Historical Performance

Historical Performance

We are still accepting applications for the BMus (Hons) Music (for the vocal, instrumental & composition pathways) and BMus (Hons) Jazz courses. Places are subject to availability. Please get in touch with our Admissions Team before submitting an application.

A historically informed approach to differing musical styles is an essential prerequisite for all musicians entering the profession today. Students at RWCMD benefit from tuition and mentoring which promotes and develops a practical understanding of performance styles from Renaissance to 19th century through a comprehensive, world-class programme of study. 

Why study at RWCMD? 

  • All music students at RWCMD can engage with Historical Performance, either as a core module or as a specialism. 
  • RWCMD arguably has more students involved in performing Historical Performance than any other UK conservatoire, feeding into solo recitals, academic classes and ensemble performances. 
  • Our Historical Performance tutors include some of the world’s most influential and respected performers, including Anneke Scott, Jeremy West, Ross Brown, Katy Bircher, Jonathan Manson, and Rachel Podger. 
  • The programme emphasises collaboration in all aspects of activity and is structured to offer you a high level of support as an individual learner and future practitioner. 
  • Specialist Historical Performance project options allow you to conduct more detailed research into selected areas of Musicology and Performance. 

Why study historical performance today?  

Our unique approach to historical performance, guided by the expertise of Dr Simon Jones, gives students access to training in a variety of historical styles, working with period instruments including our historical keyboard collection, which includes several harpsichords and fortepianos from different eras. Being historically aware and informed is a key part of a 21st century musician’s portfolio of skills, enhancing our graduates’ versatility and employability.  

Led by Simon Jones, Head of Strings and Historical Performance  

Dr Simon Jones, head of the Strings and Historical Performance departments, is an acclaimed violinist who has performed and recorded internationally as an orchestral leader and chamber musician. He’s also an industry professional who has taught instrumentally and as a university lecturer.  

His combined professional experience, spanning more than 30 years, has allowed him to shape a programme that equips students with the skills to become inventive, adaptable and employable musicians. 

  • Find out more about RWCMD
    • Our thriving, multicultural institution welcomes 800 students from more than 40 countries. You’ll train side-by-side with other instrumentalists, actors, singers, composers and performance designers and will work with them on projects throughout the year.  
    • Collaboration forms a huge part of what we do, allowing you to immerse yourself in new experiences with a broad range of disciplines and skills from across the college. Our unique student-led company REPCo, encourages students to work together to be bold, imaginative and entrepreneurial.
    • Our industry partnerships provide real-world, enhanced learning experiences with leading arts organisations and professional musicians, also offering you opportunities to build your future professional networks.
    • RWCMD is a vibrant arts centre staging 500 performances a year (many of which are free) which are a combination of world-leading artists and student work, often side by side. Regular major events at RWCMD include BBC Young Musician of the Year, and BBC Cardiff Singer of the World and standalone events such as the World Harp Congress in July 2022. 
    • The College is the first UK conservatoire to achieve a gold standard level of quality assurance across Music, Drama and Under 18s in the recent international MusiQuE, Music Quality Enhancement review. Reviewers were particularly impressed with the College's approach to the individual student experience, multidisciplinary collaboration, and overall ambition, citing RWCMD as a shining example of best practice across European conservatoires, and reflecting the College's exceptional people and unique community. 
    • As the world’s only Steinway-exclusive conservatoire the College now has a world-leading fleet of pianos, and every acoustic piano at the College is a Steinway.
    • We fundamentally believe in the power of music to transform and enrich society, developing skills in teaching, coaching and co-creating projects to create musicians of the future who will make an impact as performers, teachers and enablers within the broader community. Fundamental questions - ‘How can we shape the industry of the future’, ‘How can we use art to make a difference’ - help us to produce musicians who are truly relevant to a 21st Century world.
    • You’ll practice, study and perform in a beautiful, inspiring setting, bordering Bute Park, one of the largest green spaces in the city. We have a chamber music hall with extraordinary acoustics, a glass-lined foyer and performance space, the Richard Burton Theatre, as well as state-of-the-art studios and rehearsal spaces.
    • Our campus is right in the centre of Cardiff, the UK’s first Music City, and the thriving, compact capital of Wales, which is only two hours by train to central London. 
    • Cardiff was named as the most cost-effective city in the UK for students, according to the NatWest Student Living Index 2022.

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