1968 saw a worldwide escalation of protest, invention and upheaval among a generation of students, musicians included. This episode takes the temperature of this time at the Academy, and investigates the tensions and reconciliations between tradition and the new. Anna Picard talks to some of the figures from that period, explores the longer history of ‘new music’ at the Academy (including a surprising choice of rehearsal venue by John Barbirolli), discusses Stravinsky with conductor Edward Gardner, takes a walk in the park with some musical trees, and finds out whether that revolutionary spirit of artistic experimentation and invention is still alive at the Academy today.

  • Presenter: Anna Picard
  • Producer: Natalie Steed
  • Contributors: Hugh Shrapnel, Melissa Doody, Elizabeth Kenny, Jonathan Freeman-Attwood, Edward Gardner, Philip Cashian, Alex Hills, Lydia Walquist, Jessica Walker
  • Executive Producers, Royal Academy of Music: George Chambers, Jonathan Freeman-Attwood, Safi Schlicht

All the music in this episode is performed by Royal Academy of Music students:

  • Paul Paterson Rebecca
  • Cardew Treatise
  • Birtwistle Chorale from a Toy Shop – For Igor Stravinsky (Version for Strings) performed by Academy Manson Ensemble with Oliver Knussen
  • Ravel String Quartet in F
  • Stravinsky The Rite of Spring performed by the Academy Symphony Orchestra and The Juilliard School Orchestra with Edward Gardner
  • Music for Trees written and performed by Joseph Graydon, Arnau Brichs Ponce and Ellen Drew
  • Louise Drewett Pizzica performed by Bianca Beng
  • Erik Griswold Action Music

About the Podcast

Since the Royal Academy of Music was founded in 1822, its aim has been to shape the future of music by discovering and nurturing talent wherever it exists.

To mark our bicentenary, we've created this podcast to celebrate and uncover some of the stories of those people, past and present, that resonate throughout our building and define the institution. You'll hear about those working and studying at the Academy today, some of the famous people that have passed through our doors as well as those whose musical lives might have been overlooked but deserve to be told.