Historical Performance faculty classes and activities

Undergraduate students take weekly academic classes in addition to their Historical Performance studies. Classes such as Techniques and Analysis, Conducting, Technology, Keyboard Skills and Western Music History are designed to complement and add to your creative development as a performer. More information about Academic Studies can be found on the BMus Programme page.

In addition to weekly individual lessons, both undergraduate and postgraduate Historical Performance students participate in the following activities:

Performance Classes/Masterclasses

Performance Classes are led by renowned musicians from around the world and give you an opportunity to experiment and explore communication skills in solo repertoire and to receive direct feedback about all aspects of your performance. Our Masterclasses are slightly more formal and have been taken by eminent musicians such as Rachel Podger, Daniël Brüggen and Laurence Cummings.

Chamber Music

Chamber music is at the heart of the Historical Performance Faculty and you will have opportunities to perform in several mixed ensembles, playing repertoire from Renaissance to Romantic. There are also opportunities to join the recorder consort, oboe band, viol consort and other ensembles. All groups are coached by Academy professors or visiting guests who help guide and prepare students for assessed performances and frequent public concerts.

Repertoire sessions

We hold dedicated classes for learning and preparing standard professional repertoire such as Passions, masses and other orchestral works to ensure our students are already familiar with major pieces when playing in gigs and professional ensembles.

Baroque Dance

You will take part in dance projects. All of our students learn to play dance music, in order to work effectively with dancers and to appreciate dance elements in instrumental music. Most of our students also learn to dance, but anyone with any physical issues is able to set their own pace.

Basso Continuo

Whatever instrument you play, you will have lessons in keyboard continuo playing and realisation depending on your individual experience, expertise and interest. You will learn what to listen for, and what to ask for, from continuo players.

Lecture Workshops

Lecture Workshops are held throughout the year and discuss the main areas of historical performance practice from the Medieval to the Romantic. Classes combine theoretical explanation and discussions with practical application to relevant repertoire.

Orchestra and Ensemble Performance

Students gain unrivalled experience in ensemble playing on historical instruments through orchestral opportunities at the Academy and beyond. You will rehearse and perform regularly and concerts are often led by members of the Academy’s own team such as Rachel Podger, Laurence Cummings, Lisa Beznosiuk and the Head of Historical Performance, Margaret Faultless – as well as visiting artists. Historical Performance students have performed in London venues such as Wigmore Hall, Kings Place and St George’s Hanover Square. In 2015 we collaborated with the Juilliard School in acclaimed performances of Bach in New York, Leipzig and London with Masaaki Suzuki and Rachel Podger.

The Royal Academy of Music/ Kohn Foundation Bach Cantata Series is one of the most spectacular and demanding projects ever undertaken by a conservatoire. These concerts have been directed by visiting artists such as John Eliot Gardiner, Masaaki Suzuki and John Butt.

In another exciting long-term project, we are performing all of Haydn’s symphonies over a period of ten years in a variety of performance opportunities, on period and modern instruments, from self-directed classes and chamber versions to workshops and orchestral concerts.

Instrument and Manuscript Collections

Many exceptionally fine instruments in Baroque/Classical set-up (including violins by Stainer, Jacobs and Klotz) are available for Academy students. The Becket Collection, a significant collection of baroque and classical instruments, was very generously donated by Elise Becket Smith in 2012, enabling many students to experience performing on historical instruments, both in chamber ensembles and orchestras. The Academy also boasts a comprehensive library of rare manuscripts and editions.

Next Event

Haydn and Bartók Chamber Music Series

27.02.2020 1:05pm, David Josefowitz Recital Hall

Levon Chilingirian curates six concerts presenting Bartók's violin duos, performed by Academy professors and their students, al...