviewed by journalist Paul Morley on 28 November, followed by a concert of his works and that of student Matthew Olyver (29 November).

At the other end of the musical timeline, our Historical Performance programme continues to thrive, not least through the Royal Academy/Kohn Foundation Bach Cantatas series, which has become a staple of London’s classical music scene. We are delighted that we have been given funding to continue this inspiring and important project into the future. This term we look forward to the visit of leading Bach scholar Philippe Herreweghe, who conducts Herr, gehe nicht ins Gericht mit deinem Knecht, BWV 105 and Mass in A, BWV 234. Prior to the performance he will be awarded the Bach Prize and on 4 November he gives a masterclass.

Our jazz students perform two concerts as part of the London Jazz Festival. On 12 November, they perform The Traveller’s Tale at Kings Place, alongside three of the band members who made the original live recording in 1993. On 19 November, as part of our celebrations of 30 years of the Jazz Programme, Professor of Jazz Composition Pete Churchill directs the Academy Big Band, including a suite specially composed for the evening. Academy Big Band will also present a programme of swing-band music of the 1930s and 1940s on 11 October.

The importance of one-to-one teaching is central to all our activities, and this term’s masterclasses with the world’s leading soloists and orchestral players include Italian guitarist Oscar Ghiglia (28 September), viola player Garth Knox (3 October), Berlin Philharmonic’s Principal Viola Máté Szűcs (8 October), Jörgen van Rijen, Principal Trombonist of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra (17 October), mezzo-soprano Angelika Kirchschlager (24 October), harpist Catrin Finch (9 November), pianist Steven Osborne (21 November) and violinist Ning Feng (29 November). Visiting Professor of Cello Colin Carr will both give masterclasses on Bach’s Cello Suites and perform them during his three-day residency, 16–18 October.

We also have two fascinating and personal perspectives on music with our Barbirolli Lectures: Sir Mark Elder, our Barbirolli Chair of Conducting, will discuss his approach to Russian, French and British composers (6 October) and Oliver Knussen, Sir Richard Rodney Bennett Professor of Music, will talk to our Principal, Jonathan Freeman-Attwood, about his life and career (26 October).

These are just a few of the 164 concerts, masterclasses and events across the term at the Royal Academy of Music. Throughout the term we also host a series of Open Days for prospective students to sample life and learning at the Academy.

For the full listing, browse at or request either a digital or paper copy of the Autumn Diary.

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