At the Academy, the safety and wellbeing of our students, staff and wider community is our top priority.
Over the summer we have been operating with a limited number of staff and students on site. In September, we will be welcoming back all of our students, who will experience a full range of principal-study lessons, classes and ensemble activities in the coming months.
Our focus is on delivering a high-quality educational experience for students while maintaining the safest possible environment for our entire community.
In order to do this, a great deal of work has gone into adapting our spaces and the way we use them. As our core activity is performance, we are closely following guidance issued by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport specifically for performing arts.
In addition to carefully planning the way in which people move around the building, we have looked at detailed floorplans to determine how our performance and practice spaces can be used with appropriate social distancing in place. Hand-sanitiser units, signage and Perspex screens have been installed where necessary, and face coverings will be worn by all staff and students.
Our on-site catering will benefit from the exciting addition of a click-and-collect service, with a new covered seating area located directly outside the building. Our Library will also be operating a form of click-and-collect service, to enable access to the Academy’s Collections.
The Academy has a dedicated team managing and monitoring the response to the Covid-19 pandemic, and we will always adhere to current government guidelines and respond quickly to the evolving situation.
While we are, unfortunately, unable to welcome visitors to the building at the current time, students will be able to reach wider audiences than ever as we will be livestreaming over 60 Autumn Term performances.
We will be welcoming back guest conductors including John Wilson, Ed Gardner and Trevor Pinnock. Our 'Bach the European' series resumes with directors Rachel Podger, Eamonn Dougan and Iain Ledingham. Mark-Anthony Turnage will be in residence working with composition students, and brass students will give performances with Septura and Jeroen Berwaerts. Our Autumn Piano Festival features a full day of performances curated by Joanna MacGregor CBE, and jazz students will take part in Big Band performances in the Susie Sainsbury Theatre and the Duke’s Hall.
Later in the term, the Musical Theatre Company will perform a tribute to Stephen Sondheim, and Royal Academy Opera’s production will be a socially distanced performance of Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
In addition, students will benefit from chamber music ensembles, workshops, masterclasses, repertoire sessions, performance classes and opportunities to take part in prizes. Although ensembles will be smaller than we are used to, we have worked hard to ensure that all departments have access to opportunities to perform – and to a wider audience than is usually possible in the building.
This wide range of performance opportunities will be underpinned by a full curriculum of lectures and classes. While principal-study teaching and ensemble activities are expected to take place on site, lectures and classes will involve a combination of in-person and digital delivery.
We are doing everything possible to ensure the safety of our community while enabling all our students to receive a world-class musical training, with performance at its heart.
Read our full Covid-19 risk assessment here.
Watch the below message from our Principal: