Keyboard

The College takes delivery of 62 new pianos from the Steinway factory in Hamburg

Under the direction of Simon Phillippo, the Keyboard Department provides world-class training in a vibrant and supportive environment. Students receive weekly one-to-one lessons, participate in regular classes and workshops, and enjoy a huge variety of performance opportunities throughout each year of study.

Further inspiration is provided by regular visits from some of the world’s most renowned pianists, many performing at RWCMD as part of the prestigious Steinway International Series of recitals, and giving masterclasses to keyboard students.

The Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama was the first All-Steinway Conservatoire in the UK, joining only a handful of outstanding institutions worldwide to become part of the family of All-Steinway Schools. The 62 brand new Steinways, handpicked in Hamburg, have made an impact on every aspect of life at the College. They are serviced annually by Steinway & Sons and maintained to the highest standards throughout the year. In addition to the fleet of pianos, the College boasts one of the finest concert halls in the country, offering a performance training experience that is second to none.

The department’s ethos is one of diversity and collaboration. All students are encouraged to form working relationships with musicians from other departments, including singers, instrumentalists, and composers. The emphasis at all levels of study is on a broad-based training for life as a pianist, with students assisted in developing their own individual skills and interests.

A rigorous curriculum ensures a mastery of technique and a comprehensive study of repertoire, with skills of musical communication and platform techniques carefully honed under the expert guidance of the College’s drama and movement teachers. A creative approach to recital programming is encouraged from the beginning, along with independence of mind and an appetite for exploration and discovery.

We place a strong emphasis on the future employability of our students, providing comprehensive training in the full range of keyboard skills required of a professional pianist.

For undergraduates, this includes performance on historical instruments (with opportunities available for specialist tuition on harpsichord and fortepiano),regular coaching in accompaniment skills and chamber music, teaching skills and outreach opportunities. Through performance classes and seminars, students broaden their knowledge and develop verbal presentation skills while gaining further confidence in performance. Additional classes focus on sight-reading skills along with other essential techniques of improvisation, score reading, transposition, memorisation and basic conducting. We also provide detailed individual guidance in practice methods, encouraging each student to develop their own approach to musical preparation.

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Postgraduate pianists will continue to develop their skills at an advanced level while engaging in an extensive range of ensemble opportunities and individual projects, which might include performance on historical instruments, collaborations with student composers, concerto performances, in-depth study of Lieder repertoire, chamber music or repetiteur skills. We also offer specialist programmes in Collaborative Piano or Repetiteurship at postgraduate level.

Head of Keyboard Studies
Simon Phillippo MA MPhil PhD (Cantab)

Piano
Graham Caskie
Mei Yi Foo
Robin Green BMus (Hons)
James Kirby GRSM LRAM
Richard McMahon FRWCMD ARAM
Richard Ormrod MA (Cantab)
Roger Owens MMus GRSM (Hons) ARCO ARCM
Michael Young BA MMus ARCM

Collaborative Piano
Benjamin Frith
Simon Lepper
Catherine Milledge
Simon Phillippo
Daniel Tong

Repetiteur
Simon Phillippo
Michael Pollock
James Southall MA (Cantab) MMus ARCO
Stephen Wood MA (Oxon) PGDip (RAM) ARCO

Historical Performance
Steven Devine
Despina Homatidou

Keyboard Musicianship
Alison Bowring
Douglas Finch (Improvisation)
Sharon Richards
Emyr Roberts

Visiting Piano Consultant
Charles Owen

Artist in Asscociation
Llŷr Williams

Chamber Ensemble in Residence
The Gould Piano Trio

Steinway International Masterclasses 2016-17
Jeremy Denk
Steven Osborne
Stephen Hough
Tamara Stefanovich
Yevgeny Sudbin

Louis Schwizgebel

Federico Colli

Louis Lortie

Paul Lewis

Alexander Romanovsky

John Lill

Stephen Hough

Olli Mustonen

Llŷr Williams

Imogen Cooper

Freddy Kempf