DEVELOP THE HIGHEST STANDARDS OF MUSICIANSHIP AND PIANISM THROUGH THE STUDY OF ENSEMBLE REPERTOIRE

The Piano Accompaniment Department is led by experienced performer and teacher Professor Michael Dussek.

'The Academy’s piano accompanists benefit hugely from the vibrant musical culture that permeates every part of this institution'
Professor Michael Dussek

We offer postgraduate students the chance to work with colleagues from all areas of the Academy’s musical life and be taught by some of the world’s leading collaborative pianists.

In addition to weekly concerts, there are numerous performance opportunities, including Academy Song Circle, which has given annual recitals at Wigmore Hall for the past 13 years and has performed at the Oxford Lieder and Leeds Lieder festivals, both of which are directed by alumni of the course. There are also opportunities to participate in Opera Scenes with Royal Academy Opera.

Numerous former students now pursue exceptionally successful careers as song recitalists, chamber musicians, soloists, repetiteurs, conductors, teachers and festival directors all over the world.

AUDITION INFORMATION

Go to the Piano Accompaniment page in the course finder to find up to date audition information for your level of study.

Open Days

We launched our first-ever Virtual Open Days in September 2020. Check out all our content here: ram.ac.uk/opendays

James Baillieu

James Baillieu

Graduated 2009
Piano Accompaniment

James Baillieu

Graduated 2009

Piano Accompaniment

Described by The Telegraph as ‘in a class of his own’, James Baillieu has been prize-winner at the Wigmore Hall Song Competition and Das Lied International Song Competition, and he has won a Kathleen Ferrier Award and Richard Tauber Prize. He was selected for representation by Young Classical Artists Trust in 2010, and in 2012 received a Borletti-Buitoni Trust Fellowship and a Geoffrey Parsons Memorial Trust Award. In 2016, he was shortlisted for the Royal Philharmonic Society Young Artist Award.

Baillieu has given solo and chamber recitals at prestigious venues and festivals throughout Europe and further afield. An innovative programmer, he has already curated a number of projects, including series for the Brighton Festival, BBC Radio 3, Verbier Festival, Bath International Music Festival and Perth Concert Hall. Baillieu presented his own series at the Wigmore Hall, which was shortlisted for the Royal Philharmonic Society’s Chamber Music and Song Award, for an outstanding contribution to the performance of chamber music and song in the UK during 2016. Recent engagements include appearances at Wigmore Hall, Park Avenue Armory, Phillips Collection and Konzerthaus Dortmund.

Baillieu enjoys working with young musicians and is a professor at the Royal Academy of Music, coach for the Jette Parker Young Artist Programme at the Royal Opera House, course leader for the Samling Institute for Young Artists and head of the Song Programme at Verbier Festival Academy’s Atelier Lyrique. In 2019, he led masterclasses with Mark Padmore at the Aldeburgh Festival for the Britten-Pears Young Artists Programme.

Born in South Africa, Baillieu studied at the University of Cape Town and the Royal Academy of Music with Michael Dussek, Malcolm Martineau and Kathryn Stott. In 2007, he graduated with a DipRAM and received the Christian Carpenter Award in recognition of his outstanding achievements. He was appointed a Hodgson Fellow in 2007, Professor of Piano Accompaniment in 2011 and made Associate in 2012. He is also International Tutor in Piano Accompaniment at the Royal Northern College of Music.

Baillieu writes of his time at the Academy:

'I loved my experience on the Piano accompaniment course at the Academy. I did the 2 year option - the first year was very busy and I relished all the opportunities of meeting new colleagues, playing for all manner of lessons and classes, playing all sorts of repertoire and getting used to a very fast and busy pace of musical life. In the second year, I focused more on building lasting duo partnerships and made use of the wonderful performance opportunities that were available in the various prestigious concert series at the Academy and also at festivals and venues around the UK.

The skills that I learnt and picked up whilst being on the course gave me a very good grounding for a career as a recitalist. There were numerous performing opportunities, wonderful colleagues to partner with - both instrumental and vocal - and the opportunity of playing with colleagues in their own lessons and classes meant that I was able to learn from great teachers from all areas of the Academy, whilst my own specialized teachers were focused on my pianistic and musical development.

The beauty of this course is that it offers the flexibility and opportunities to work in all sorts of fields, as seen in the varied careers of all my peers. I am thrilled to be one of the teachers on this wonderful course now and would wholeheartedly recommend it!'

Recent reviews:

‘At the piano, Baillieu was a beautifully matched “partner in crime” (Davidsen’s phrase, in one of several disarmingly sweet spoken introductions), with quicksilver fingers in Grieg, a delicious flexibility of tempo in Strauss and delicately balanced sound throughout. And in the closing bars of Strauss’s Morgen (their second encore), he provided the most breathtaking touch of all – suspending time and allowing silence itself to speak.’ - The Guardian, February 2020

‘Her partnership with Baillieu is clearly a fine one, too. He’s an exceptional accompanist, knowing both when to hold back and let the vocal line do the work, and when to assert himself and propel the music forward. Loewe’s sometimes deceptively simple figurations seemed fraught with meaning throughout, and his playing in Mahler’s Ich Atmet’ Einen Linden Duft was simply exquisite.’ - The Guardian, January 2020

‘Yende’s partner for this recital, fellow South African James Baillieu, was extraordinary, showing all the makings of an exceptional vocal accompanist: his vivid playing never upstaged his partner, and he followed her beautifully, his choices responding to hers in real time…Baillieu might become one of the few pianists to achieve real fame as a vocal accompanist." - New York Classical Review, December 2019

Photo by Clive Barda

Meet
our alunni

Christopher Glynn

Christopher Glynn

Graduated 2000
Piano Accompaniment

Christopher Glynn

Graduated 2000

Piano Accompaniment

Christopher Glynn is a Grammy award-winning pianist and accompanist, praised for his ‘irrepressible energy, wit and finesse’ (the Guardian). He is also Artistic Director of the Ryedale Festival, programming around 60 events every year in historic venues across North Yorkshire.

Glynn grew up in Leicester and read music at New College Oxford, before studying piano with John Streets in France, and with Malcolm Martineau and Michael Dussek at the Royal Academy of Music, where he now teaches. Glynn’s many awards include the Accompanist’s Prize at the Kathleen Ferrier Awards, a Gerald Moore Award, Geoffrey Parsons Award and a Grammy. A regular artist at Wigmore Hall, Glynn also appears in major concert venues and festivals across the world, including the BBC Proms, Carnegie Hall, Edinburgh International Festival, Aldeburgh Festival, Cheltenham Music Festival, Schubertiade, Oxford Lieder Festival, Leeds Lieder, Royal Opera House, Barbican, Southbank Centre, The Royal Concertgebouw, Wiener Konzerthaus and as far afield as Japan, China, Brazil, Russia and Sri Lanka. He has made many CD recordings and is regularly heard on BBC Radio 3.

An interest in bringing classical song to a wider audience recently led Glynn to commission Jeremy Sams to create new English translations of Franz Schubert’s song cycles, recorded for Signum Records. He also enjoys working with young musicians and leads masterclasses for the Samling Institute for Young Artists and Britten-Pears School, as well as adjudicating many international competitions. Away from the piano, Glynn is President of Chiltern Arts and Vice-President of Music in Hospitals and Care.

Recent highlights include performing the Schubert song cycles with Roderick Williams (including a nationwide tour of Winter Journey), CDs exploring the music of Edvard Grieg, Percy Grainger, Donald Swann, Eric Coates and Hamilton Harty, and The Passion with Streetwise Opera. Future plans include further collaborations with Jeremy Sams (Robert Schumann and Hugo Wolf songs) and Streetwise Opera, CD recordings with Roderick Williams, Nicky Spence, Kathryn Rudge, Claire Booth and The Sixteen, a tour of Wolf's Italian Songbook and embarking on a project with Rachel Podger to perform and record Beethoven's Violin Sonatas.

Glynn writes of his time at the Academy:

'The Academy has a unique and special tradition of piano accompaniment and some amazing teachers. I was lucky enough to study with Malcolm Martineau and Michael Dussek – but also remember inspiring sessions with string, woodwind and conducting professors too. Accompanists really get the best from conservatoire life because, through their partners, they encounter such a wide cross-section of teachers and influences. The things I learnt - and the colleagues and friends I met - at the Academy have stayed with me throughout my working life. I'm very happy to now teach there, and to see a new generation of student accompanists join the Academy family each year and make their own contribution to its history.'

Photo by Joanna Bergin

Somi Kim

Somi Kim

Graduated 2016
Piano Accompaniment

Somi Kim

Graduated 2016

Piano Accompaniment

South Korean-born New Zealand pianist Somi Kim has established herself as one of today’s most highly regarded young pianists with a string of competition successes and extensive concert experience.

Kim is an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music. She graduated with an Advanced Diploma in Performance and Master of Arts with Distinction, receiving the HRH Princess Alice the Duchess of Gloucester’s Prize, a DipRAM and the Christian Carpenter prize. Kim is the 2017 winner of the Royal Over-Seas League Accompanist Prize, and has received the Gerald Moore Award, AESS Patricia Routledge National English Song Accompanist Prize, Mozart Singing Competition Accompanist Prize, Bromsgrove International Musicians Competition Accompanist Prize, Vivian Langrish Memorial Trust Prize, Thomas Art of Song Accompanist Prize, Major Van Someren-Godfrey Prize for Accompanists, the Worshipful Company of Musicians’ Concordia Serena Nevill and Barthel Prizes, and the 6th Pettman/Royal Over-Seas League Arts International Scholarship. Kim made her debut with Chamber Music New Zealand in 2015.

Sought after as a chamber musician, song accompanist and répétiteur, Kim is an artist for the Kirckman Concert Society, Park Lane Group Music Trust and Concordia Foundation, and a Yeoman of the Worshipful Company of Musicians. She is a scholar on the Britten-Pears and Samling Artist Programmes, and Georg Solti Accademia, and is a staff pianist at The International Holland Music Sessions, International Vocal Competition ‘s-Hertogenbosch, Gisborne International Music Competition and New Zealand Opera School. Kim is the official pianist with the NZTrio, a piano trio recognised by the New Zealand Herald as ‘New Zealand’s most indispensable chamber ensemble’.

In recital, Kim’s recent and future appearances include at The Royal Concertgebouw, Slovak Philharmonic, Wigmore Hall, St John’s Smith Square, Cadogan Hall, The Bridgewater Hall and the Edinburgh Fringe, Ryedale, St Endellion and Oxford Lieder festivals.

Sholto Kynoch

Sholto Kynoch

Graduated 2004
Piano Accompaniment

Sholto Kynoch

Graduated 2004

Piano Accompaniment

Sholto Kynoch is a sought-after pianist who specialises in song and chamber music. He is the founder and Artistic Director of the Oxford Lieder Festival, which won a prestigious Royal Philharmonic Society Award in 2015, cited for its ‘breadth, depth and audacity’ of programming.

Recent recitals have taken him to Wigmore Hall, Heidelberger Frühling in Germany, the Zeist International Lied Festival in Holland, the LIFE Victoria festival and Palau de la Música in Barcelona, the Opéra de Lille, Kings Place in London, Opernhaus Zürich, Maison Symphonique de Montréal, and many other leading venues and festivals nationally and internationally. He has performed with singers including Louise Alder, Benjamin Appl, Sophie Daneman, Tara Erraught, Robert Holl, James Gilchrist, Dietrich Henschel, Katarina Karnéus, Wolfgang Holzmair, Jonathan Lemalu, Stephan Loges, Daniel Norman, Christoph Prégardien, Joan Rodgers, Birgid Steinberger and Roderick Williams, amongst many others.

Together with violinist Jonathan Stone and cellist Christian Elliott, Kynoch is the pianist of the Phoenix Piano Trio. The Trio’s recent CD, The Leipzig Circle, was described as ‘splendidly vibrant’ (BBC Music Magazine) and having ‘unaffected freshness and charm’ (Gramophone). They have commissioned a number of new works, and recorded Cheryl Frances-Hoad’s The Forgiveness Machine for Champs Hill and Philip Venables’ Klaviertrio im Geiste for NMC.

In recent years, he has curated several series of recitals around exhibitions at the National Gallery, including their Monet and Architecture exhibition in 2018, and a series for the British Museum.

He recorded, live at the Oxford Lieder Festival, the first complete edition of the songs of Hugo Wolf. Other recent and forthcoming recordings include discs of Schubert and Schumann lieder, the complete songs of John Ireland and Havergal Brian with baritone Mark Stone, recital discs with Martin Hässler and Anna Stéphany, and several CDs with the Phoenix Piano Trio.

In July 2018, Kynoch was elected a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Music. He studied Music at Worcester College, University of Oxford, before attending the Royal Academy of Music and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. His teachers included Michael Dussek, Graham Johnson, Vanessa Latarche, Malcolm Martineau and Ronan O’Hora.

Photo by Marshall Light Studio

Joseph Middleton

Joseph Middleton

Graduated 2005
Piano Accompaniment

Joseph Middleton

Graduated 2005

Piano Accompaniment

Pianist Joseph Middleton specialises in the art of song accompaniment and chamber music and has been highly acclaimed in this field. Described in Opera magazine as ‘the rightful heir to legendary accompanist Gerald Moore’, he was the first accompanist to win the Royal Philharmonic Society's Young Artist Award and to be listed in the Evening Standard’s ‘The Progress 1000: London’s most influential people’.

Middleton is a frequent guest at major music centres including Wigmore Hall (where he has curated his own series), Lincoln Center, Park Avenue Armory, The Royal Concertgebouw, Muziekgebouw, Wiener Konzerthaus, Musikverein Wien, Zürich Tonhalle, Kölner Philharmonie, Oper Frankfurt, Gran Teatre del Liceu, Philharmonie Luxembourg, Musée d’Orsay, Oji Hall, Elbphilharmonie Hamburg and Palau de la Musica. He is heard regularly at festivals across Europe, North America and South Korea, and made his BBC Proms debut in 2016 alongside Iestyn Davies and Carolyn Sampson, returning in 2018 with Dame Sarah Connolly, where they premiered recently discovered songs by Benjamin Britten and launched their much-lauded recital CD for Chandos.

Middleton has a special relationship with BBC Radio 3, frequently curating his own series, and was selected as the song pianist for Radio 3’s recent New Generation Artist 20th anniversary celebrations at Wigmore Hall.

He has a critically acclaimed, fast-growing and award-winning discography, which has resulted in an Edison Award and numerous nominations for Gramophone and BBC Music Magazine awards. His recordings on with Dame Sarah Connolly, Carolyn Sampson, Iestyn Davies, Ruby Hughes, Amanda Roocroft, Louise Alder, Mary Bevan and Christopher Maltman have been selected as Disc of the Year in The Sunday Times, American Record Guide, International Classical Music Awards and on Radio France. His interest in the furthering of the song repertoire has led Gramophone to describe him as ‘the absolute king of programming’.

He is Director of Leeds Lieder, Musician in Residence at Pembroke College Cambridge and a professor at the Royal Academy of Music, his alma mater, where he has had the title Fellow conferred upon him.

Recent reviews:

‘Joseph Middleton: rightful heir to legendary accompanist Gerald Moore’ - Opera Magazine

‘Joseph Middleton is a born collaborator...one of the brightest stars in the world of song and Lieder, performing with the likes of baritone Sir Thomas Allen and soprano Dame Felicity Lott’ - BBC Music Magazine

‘Middleton is outstanding, his reputation as a rising star among accompanists richly deserved...Middleton, as one might expect, is marvellously insightful, playing throughout with weight, as well as grace and subtlety...the absolute king of programming.’ - Gramophone Magazine

Photo by Sussie Alburg

Keval Shah

Keval Shah

Graduated 2017
Piano Accompaniment

Keval Shah

Graduated 2017

Piano Accompaniment

Praised as ‘exceptional’ and his playing ‘deft and responsive’ (the Observer), Keval Shah has quickly established himself at the forefront of a new generation of song pianists, with appearances at concert halls and festivals across Europe, and a string of competition successes.

Recent highlights include concerts at the Buxton International Festival and Oxford Lieder Festival, as well as an Artist in Residence series at Burgh House, and recitals as part of an ongoing project to perform the complete songs of Hugo Wolf. In September 2019, Shah was the official accompanist for the Wigmore Hall/Independent Opera International Song Competition. His performances have been broadcast on BBC Radio 3 and Danish national radio (DR P2), and he has recorded for Decca Classics. His debut album, with bass-baritone Michael Mofidian, is due for release on the Linn Records label in 2021.

Away from the recital platform, Shah is carving an international career as a teacher. After a spell teaching at the Royal Academy of Music, in September 2020 he will take up the position of Lecturer of Lieder at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, where he will be the youngest professor in the institution’s history.

Shah is also active as a broadcaster and writer. He is a regular contributor and presenter for BBC Radio 3 and holds an Edison Fellowship at the British Library, where he is researching changing trends in the recorded performances of the songs of Hugo Wolf.

A former Britten-Pears Young Artist and Oxford Lieder Young Artist, Shah studied at Cambridge University and the Royal Academy of Music, graduating from both institutions with distinction. His teachers have included Michael Dussek, Audrey Hyland and Malcolm Martineau, and he has also benefited from tuition with Roger Vignoles, Bengt Forsberg and Helmut Deutsch.

Shah writes of his time at the Academy:

'My time at the Academy was absolutely critical in helping me to discover and hone my artistic identity. After a brilliant, but mainly academic, undergraduate experience, my two years on the MA programme at the Academy gave me the space and time to focus on my playing, building and refining my technique at the same time as learning much of the core song repertoire. Being surrounded by fellow pianists and a cohort of talented singers, I found myself in the ideal environment to forge musical partnerships and friendships which I now carry with me through my career. The enormous amount of performance opportunities, both in the building and at external venues like Wigmore Hall, gave me the stage experience I desperately needed, and through that I learnt so much about what it means to perform, and what it takes to do it successfully.

I was able to make the most of all the opportunities and possibilities of Academy life because I had the constant support and supervision of my professors. Michael Dussek, Audrey Hyland and Malcolm Martineau helped me to establish the strongest possible technical and musical foundation, and then taught me how to move beyond that foundation, allowing me to discover a physical and expressive freedom which has continued to expand the possibilities of my playing.

The most special thing about the Academy for me has always been the atmosphere of creativity and love for this art form. Being exposed every day to such an energetic environment has constantly renewed my passion for and dedication to what I do – stepping through the doors of the Academy is the best possible way of reminding oneself of the great privilege and joy of making music, and I am forever grateful for everything the Academy has been for me.'

Find out more about the career paths of some of our former students

James Baillieu

James Baillieu

Graduated 2009
Piano Accompaniment

James Baillieu

Graduated 2009

Piano Accompaniment

Described by The Telegraph as ‘in a class of his own’, James Baillieu has been prize-winner at the Wigmore Hall Song Competition and Das Lied International Song Competition, and he has won a Kathleen Ferrier Award and Richard Tauber Prize. He was selected for representation by Young Classical Artists Trust in 2010, and in 2012 received a Borletti-Buitoni Trust Fellowship and a Geoffrey Parsons Memorial Trust Award. In 2016, he was shortlisted for the Royal Philharmonic Society Young Artist Award.

Baillieu has given solo and chamber recitals at prestigious venues and festivals throughout Europe and further afield. An innovative programmer, he has already curated a number of projects, including series for the Brighton Festival, BBC Radio 3, Verbier Festival, Bath International Music Festival and Perth Concert Hall. Baillieu presented his own series at the Wigmore Hall, which was shortlisted for the Royal Philharmonic Society’s Chamber Music and Song Award, for an outstanding contribution to the performance of chamber music and song in the UK during 2016. Recent engagements include appearances at Wigmore Hall, Park Avenue Armory, Phillips Collection and Konzerthaus Dortmund.

Baillieu enjoys working with young musicians and is a professor at the Royal Academy of Music, coach for the Jette Parker Young Artist Programme at the Royal Opera House, course leader for the Samling Institute for Young Artists and head of the Song Programme at Verbier Festival Academy’s Atelier Lyrique. In 2019, he led masterclasses with Mark Padmore at the Aldeburgh Festival for the Britten-Pears Young Artists Programme.

Born in South Africa, Baillieu studied at the University of Cape Town and the Royal Academy of Music with Michael Dussek, Malcolm Martineau and Kathryn Stott. In 2007, he graduated with a DipRAM and received the Christian Carpenter Award in recognition of his outstanding achievements. He was appointed a Hodgson Fellow in 2007, Professor of Piano Accompaniment in 2011 and made Associate in 2012. He is also International Tutor in Piano Accompaniment at the Royal Northern College of Music.

Baillieu writes of his time at the Academy:

'I loved my experience on the Piano accompaniment course at the Academy. I did the 2 year option - the first year was very busy and I relished all the opportunities of meeting new colleagues, playing for all manner of lessons and classes, playing all sorts of repertoire and getting used to a very fast and busy pace of musical life. In the second year, I focused more on building lasting duo partnerships and made use of the wonderful performance opportunities that were available in the various prestigious concert series at the Academy and also at festivals and venues around the UK.

The skills that I learnt and picked up whilst being on the course gave me a very good grounding for a career as a recitalist. There were numerous performing opportunities, wonderful colleagues to partner with - both instrumental and vocal - and the opportunity of playing with colleagues in their own lessons and classes meant that I was able to learn from great teachers from all areas of the Academy, whilst my own specialized teachers were focused on my pianistic and musical development.

The beauty of this course is that it offers the flexibility and opportunities to work in all sorts of fields, as seen in the varied careers of all my peers. I am thrilled to be one of the teachers on this wonderful course now and would wholeheartedly recommend it!'

Recent reviews:

‘At the piano, Baillieu was a beautifully matched “partner in crime” (Davidsen’s phrase, in one of several disarmingly sweet spoken introductions), with quicksilver fingers in Grieg, a delicious flexibility of tempo in Strauss and delicately balanced sound throughout. And in the closing bars of Strauss’s Morgen (their second encore), he provided the most breathtaking touch of all – suspending time and allowing silence itself to speak.’ - The Guardian, February 2020

‘Her partnership with Baillieu is clearly a fine one, too. He’s an exceptional accompanist, knowing both when to hold back and let the vocal line do the work, and when to assert himself and propel the music forward. Loewe’s sometimes deceptively simple figurations seemed fraught with meaning throughout, and his playing in Mahler’s Ich Atmet’ Einen Linden Duft was simply exquisite.’ - The Guardian, January 2020

‘Yende’s partner for this recital, fellow South African James Baillieu, was extraordinary, showing all the makings of an exceptional vocal accompanist: his vivid playing never upstaged his partner, and he followed her beautifully, his choices responding to hers in real time…Baillieu might become one of the few pianists to achieve real fame as a vocal accompanist." - New York Classical Review, December 2019

Photo by Clive Barda

Christopher Glynn

Christopher Glynn

Graduated 2000
Piano Accompaniment

Christopher Glynn

Graduated 2000

Piano Accompaniment

Christopher Glynn is a Grammy award-winning pianist and accompanist, praised for his ‘irrepressible energy, wit and finesse’ (the Guardian). He is also Artistic Director of the Ryedale Festival, programming around 60 events every year in historic venues across North Yorkshire.

Glynn grew up in Leicester and read music at New College Oxford, before studying piano with John Streets in France, and with Malcolm Martineau and Michael Dussek at the Royal Academy of Music, where he now teaches. Glynn’s many awards include the Accompanist’s Prize at the Kathleen Ferrier Awards, a Gerald Moore Award, Geoffrey Parsons Award and a Grammy. A regular artist at Wigmore Hall, Glynn also appears in major concert venues and festivals across the world, including the BBC Proms, Carnegie Hall, Edinburgh International Festival, Aldeburgh Festival, Cheltenham Music Festival, Schubertiade, Oxford Lieder Festival, Leeds Lieder, Royal Opera House, Barbican, Southbank Centre, The Royal Concertgebouw, Wiener Konzerthaus and as far afield as Japan, China, Brazil, Russia and Sri Lanka. He has made many CD recordings and is regularly heard on BBC Radio 3.

An interest in bringing classical song to a wider audience recently led Glynn to commission Jeremy Sams to create new English translations of Franz Schubert’s song cycles, recorded for Signum Records. He also enjoys working with young musicians and leads masterclasses for the Samling Institute for Young Artists and Britten-Pears School, as well as adjudicating many international competitions. Away from the piano, Glynn is President of Chiltern Arts and Vice-President of Music in Hospitals and Care.

Recent highlights include performing the Schubert song cycles with Roderick Williams (including a nationwide tour of Winter Journey), CDs exploring the music of Edvard Grieg, Percy Grainger, Donald Swann, Eric Coates and Hamilton Harty, and The Passion with Streetwise Opera. Future plans include further collaborations with Jeremy Sams (Robert Schumann and Hugo Wolf songs) and Streetwise Opera, CD recordings with Roderick Williams, Nicky Spence, Kathryn Rudge, Claire Booth and The Sixteen, a tour of Wolf's Italian Songbook and embarking on a project with Rachel Podger to perform and record Beethoven's Violin Sonatas.

Glynn writes of his time at the Academy:

'The Academy has a unique and special tradition of piano accompaniment and some amazing teachers. I was lucky enough to study with Malcolm Martineau and Michael Dussek – but also remember inspiring sessions with string, woodwind and conducting professors too. Accompanists really get the best from conservatoire life because, through their partners, they encounter such a wide cross-section of teachers and influences. The things I learnt - and the colleagues and friends I met - at the Academy have stayed with me throughout my working life. I'm very happy to now teach there, and to see a new generation of student accompanists join the Academy family each year and make their own contribution to its history.'

Photo by Joanna Bergin

Somi Kim

Somi Kim

Graduated 2016
Piano Accompaniment

Somi Kim

Graduated 2016

Piano Accompaniment

South Korean-born New Zealand pianist Somi Kim has established herself as one of today’s most highly regarded young pianists with a string of competition successes and extensive concert experience.

Kim is an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music. She graduated with an Advanced Diploma in Performance and Master of Arts with Distinction, receiving the HRH Princess Alice the Duchess of Gloucester’s Prize, a DipRAM and the Christian Carpenter prize. Kim is the 2017 winner of the Royal Over-Seas League Accompanist Prize, and has received the Gerald Moore Award, AESS Patricia Routledge National English Song Accompanist Prize, Mozart Singing Competition Accompanist Prize, Bromsgrove International Musicians Competition Accompanist Prize, Vivian Langrish Memorial Trust Prize, Thomas Art of Song Accompanist Prize, Major Van Someren-Godfrey Prize for Accompanists, the Worshipful Company of Musicians’ Concordia Serena Nevill and Barthel Prizes, and the 6th Pettman/Royal Over-Seas League Arts International Scholarship. Kim made her debut with Chamber Music New Zealand in 2015.

Sought after as a chamber musician, song accompanist and répétiteur, Kim is an artist for the Kirckman Concert Society, Park Lane Group Music Trust and Concordia Foundation, and a Yeoman of the Worshipful Company of Musicians. She is a scholar on the Britten-Pears and Samling Artist Programmes, and Georg Solti Accademia, and is a staff pianist at The International Holland Music Sessions, International Vocal Competition ‘s-Hertogenbosch, Gisborne International Music Competition and New Zealand Opera School. Kim is the official pianist with the NZTrio, a piano trio recognised by the New Zealand Herald as ‘New Zealand’s most indispensable chamber ensemble’.

In recital, Kim’s recent and future appearances include at The Royal Concertgebouw, Slovak Philharmonic, Wigmore Hall, St John’s Smith Square, Cadogan Hall, The Bridgewater Hall and the Edinburgh Fringe, Ryedale, St Endellion and Oxford Lieder festivals.

Sholto Kynoch

Sholto Kynoch

Graduated 2004
Piano Accompaniment

Sholto Kynoch

Graduated 2004

Piano Accompaniment

Sholto Kynoch is a sought-after pianist who specialises in song and chamber music. He is the founder and Artistic Director of the Oxford Lieder Festival, which won a prestigious Royal Philharmonic Society Award in 2015, cited for its ‘breadth, depth and audacity’ of programming.

Recent recitals have taken him to Wigmore Hall, Heidelberger Frühling in Germany, the Zeist International Lied Festival in Holland, the LIFE Victoria festival and Palau de la Música in Barcelona, the Opéra de Lille, Kings Place in London, Opernhaus Zürich, Maison Symphonique de Montréal, and many other leading venues and festivals nationally and internationally. He has performed with singers including Louise Alder, Benjamin Appl, Sophie Daneman, Tara Erraught, Robert Holl, James Gilchrist, Dietrich Henschel, Katarina Karnéus, Wolfgang Holzmair, Jonathan Lemalu, Stephan Loges, Daniel Norman, Christoph Prégardien, Joan Rodgers, Birgid Steinberger and Roderick Williams, amongst many others.

Together with violinist Jonathan Stone and cellist Christian Elliott, Kynoch is the pianist of the Phoenix Piano Trio. The Trio’s recent CD, The Leipzig Circle, was described as ‘splendidly vibrant’ (BBC Music Magazine) and having ‘unaffected freshness and charm’ (Gramophone). They have commissioned a number of new works, and recorded Cheryl Frances-Hoad’s The Forgiveness Machine for Champs Hill and Philip Venables’ Klaviertrio im Geiste for NMC.

In recent years, he has curated several series of recitals around exhibitions at the National Gallery, including their Monet and Architecture exhibition in 2018, and a series for the British Museum.

He recorded, live at the Oxford Lieder Festival, the first complete edition of the songs of Hugo Wolf. Other recent and forthcoming recordings include discs of Schubert and Schumann lieder, the complete songs of John Ireland and Havergal Brian with baritone Mark Stone, recital discs with Martin Hässler and Anna Stéphany, and several CDs with the Phoenix Piano Trio.

In July 2018, Kynoch was elected a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Music. He studied Music at Worcester College, University of Oxford, before attending the Royal Academy of Music and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. His teachers included Michael Dussek, Graham Johnson, Vanessa Latarche, Malcolm Martineau and Ronan O’Hora.

Photo by Marshall Light Studio

Joseph Middleton

Joseph Middleton

Graduated 2005
Piano Accompaniment

Joseph Middleton

Graduated 2005

Piano Accompaniment

Pianist Joseph Middleton specialises in the art of song accompaniment and chamber music and has been highly acclaimed in this field. Described in Opera magazine as ‘the rightful heir to legendary accompanist Gerald Moore’, he was the first accompanist to win the Royal Philharmonic Society's Young Artist Award and to be listed in the Evening Standard’s ‘The Progress 1000: London’s most influential people’.

Middleton is a frequent guest at major music centres including Wigmore Hall (where he has curated his own series), Lincoln Center, Park Avenue Armory, The Royal Concertgebouw, Muziekgebouw, Wiener Konzerthaus, Musikverein Wien, Zürich Tonhalle, Kölner Philharmonie, Oper Frankfurt, Gran Teatre del Liceu, Philharmonie Luxembourg, Musée d’Orsay, Oji Hall, Elbphilharmonie Hamburg and Palau de la Musica. He is heard regularly at festivals across Europe, North America and South Korea, and made his BBC Proms debut in 2016 alongside Iestyn Davies and Carolyn Sampson, returning in 2018 with Dame Sarah Connolly, where they premiered recently discovered songs by Benjamin Britten and launched their much-lauded recital CD for Chandos.

Middleton has a special relationship with BBC Radio 3, frequently curating his own series, and was selected as the song pianist for Radio 3’s recent New Generation Artist 20th anniversary celebrations at Wigmore Hall.

He has a critically acclaimed, fast-growing and award-winning discography, which has resulted in an Edison Award and numerous nominations for Gramophone and BBC Music Magazine awards. His recordings on with Dame Sarah Connolly, Carolyn Sampson, Iestyn Davies, Ruby Hughes, Amanda Roocroft, Louise Alder, Mary Bevan and Christopher Maltman have been selected as Disc of the Year in The Sunday Times, American Record Guide, International Classical Music Awards and on Radio France. His interest in the furthering of the song repertoire has led Gramophone to describe him as ‘the absolute king of programming’.

He is Director of Leeds Lieder, Musician in Residence at Pembroke College Cambridge and a professor at the Royal Academy of Music, his alma mater, where he has had the title Fellow conferred upon him.

Recent reviews:

‘Joseph Middleton: rightful heir to legendary accompanist Gerald Moore’ - Opera Magazine

‘Joseph Middleton is a born collaborator...one of the brightest stars in the world of song and Lieder, performing with the likes of baritone Sir Thomas Allen and soprano Dame Felicity Lott’ - BBC Music Magazine

‘Middleton is outstanding, his reputation as a rising star among accompanists richly deserved...Middleton, as one might expect, is marvellously insightful, playing throughout with weight, as well as grace and subtlety...the absolute king of programming.’ - Gramophone Magazine

Photo by Sussie Alburg

Keval Shah

Keval Shah

Graduated 2017
Piano Accompaniment

Keval Shah

Graduated 2017

Piano Accompaniment

Praised as ‘exceptional’ and his playing ‘deft and responsive’ (the Observer), Keval Shah has quickly established himself at the forefront of a new generation of song pianists, with appearances at concert halls and festivals across Europe, and a string of competition successes.

Recent highlights include concerts at the Buxton International Festival and Oxford Lieder Festival, as well as an Artist in Residence series at Burgh House, and recitals as part of an ongoing project to perform the complete songs of Hugo Wolf. In September 2019, Shah was the official accompanist for the Wigmore Hall/Independent Opera International Song Competition. His performances have been broadcast on BBC Radio 3 and Danish national radio (DR P2), and he has recorded for Decca Classics. His debut album, with bass-baritone Michael Mofidian, is due for release on the Linn Records label in 2021.

Away from the recital platform, Shah is carving an international career as a teacher. After a spell teaching at the Royal Academy of Music, in September 2020 he will take up the position of Lecturer of Lieder at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, where he will be the youngest professor in the institution’s history.

Shah is also active as a broadcaster and writer. He is a regular contributor and presenter for BBC Radio 3 and holds an Edison Fellowship at the British Library, where he is researching changing trends in the recorded performances of the songs of Hugo Wolf.

A former Britten-Pears Young Artist and Oxford Lieder Young Artist, Shah studied at Cambridge University and the Royal Academy of Music, graduating from both institutions with distinction. His teachers have included Michael Dussek, Audrey Hyland and Malcolm Martineau, and he has also benefited from tuition with Roger Vignoles, Bengt Forsberg and Helmut Deutsch.

Shah writes of his time at the Academy:

'My time at the Academy was absolutely critical in helping me to discover and hone my artistic identity. After a brilliant, but mainly academic, undergraduate experience, my two years on the MA programme at the Academy gave me the space and time to focus on my playing, building and refining my technique at the same time as learning much of the core song repertoire. Being surrounded by fellow pianists and a cohort of talented singers, I found myself in the ideal environment to forge musical partnerships and friendships which I now carry with me through my career. The enormous amount of performance opportunities, both in the building and at external venues like Wigmore Hall, gave me the stage experience I desperately needed, and through that I learnt so much about what it means to perform, and what it takes to do it successfully.

I was able to make the most of all the opportunities and possibilities of Academy life because I had the constant support and supervision of my professors. Michael Dussek, Audrey Hyland and Malcolm Martineau helped me to establish the strongest possible technical and musical foundation, and then taught me how to move beyond that foundation, allowing me to discover a physical and expressive freedom which has continued to expand the possibilities of my playing.

The most special thing about the Academy for me has always been the atmosphere of creativity and love for this art form. Being exposed every day to such an energetic environment has constantly renewed my passion for and dedication to what I do – stepping through the doors of the Academy is the best possible way of reminding oneself of the great privilege and joy of making music, and I am forever grateful for everything the Academy has been for me.'