'SIDE-BY-SIDE: Developing the Next Generation of Composers and Performers in London' is a programme exclusive to the Academy, which will allow our students to perform with Riot Ensemble in concerts across the UK, as well as providing other bespoke opportunities.

As our Composition Department's Ensemble in Residence, Riot Ensemble has worked with the Academy since 2019 on new music projects, commissions, public concerts, seminars and one-to-one lessons. Over the last two years, the ensemble has also established a successful collaboration in SIDE-BY-SIDE training with Academy musicians.

The Art Mentor Foundation Lucerne has generously offered support to build upon this residency, allowing Riot Ensemble to offer additional projects and opportunities to a collective of nine Academy students: three composers and six performers. All participants will have individual lessons with Riot Ensemble members, receive training in fundraising, networking and curating and be supported in developing their own projects with each other. The composers will each write five pieces over three years, including a major duo-concerto work that will be recorded at Deustchlandfunk Cologne in a commercial recording session. The performers will play SIDE-BY-SIDE with Riot Ensemble in concerts both at the Academy and externally, including at the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival.

The programme will culminate in January 2027 with a conference led by the Academy’s Research Department, reflecting on the project and investigating the future of mentorship and sustainability in new music.

The Academy's Principal, Jonathan Freeman-Attwood, said: 'Our professional SIDE-BY-SIDE projects are absolutely at the heart of what the Academy stands for – giving our young musicians a chance to learn and perform alongside professionals. We’ve been doing it for over 20 years and the experiences have never been less than invaluable. Offering opportunities to composers and performers, on a long-term project of this kind with the Riot Ensemble, is a journey of discovery that fuels our musicians and the Academy as a whole.'

Aaron Holloway-Nahum, CEO/Co-Artistic Director of Riot Ensemble, said: 'We are grateful to Art Mentor Foundation Lucerne for sharing our vision of mentorship and multi-year collaborations as a better way to align the resources and experience of the professional ensemble and institution to blaze a path into the industry for dedicated and exciting emerging musicians. We are thrilled to launch this programme and look forward to sharing the music it brings.'

Riot Ensemble will next be performing in a SIDE-BY-SIDE concert at the Academy on Friday 16 February in a programme of new works by Academy students, conducted by Argentinian-Spanish composer Fabián Panisello.

Images: Aaron Holloway-Nahum, CEO/Co-Artistic Director of Riot Ensemble, rehearsing with Academy students and Riot Ensemble members in March 2023.