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The Royal Academy of Music in Londonmarker, Englandmarker, is a conservatoire, Britain's oldest degree-granting music school and a constituent college of the University of London since 1999. The Academy was founded by Lord Burghersh in 1822 with the help and ideas of the French harpist and composer Nicolas Bochsa and in 1830 was granted a Royal Charter by King George IV. It is a registered charity under English law.

The Academy

The Academy is situated on Marylebone Roadmarker in central London adjacent to Regent's Parkmarker. Academy facilities, which include the 450-seat Duke's Hall, the Sir Jack Lyons Theatre donated in 1976 by philanthropist Sir Jack Lyons and two smaller concert spaces, were expanded in 2001 with the opening of the new 150-seat David Josefowitz recital hall and a public museum of musical instruments and artifacts from the Academy's collections. The Junior Academy, for pupils under the age of 18, takes place every Saturday.

The Academy collaborates with other conservatoires worldwide, including participating in the SOCRATES student and staff exchange programme. In 1991, the Academy introduced a fully accredited degree in Performance Studies, and in September 1999, it became a full constituent college of the University of London, in both cases becoming the first UK conservatoire to do so.

The Academy's library contains over 160,000 items, including significant collections of early printed and manuscript materials and audio facilities. The library also houses archives dedicated to Sir Arthur Sullivan and Sir Henry Wood. Among the Library's most valuable possessions are the manuscripts of Purcell's The Fairy Queen, Sullivan's The Mikado, Vaughan Williams' Fantasia on a Theme of Thomas Tallis and Serenade to Music, and the newly-discovered Handel Gloria. A grant from the National Heritage Memorial Fund has assisted in the purchase of the Robert Spencer Collection — a set of Early English Song and Lute music, as well as a fine collection of lutes and guitars. The Academy's museum displays many of these items. The Orchestral Library has approximately 4,500 sets of orchestral parts. Other collections include the libraries of Sir Henry Wood and Otto Klemperer.

Harriet Cohen bequeathed a large collection of paintings, some photographs and her gold bracelet to the Academy, with a request that the room in which the paintings were to be housed was named the "Arnold Bax Room". Noted for her performances of Bach and modern English music, she was a friend and advocate of Arnold Bax and also premièred Vaughan Williams' Piano Concerto - a work dedicated to her - in 1933. In 1886, Franz Liszt, performed at the Academy to celebrate the creation of the Franz Liszt Scholarship and in 1843 Mendelssohn was made an honorary member of the Academy.

The Academy has students from over 50 countries, following diverse programmes including instrumental performance, conducting, composition, jazz, musical theatre and opera. The Academy enjoys an established relationship with King's College Londonmarker, particularly the Department of Music, whose students receive instrumental tuition at the Academy. In return, many students at the Academy take advantage of the range of Humanities choices at King's, and its extended academic musicological curriculum.

The current principal of the Academy is Professor Jonathan Freeman-Attwood, appointed in July 2008.

Student performances and festivals

Academy students perform regularly in the Academy's concert venues, and also nationally and internationally under conductors like Sir Colin Davis, Yan Pascal Tortelier, Christoph von Dohnányi, Sir Charles Mackerras and Trevor Pinnock. In September 2005, Sir Colin Davis conducted an orchestra which combined students from the Academy and New York's Juilliard School at the BBC Proms.

The Academy regularly celebrates the work of a living composer with a festival in the presence of the composer. Previous composer festivals at the Academy have been devoted to the work of Witold Lutosławski, Michael Tippett, Krzysztof Penderecki, Olivier Messiaen, Hans Werner Henze, Luciano Berio, Elliott Carter, as well as Academy graduates, Alfred Schnittke, György Ligeti, British and American film composers, Franco Donatoni, Galina Ustvolskaya, Arvo Pärt, György Kurtág and Mauricio Kagel.

In February-March 2006, an Academy festival celebrated the violin virtuoso Niccolò Paganini, who first visited Londonmarker 175 years earlier in 1831. The festival included a recital by Academy professor Maxim Vengerov, who performed on Il Cannone Guarnerius, Paganini's favorite violin. Academy instrumentalists and musical theatre students have also performed in a series of concerts with Academy alumnus Sir Elton John.

Courses

The Royal Academy of Music offers training from infant level (Junior Academy), with the senior Academy awarding the LRAM diploma, BMus and higher degrees to Ph.D.The former Graduate Diploma GRSM, equivalent to a university honours degree and taken by some students, was phased out in the 1990s. All undergraduates now take the University of London degree of B.Mus.

People

See 'Royal Academy of Music alumni for a list of members of the alumni community.

See 'Royal Academy of Music past and present teachers for notable members of the faculty.

Museum

The Academy's public museummarker, is situated in the York Gate building, which is connected to the Academy's building via a basement link. The museum houses the Academy's collections, including Cremonese stringed instruments dated between 1650 and 1740, a selection of historical English pianos from 1790 to 1850, from the famous Mobbs Collection, original manuscripts by Purcell, Mendelssohn, Liszt, Brahms, Sullivan and Vaughan Williams, musical memorabilia and other exhibits.

Honorary Awards of the Royal Academy of Music

The Royal Academy of Music publishes every year a list of persons have been selected to be awarded one of the Royal Academy’s honorary awards. These awards are for alumni who have distinguished themselves within the music profession (Fellow of the Royal Academy of Music (FRAM)), distinguished musicians who are not alumni (Honorary Member of the Royal Academy of Music (Hon RAM)), alumni who have made a significant contribution to the music profession (Associate of the Royal Academy of Music (ARAM)) and to people who are not alumni but have offered important services to the institution (Honorary Associate of the Royal Academy of Music (Hon ARAM)). The Honorary Fellowship of the Royal Academy of Music (Hon FRAM) is awarded by the Governing Body of the Academy. As a full member of the University of London, the Academy can nominate people to the University of London Honorary Doctor degree (Hon DMus).

References

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