'Our professors combine careers as eminent performers with a passion for teaching. We provide a supportive and challenging environment, and encourage you to find your own voice on your instrument.'
The Woodwind Faculty and the wider RCM community foster a culture of nurturing all students in a supportive environment. You are encouraged to grow into a confident and imaginative performer, taking advantage of all the opportunities available to you.
An introduction to the Woodwind Faculty
Head of Woodwind, Simon Channing, joins saxophonist Isabel Kasimba to talk about the opportunities RCM students enjoy.
Our outstanding team of woodwind professors combine careers as eminent performers with a passion and dedication for teaching. Many of whom hold principal positions in major orchestras. In addition to their one-to-one lessons, our students enjoy regular performance and ensemble classes, unlimited chamber coaching, orchestral playing and masterclasses with distinguished international musicians.
One-to-one lessons are at the very heart of every RCM student’s learning experience. Our woodwind professors are truly world-class, many of them principal players in major orchestras as well as soloists and members of well-known ensembles.
RCM students enjoy a wide variety of performance opportunities as part of the College’s diverse events calendar, which includes over 500 events each year.
All woodwind students have the chance to play in our orchestras, which include the RCM Philharmonic, the RCM Symphony Orchestra and the RCM Opera Orchestra. Here, students often have the opportunity to work with some of the finest conductors in the world. Recent visitors have included Vladimir Ashkenazy, John Wilson, Holly Mathieson, Bernard Haitink, Sir Antonio Pappano and Vladimir Jurowski. We also have our own Wind Ensemble, which often commissions new works.
Students have the chance to perform concertos with RCM orchestras. Previous performances have included Mozart's Bassoon Concerto, Ibert's Flute Concerto, Ivan Fedele's Clarinet Concerto, Mendelssohn's Concert Piece for Clarinet and Basset Horn and Weber's Concerto for Bassoon in F major.
Woodwind students enjoy unlimited chamber coaching and the opportunity to perform in small groups as part of the RCM’s Chamber Music concert series and in venues across London.
'Concerts and performance classes provide opportunities to learn as a musician and to thrive. From day one I have felt so inspired by the positive and supportive atmosphere.'
Woodwind section performing with the RCM Philharmonic
Flautist rehearsing with the RCM Symphony Orchestra
Saxophonist with the RCM Big Band
Bassoons in rehearsal (c) Patrick Harrison
Piccolo players in rehearsal
Cor anglais player performs with the RCM Symphony Orchestra
Flautist performing at the Royal Academy of Art
Recent visiting artists
Our students enjoy regular masterclasses with high-profile visitors including:
- The Berlin Philharmonic Wind Quintet
- The Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Wind Quintet
- Petri Alanko
- Juliette Bausor
- Arno Bornkamp
- Sam Coles
- Ole Kristian Dahl
- Sir James Galway
- Paolo De Gaspari
- Romain Guyot
- Melanie Henry
- Giorgio Mandolesi
- Maximiliano Martín
- Gerard McChrystal
- Gustavo Nunez
- Miriam Pastor
- Naomi Sullivan
- Jacques Ty
- Anna Wytko
- Nikita Zimin
- Elaine Douvas
- Ramón Ortega Quero
- Anthony McGill
Our students are regularly awarded prizes at major national and international competitions. Recent prizes have been awarded by:
- Stockholm International Music Competition
- Royal Over-Seas League Competition
The RCM’s Creative Careers Centre, which is recognised internationally for its innovative approach to supporting young musicians, provides an unparalleled service to current students and recent alumni. The dedicated team partners with leading consultants, reputable arts organisations and local communities, delivering unique career-building opportunities and a direct route to the music industry.
The work of the Creative Careers Centre allows students to discover their professional identity, gain hands-on experience and new skills, develop an entrepreneurial mind-set and build a fulfilling professional portfolio.
Extensive performance and teaching opportunities are available, as well as valuable guidance on CV and biography writing, concert programming, communication skills, project management, marketing and publicity, online promotion, financial matters and how to develop a business idea.
We continually invest in our facilities to ensure RCM students have the very best opportunities. Our impressive performance spaces are matched by top-quality academic and technical provisions, such as our historic library and professional grade studios. The Royal College of Music is proud to offer some of the finest facilities anywhere in the world.
The RCM has three major performance spaces. The Amaryllis Fleming Concert Hall which has an illustrious history and is the primary performance venue for RCM orchestras and large ensembles. Our 400-seat Britten Theatre boasts excellent technical facilities for the RCM’s thriving International Opera School. The Performance Hall offers an alternative space for ensemble performances and orchestral rehearsals. It boasts a retractable stage, a Fazioli grand piano, comprehensive technical infrastructure and variable acoustics, providing versatility for the range of events staged by the College.
In addition, more intimate spaces for solo and chamber performance include the Performance Studio and The Parry Rooms, which have unparalleled views of the Royal Albert Hall, and our 100-seat Recital Hall.
As well as practice rooms and space for one-to-one and group teaching, the RCM contains dedicated opera rehearsal spaces, a number of sound-proofed Amadeus Music Pods and organ rooms. We have over 160 pianos, including 60 grand pianos and 20 early keyboards, and a recently opened Blüthner Practice Suite which holds ten Blüthner pianos, instrument storage with special facilities for harps and double basses, plus in-house instrument workshops.
RCM Studios is a commercial-grade facility, equipped with professional audio, video and composition technologies, supporting the RCM’s recording needs and enabling live broadcast of performances around the world.
The RCM Library contains more than 400,000 scores, books and recordings in its lending collection, plus access to more than 400 music journals. The library also subscribes to many online resources including Oxford Music Online, Naxos Music Library, JSTOR, Met Online and the Berlin Philharmonic Digital Concert Hall. In addition, the RCM also boasts an internationally renowned collection of original manuscripts (including examples from Mozart and Elgar) early printed editions and archives. Our musicians also have access to thousands of scores online through our partnership with nkoda, and Henle digital sheet music.
The RCM Museum holds more than 15,000 instruments dating from the late 15th century to the present day, some of which are the earliest known examples of their kind. The collection is a unique resource and many of the instruments in the collection can be studied or played by RCM students. The RCM Museum is currently closed for refurbishment but will will re-open later in 2021.
RCM woodwind graduates enjoy unrivalled success in a range of professional settings. RCM musicians have been awarded principal woodwind positions with:
- Sydney Symphony Orchestra
- Shanghai Symphony Orchestra
- Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra
- KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic Orchestra
- Great Falls Symphony Orchestra (Montana)
- RTÉ Concert Orchestra
- Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
- English National Opera Orchestra
- London Philharmonic Orchestra
- Orchestra of Scottish Opera
- James Galway
- Evelyn Barbirolli
- Leon Goossens
- Michael Collins
- Dame Thea King
- Gervase de Peyer
- Frederic Thurston
- Roger Birnstingl
- Archie Camden
- John Harle
- Amy Dickson
Latest from the Woodwind Faculty
Royal College of Music named top institution for performing arts in the UK for sixth consecutive year and top in Europe.
The popular RCM In Focus series returns this spring with new performances by RCM musicians, filmed especially for online audiences.
The RCM's new short film series begins today with In Focus: The Kennedy-Mietke Harpsichord.
The Royal College of Music has launched its autumn events season for 2020, including the first performances in its brand-new Performance Hall.
Sir Antonio Pappano, John Wilson and Holly Mathieson feature alongside RCM students in this month's online concert series, taking classic performances from our archives.
Please note that the audition and application process for Fellowships is not the same as it is for our courses. Please refer to the individual Fellowship pages for more details.
Contact the Woodwind Faculty
If you have any general queries about woodwind at the RCM please contact our Woodwind Faculty Administration team. If you have any queries about auditions or the admissions process, please contact our Admissions team.
Woodwind Faculty Administration
General enquiries about the operation of the faculty and consultation lessons
Admissions and general audition enquiries