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The magazine for the Royal College of Music

Since 1904, the Royal College of Music has published a regular magazine celebrating the achievements of its students, graduates and staff. Under its current title Upbeat, the magazine is not only bigger and brighter than ever before, but distributed both and print and digital form worldwide and read by key figures across the music industry.

Upbeat is published seasonally, coinciding with our autumn, spring and summer terms. Any students, graduates and staff of the RCM can submit details of their latest news to the Upbeat newsdesk: simply send your stories – and any good photos – to news@rcm.ac.uk. If you're a graduate, please also let us know when you studied here and what your principal study was.

Please note, we cannot guarantee to include everything we receive and that we reserve the right to edit any submissions.

The final deadline for the next (spring) issue is Monday 20 January 2020.

We look forward to hearing from you! 

Download the latest issue of Upbeat now

Upbeat, Spring 2020

In this issue: Upbeat goes green, with our feature on the RCM's progress in becoming more environmentally sustainable across campus. We also celebrate the pioneering women of the College, meet a star staff member and highlight the achievements of students, staff and alumni from recent months.

Upbeat Spring 2020 (6,240 kb)

Previous Editions of Upbeat

Upbeat Autumn 2019 (8,632 kb)

Upbeat, Autumn 2019

In this issue: we hear of the latest RCM alumni to be featured in the Queen's Birthday Honours List. On pages 10-11 RCM Chairman Lord Black of Brentwood discusses the effects of the dwindling number of music students in schools, and on page 9 we talk to RCM Videographer Martin Phillips. 

Upbeat Summer 2019 (21,596 kb)

Upbeat, Summer 2019

In this issue: we pay homage to the RCM's significant history, while also looking ahead to some of the exciting plans the College has for the future. On pages 10-11 we celebrate a landmark moment in our More Music Campaign, and turn to pages 12-13 to find out more about a new piece of artificial intelligence designed by researchers at the Centre for Performance Science

Upbeat, Spring 2019

In this issue: we acknowledge some of the individuals who have made notable contributions both to the legacy of the RCM, and indeed to music itself. On pages 12–13 we celebrate the invaluable cache of Milein Cosman sketches recently bequeathed to the College. Read more about this fascinating artist, and the musicians who became her muse, inside. On pages 10-11 BBC Proms photographer Chris Christodoulou, who has captured some of the greatest moments in music, shares his fondest memories from behind the camera. 

Upbeat, Autumn 2018

In this issue: we hear from one of the most celebrated voices in classical music today – alumna Dame Sarah Connolly. Our opera theme continues with a backstage interview with RCM Costume Supervisor Jools Osborne, and to mark the 100th anniversary of the Armistice, Upbeat explores the remarkable wartime story of five RCM musicians. 

Upbeat Autumn 2018 (13,153 kb)

Upbeat, Summer 2018

In this issue: we unravel a musical mystery hiding within a 17th-century painting, honour HRH The Prince of Wales in his 25th year as RCM President, and celebrate former director Hubert Parry.

Upbeat Summer 2018 (17,682 kb)

Upbeat, Spring 2018

In this issue: we celebrate the RCM's magnificent new organ, recently completed by world-renowned organ builders Flentrop Orgelbouw. We also discover a day in the life of an RCM collaborative pianist, and catch up with recent graduate Laura Ayoub, one half of chart-topping sibling duo The Ayoub Sisters. Elsewhere we celebrate the appointment of violin maker Florian Leonard as Expert and Luthier for Stringed Instruments, while beloved baritone Sir Thomas Allen becomes RCM Artist in Residence. 

Upbeat Spring 2018 (15,416 kb)

Upbeat, Summer 2017

In this issue: alumna Louise Alder wins the Audience Prize at BBC Cardiff Singer of the World, we explore the history behind some of the RCM’s most prestigious awards and speak to four graduates who received them, and former RCM Chairman Lord Winston plants the first spade in the ground in the courtyard to mark the beginning of our More Music building work.

Upbeat summer 2017 (4,009 kb)

Upbeat, Spring 2017

In this issue: read about our Royal Gala at Buckingham Palace hosted by HRH The Prince of Wales, Sabina Fatkullina tells us about her ArtPoint Foundation which helps support student Peter Xie, and to mark International Women’s Day we reflect on how the Royal College of Music is playing its part in promoting women in music.

Upbeat spring 2017 (13,396 kb)

Upbeat, Autumn 2016

In this issue: RCM composition alumna Kate Simko tells us about upcoming projects with her ensemble London Electric Orchestra, Head of Undergraduate Programmes Dr Christina Guillaumier guides us through digital developments in learning, and the RCM reassures EU students and celebrates its cultural diversity with the #RCMWorldwide social media competition.

Upbeat autumn 2016 (22,668 kb)

Upbeat, Summer 2016

In this issue: Head of the RCM Junior Department, Miranda Francis, tells us more about the RCMJD on its 90th anniversary, student Emmanuel Bach takes us behind the scenes in orchestral rehearsals with Vladimir Jurowski and the RCM is named the top conservatoire for performing arts in the UK, second in Europe and joint third in the world in the 2016 QS World University Rankings.

Upbeat summer 2016 (14,127 kb)

Upbeat, Spring 2016

In this issue: Take a look at our new-look Upbeat magazine, discover how the RCM Museum became the first conservatoire on Google Cultural Institute, Head of ICT Mark Soole tells us about a day in the life of the ICT team and contracts are exchanged for the purchase of nearby Markova House.

Upbeat Spring 2016 (18,300 kb)

Upbeat, Autumn 2015

In this issue: Take a look at the RCM's brand new percussion suite with Head of Percussion David Hockings, pianist Martin James Bartlett and his supporter Terry Hitchcock discuss the relationship between scholar and supporter and the First Lady of China, Madame Peng Liyuan visits the Royal College of Music.

Upbeat Autumn 2015 (4,579 kb)

Upbeat, Summer 2015

In this issue: RCM Director Professor Colin Lawson unveils transformative plans for the Royal College of Music, HRH The Prince of Wales visits for the Annual Awards Ceremony and RCM singers and alumni win a clean sweep at the Kathleen Ferrier Awards.

Upbeat Summer 2015 (4,825 kb)

Upbeat, Spring 2015

In this issue: RCM musicians take part in a project to re-enact the 1913 recording of Beethoven's Fifth onto wax disc, the RCM enjoys success in the Research Excellence Framework, and Senior Recording Engineer Matt Parkin explains the technological advances enhancing teaching at the RCM.

Upbeat Spring 2015 (6,073 kb)

Upbeat, Autumn 2014

In this issue: the RCM stars in two BBC TV programmes: Celebrity MasterChef and The Honourable WomanRCM alumni tell Upbeat how they've developed their musical careers after graduation, and the Woodhouse Professional Development Centre turns 15 with a series of varied events.

Upbeat Autumn 2014 (5,131 kb)

Upbeat, Summer 2014

In this issue: Artist Hugo Dalton and Museum Curator Gabriele Rossi Rognoni discuss the transformation of the RCM Museum of Music, Bostonian bookseller Jane Wilson tells us why she's donated two rare woodwind instruments to the Museum, and Upbeat finds out about the latest news from the Library and Museum.

Upbeat Summer 2014 (5,952 kb)

Upbeat, Spring 2014

In this issue: RCM composers and professors talk about their latest inspiring cross-art collaboration with the Royal Academy of Arts, Artistic Director Stephen Johns reveals details of the RCM's latest orchestral project with the Philharmonia Orchestra and RCM violinist Joo Yeon Sir talks about the diverse spaces she's had the opportunity to perform in.

Upbeat Spring 2014 (4,172 kb)

Upbeat, Autumn 2013

In this issue: Director of Research Amanda Glauert explains why research is so important to the RCM, doctoral students, Randall Scotting & Claire Bracher, discuss their fascination with uncovering lesser known baroque works and find out about the Listening Experience Database - the world's first database documenting the impact of music on people's lives.

Upbeat Autumn 2013 (2,907 kb)

Upbeat, Summer 2013

Celebrating the 20th anniversary of HRH The Prince of Wales: meet the first recipient of the President's Award, Ruairi Glasheen, and delve into our photo archive of his visits over the past 20 years.

Upbeat Summer 2013 (3,904 kb)

Upbeat, Spring 2013

In this issue: Professor Aaron Williamon tells Upbeat about his performance simulator for musicians, Peter Hewitt reminisces over 22 years as Director of the RCM's Junior Department and Chelsea Pensioner David Poultney talks about his love of singing and why he supports the RCM.

Upbeat Spring 2013 (5,072 kb)

Upbeat, Autumn 2012

In this issue: RCM students share their experiences of studying abroad, Communications Director Sue Sturrock reminisces over 18 years at the College, and Nigel Brotherton explains why John Lewis is keen to support scholarships and RCM Sparks.

Upbeat Autumn 2012 (6,933 kb)

Upbeat, Summer 2012

In this issue: Chief Exec of Exhibition Road Cultural Group Paul Cutts and SA President Charles Bradley tell Upbeat what it means to be part of Exhibition Road.

Upbeat Summer 2012 (9,568 kb)

Upbeat Spring 2012 (6,875 kb)

Upbeat, Spring 2012

A French-themed issue: Prof Richard Langham Smith sheds light on two Debussy world premieres given at the RCM while profs Sophie-Veronique Cauchefer Choplin and Jean-Philippe Calvin talk about teaching at the RCM and music life on both sides of the channel.

Upbeat, Autumn 2011

In this issue: Celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Britten Theatre. Hear from mezzo-soprano Sarah Connolly and Chairman of the Centenary Appeal Leopold de Rothschild on their memories of the Theatre.

Upbeat Autumn 2011 (4,343 kb)

Upbeat, Summer 2011

In this issue: keyboard legend Rick Wakeman relives his time spent studying at the RCM, Chief Librarian Pam Thompson reminisces over 43 years working at the College, and Resident Luthier David Hume reveals the treasures of the RCM's string instrument collection.

Upbeat Summer 2011 (6,288 kb)

Upbeat, Spring 2011

In this issue: a Junior Department special! Meet winner of BBC Young Musicians 2010 Lara Melda, recent graduate Kevin Satizabal, and students on our Sparks Juniors scheme, which spots raw musical talent among children from the local area.

Upbeat Spring 2011 (4,416 kb)

> View older editions of Upbeat, dating back to 2008.

Upbeat Summer 2018 (17,682 kb)

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Royal College of Music, Prince Consort Road, London SW7 2BS. Tel: +44(0)20 7591 4300 Royal College of Music, Prince Consort Road, London SW7 2BS.
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