INTO OUR THIRD CENTURY

As Britain’s oldest conservatoire, the Academy has a lot of history to be proud of. The famous names who have studied and taught here since our foundation in 1822 are a constant source of inspiration.

1822

The Royal Academy of Music is founded as Britain’s first conservatoire, in Tenterden Street, Hanover Square.

1826

Carl Maria von Weber conducts our first orchestral concert.

1830

King George IV grants a Royal Charter.

1856

Arthur Sullivan enters the Academy.

1886

Franz Liszt visits the Academy.

1903

Aged 13, Myra Hess wins a scholarship to study piano at the Academy.

1911

The Academy moves to custom-built premises on Marylebone Road.

1923

Sir Henry Wood, a former student, joins as a professor.

1935

Junior Academy is founded.

1936

Richard Strauss visits the Academy.

1953

HM The Queen becomes the Academy’s Patron.

1957

Harrison Birtwistle studies clarinet at the Academy.

1961

Former student Sir John Barbirolli becomes conductor of the first orchestra.

1968

HM Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother opens our new library.

1969

Felicity Lott becomes a student.

1971

Simon Rattle becomes a student.

1976

The Sir Jack Lyons Theatre is opened.

1982

Evelyn Glennie becomes a student.

1991

The innovative BMus degree is launched.

The Sinfonia travels overseas for the first time, to the Republic of Korea.

1992

The refurbished Duke’s Hall reopens.

1994

Ligeti visits the Academy for the 10-year anniversary of the International Composer Festival, which has previously celebrated Messiaen, Berio, Henze and Tippett.

1997

The Academy becomes the first conservatoire to found its own recording label.

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.

1-5 York Gate purchased for the Academy by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

2001

The two-year postgraduate Royal Academy Opera course is introduced.

The David Josefowitz Recital Hall opens.

2002

A Royal Opera House performance with Sir Elton John raises nearly £1m for the Elton John Scholarship Fund.

2005

A combined Academy and Juilliard School orchestra performs under Sir Colin Davis at the BBC Proms.

2009

The Bach Cantata Series, which will run over a 10-year period, is launched.

2010

Honorary Doctorates are given to Stephen Sondheim, Pierre Boulez and Daniel Barenboim.

2011

Royal Academy Opera presents the acclaimed premiere of Sir Peter Maxwell Davies’s Kommilitonen!

2012

The Privy Council grants degree-awarding powers to the Academy.

An Academy and Juilliard orchestra performs at the BBC Proms and in New York with soloist Imogen Cooper, conducted by John Adams.

2012-18

Visiting professors appointed include John Adams, Semyon Bychkov, James Ehnes, Sir Mark Elder, Edward Gardner, Richard Goode, Dave Holland, Steven Isserlis, Oliver Knussen, Claude-Michel Schönberg, Nikolaj Szeps-Znaider and Christian Thielemann.

2013

The Sir Elton John/Ray Cooper organ is installed in the Duke’s Hall.

2014

A practice centre is added to our facilities.

2017

The entrance is refurbished to include step-free access.

The Academy is rated Gold in the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF).

2018

Student cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason performs at the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

The new Susie Sainsbury Theatre and Angela Burgess Recital Hall open.

2019

Hans Abrahamsen becomes the first Oliver Knussen Chair of Composition.

A joint Academy-Juilliard orchestra performs at the BBC Proms.

2019-21

Students take part in major collaborations with Tokyo Geidai, Glenn Gould School and the Czech Philharmonic.