As recent recipients of the Academy’s Bicentenary Scholarships, pianist Xiaowen Shang and violinist Anna Im have both made digital albums as part of the ongoing Bicentenary Series on Linn Records.

The first recording to be released on Friday 12 April is Xiaowen's Music of Silence, which features a programme that spans three centuries of Spanish music. Federico Mompou’s late utterance, Música callada (Music of Silence) is a cycle of meditative miniatures, distilling flamenco rhythm and ethereal ancient melody. Mompou’s visionary masterpiece forms the touchstone of the recording, combining Antonio Soler’s eighteenth-century flamboyant sonatas with piano transcriptions of the sixteenth-century sacred composer, Antonio de Cabézon. Listen to an excerpt from Xiaowen's recording here.

Five days after the release of her album, Xiaowen will perform the repertoire from this recording in a solo recital at Wigmore Hall, as part of the ongoing Academy Piano Series at this prestigious venue. Tickets are available to book on the Wigmore Hall website.

'I chose these three Spanish composers because I am drawn to the emotional richness, virtuosity and timbre colour of their music. In a beautiful coincidence, each composer lived two centuries apart, which fits with the Academy’s Bicentenary Series very well.'

Xiaowen Shang

Next to be released on Friday 19 April is Anna Im's Rêverie, which presents a tender programme that pairs Fauré’s Violin Sonata No 1 with Amy Beach’s Romance. The album fosters feelings and memories from imaginary worlds: Fauré’s sonata weaves a tapestry of emotions that transcends time and space; Beach’s Romance is a tribute to love which conjures up bittersweet memories. For this recording, Anna is accompanied by Academy pianist Chiao-Ying Chang, and performs on the 1718 ‘Maurin’ Stradivari violin, which was loaned to her from the Academy’s Collections. Listen to an excerpt from Anna's recording here.

'My wish in creating this album was to offer listeners a gentle escape from reality, inviting them to immerse themselves in a world of pleasant dreams, even amidst life's daily challenges.'

Anna Im

On Monday 22 April, the Academy marks World Earth Day with the release of Fragile Worlds in partnership with The Listening Planet, founded by renowned sound recordist Martyn Stewart.

In collaboration with The Listening Planet’s Biophonica label and distributed by Platoon, Fragile Worlds includes five unique soundscapes created by Academy composers. For this recording, the Academy was granted unprecedented access to Martyn Stewart’s vast collection of recordings: over 30,000 hours of nature sounds and soundscapes, with more than 97,000 individual sounds collected over the course of 55 years. Academy students responded musically to these sounds, weaving in their own intimate stories and unique perspectives on our planet.

'This album, taking inspiration from The Listening Planet archive, has been a unique opportunity for our students to create new work in a fresh and original way.'

Philip Cashian, Head of Composition

Recording opportunities are an intrinsic part of Academy life which allow our students to release their music into the world. Read more about recordings at the Academy.