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Head of Historical Performance

Laurence Cummings MA, ARCM, FRCO, Hon RAM

Has directed many leading ‘period’ groups including Les Arts Florissants, English Concert and Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, and is principal conductor of the London Handel Orchestra. Has conducted at English National Opera and Glyndebourne. As a soloist has recorded the harpsichord music of Louis and François Couperin. Musical Director of London Handel Festival and Tilford Bach Society. Artistic Director of Göttingen Handel Festival from 2012.

Many of the most outstanding performers in the current generation of historical performance specialists studied at the Academy. Intensive training in all aspects of historically-informed interpretation combines with a full involvement in Academy life, expanding performance possibilities for ‘traditional’ and ‘modern’ instrumentalists and singers alike.

Recent performance highlights have included the UK première of the original 1739 version of Rameau’s Dardanus and major concerts at Spitalfields Music with William Christie, Laurence Cummings, Nicholas McGegan, Sir Roger Norrington, Trevor Pinnock and Jordi Savall.

Students gain unrivalled experience in ensemble playing alongside outstanding orchestral opportunities with two baroque orchestras — one a period instrument ensemble, the other a modern instrument group which performs in a style appropriate to its repertoire. The Academy / Kohn Foundation Bach Cantatas series, performed on period instruments, is one of the most spectacular and demanding projects ever undertaken by a conservatoire.

Principal-study tuition is provided on ‘period’ instruments by professors who are active as soloists and in leading period instrument ensembles. Additional classes cover specialised areas of performance practice including national styles, tuning systems, ornamentation, compositional techniques, continuo disciplines and dance.

The Academy is custodian to many fine instruments that have been restored for period performance, including violins by Stainer, Jacobs and Klotz, and which are available for students. The Becket Collection of classical instruments, made in Britain during the mid-to-late 18th and early 19th centuries, is used for orchestral projects and chamber music. It has been kindly loaned to the Academy by Elise Becket Smith, along with the Vivaldi Project of Venetian baroque string instruments. The Academy also boasts a comprehensive library of rare manuscripts and editions.

Mainstream students are actively encouraged to take up Historical Performance as a second study. For singers, interpretation classes, coaching and performance opportunities are available in earlier repertoire.

A harpsichord tuned to A=415 or A=440 is available at London auditions, but no piano.

The Teachers Strings Pavlo Beznosiuk AGSM (baroque violin) Nicolette Moonen (baroque violin) Simon Standage MA, Hon RAM (baroque violin) Matthew Truscott (baroque violin) Jane Rogers (baroque viola)

Jonathan Manson UM, Hon ARAM (baroque cello, viola da gamba)

Jennifer Ward Clarke Hon RAM (baroque cello) Chi-Chi Nwanoku MBE, FRAM (baroque double bass) Elizabeth Kenny MA, ARAM (lute, theorbo)

Rachel Podger FGSMD, AGSMD, Hon RAM (Micaela Comberti Chair of Baroque Violin, pictured above right)

Woodwind Peter Holtslag Hon ARAM (recorder) Katriina Boosey MMus (recorder) Daniël Brüggen Hon ARAM (Visiting Professor of Recorder) Lisa Beznosiuk Hon RCM (baroque flute) Keith Puddy FRAM, FTCL (modern and classical clarinet)

Katharina Spreckelsen ARCM, Hon ARAM (baroque oboe) Andrew Watts (baroque bassoon)

Brass See Historical Brass Instruments, p.25


Historical Keyboards Carole Cerasi Hon ARAM (harpsichord, fortepiano)

Terence Charlston MA, MMus, ARAM, FRCO (harpsichord, basso continuo)

Laurence Cummings MA, ARCM, Hon RAM, FRCO (harpsichord, basso continuo)

Kenneth Gilbert Hon RAM (harpsichord) (Visiting Professor of Keyboards)

‘Lots of people have been doing Bach Cantata cycles... but this one’s really interesting’ Petroc Trelawny on BBC Radio 3, June 2010

Senior Administrator: Helen Wills BA, Hon ARAM Telephone 020 7873 7479 Email Open Day: check

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Some Past Students Elizabeth Kenny (1990), lute Jane Rogers (1991), viola Ashley Solomon (1991), recorder Alison McGillivray (1995), cello Matthew Wadsworth (1997), lute Rodolfo Richter (1999), violin Matthew Truscott (1999), violin Joseph Crouch (2000), cello Sarah McMahon (2001), cello Richard Sweeney (2001), lute Sarah Moffatt (2002), violin Frances Norbury (2002), oboe Sarah Sexton (2002), violin Huw Daniel (2003), violin Alfonso Leal Del Ojo (2004), viola Joel Raymond (2004), oboe Pawel Siwczak (2008), keyboard Chris Bucknall (2009), keyboard


2010–2011 Highlights A third year of sell-out performances in the Royal Academy of Music / Kohn Foundation Bach Cantatas series Festo di ballo at Spitalfields Music directed by Laurence Cummings Period Instrument Baroque Orchestra (PIBO) project with Margaret Faultless Baroque project at Hatchlands Park, directed by Lisa Beznosiuk Masterclasses with Roel Dieltiens, Anner Bylsma, Jed Wentz, Rachel Podger, Daniël Brüggen and Kenneth Gilbert Performance classes with Daniël Brüggen, Laurence Cummings, Kati Debretzeni, Jed Wentz, James Johnstone, Annette Isserlis, Rachel Brown and Joseph Crouch Classical project with Pavlo Beznosiuk

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