Royal College of Music

Be the future of music, London

The Royal College of Music is one of the world’s greatest conservatoires, welcoming students from all backgrounds and committed to providing the best opportunities for learning, performance and career development.

Strategies, values & governance

An important aspect of music is undoubtedly its ability to bring people together, promoting unity rather than division. With a student cohort numbering some 60 nationalities, the Royal College of Music is determined to play its part.

Learning from the past enables us to create an ambitious future. After 140 years, the RCM is still true to its founding principles of access, excellence and advocacy. We believe music can make positive change and transform lives, now more than ever. We remain strong, ready to adapt to the changes necessary to secure the future of music through reinvigoration.

Every autumn the Royal College of Music produces an Annual Review of its activities, successes and finances for the previous academic year.


Opened in 1883 by the then Prince of Wales (later Edward VII), the RCM has trained some of the most important figures in British and international music life, including composers such as HolstVaughan Williams, Turnage and Britten; conductors such as Leopold StokowskiSir Colin Davis and Sir Roger Norrington; singers such as Dame Joan SutherlandSir Thomas Allen and Alfie Boe; instrumentalists such as Sir James GalwayJohn LillGervase de Peyer, and Natalie Clein.

With more than 900 students from more than 50 countries studying at undergraduate, masters or doctoral level, the RCM is a vibrant community of talented and open-minded musicians. RCM professors are musicians with worldwide reputations, accustomed to working with the most talented students of each generation to unlock their artistic potential.

Regular visitors include the likes of Lang Lang and Dame Kiri Te Kanawa. We were also regularly visited by the late Bernard Haitink. The RCM’s many performing groups – including five orchestras, two jazz bands and the RCM International Opera School – are celebrated for the vitality and excellence of their performances, and are regularly invited to perform at significant venues both in the UK and overseas.

The RCM’s buildings, facilities and location are the envy of the world. The RCM is situated in South Kensington, the home of science, arts and inspiration, directly opposite the Royal Albert Hall. Our iconic building, our concert hallBritten Theatrestudioslibrary and RCM Collections all provide inspiration for RCM students.

Images ©Royal College of Music