Create a vibrant future as a pianist, here at the Academy
Here's what to expect from your time studying at the Academy's Piano Department
We offer a world-class programme to develop the skills necessary for a 21st-century career in performing. We’ll nurture your ability to curate festivals and concert series, and to create recording opportunities; we’ll build your confidence to compose and conduct, and to explore early keyboards; and we’ll help you develop your artistic personality.
We want you to perform as much as possible. There are opportunities to perform in Academy concerts, prizes and masterclasses; in international competitions; and in London venues, including Steinway Hall London, Kings Place, St John’s Smith Square and Wigmore Hall. We have close collaborations with major UK festivals, including Aldeburgh, Cheltenham, Dartington, Edinburgh, Bath and Petworth. We often arrange performances and interviews on BBC Radio 3 and Radio 4.
There are concerto opportunities at the Academy too. Last year Edward Gardner conducted one of our pianists in Rachmaninov's Piano Concerto No 4, and John Wilson conducted Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No 3.
We run two annual Piano Festivals at the Academy. We promote an Autumn Piano Festival every October, and a Summer Piano Festival in June. These are exuberant, multi-faceted events; more than 60 pianists took this year, playing to large and enthusiastic audiences. We present ambitious festival concert programmes – including the complete Beethoven Sonatas, two-piano concertos, commissions, chamber music and multimedia collaborations.
We don’t want you just to play the piano well.
We want you to be a complete, individual artist, with the all the skills for a great career.
Apart from a busy weekly schedule, we offer a range of classes throughout the year:
With Head of Conducting Sian Edwards, you’ll work closely with conducting students, in preparation for regular concerto exams and performances.
Training on harpsichords, fortepianos and early pianos with Carole Cerasi, Steven Devine and Jane Chapman, using the unique resources of the Academy’s Museum Piano Gallery.
Extra coaching sessions each term with our Visiting Professor Adrian Brendel, as well as other international chamber musicians.
We regularly collaborate with the Royal College of Art, Central Saint Martins, Drama Centre London and London School of Contemporary Dance, to produce groundbreaking performances.
Composing and Transcribing
Very often, pianists are talented composers. As well as working with international composers, we offer classes in transcription, contemporary music and composition.
Classes in jazz playing with Dominic Alldis, and improvising to film with Neil Brand.
Professional Career Sessions
Throughout the year, there are regular classes run by the Head of Piano on how to be resourceful and imaginative: planning for competitions, creating recordings, finding an agent, establishing your own festival and concert series, managing your diary and finding work as a performer.