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Becoming a Professional

Deputy Principal Mark Racz

Deputy Principal’s PA: Eileen-Rose McFadden Telephone 020 7873 7351 Email

Mark Racz BA, MFA, HonFBC American-born pianist, teacher and music educator Mark Racz studied at Rutgers University and the Manhattan School of Music, and with Nadia Boulanger at the Fontainebleau School of Music. He has lived in the UK since 1980 and has performed widely as a soloist, accompanist and chamber musician, with a particular interest in early-20th-century music. He has given numerous master classes at the conservatoires in Weimar, Bucharest, Krakow, Beijing and Shanghai. He was Vice-Principal of Birmingham Conservatoire before moving to the Academy in 2008.

Performance is at the heart of all our work at the Academy, and we present over 400 public events every year. If you decide to study with us we’ll endeavour to give you a real sense of what professional musical life will be like for you after you have graduated.

For example, we believe it is essential for orchestral students to have the experience of working with professional conductors of the highest artistic stature. Sir Colin Davis, Semyon Bychkov, Yan Pascal Tortelier and Trevor Pinnock are all regular Academy visitors, and 2010–11 also featured performances with Sir Simon Rattle, Heinz Holliger and Leif Segerstam.

‘We’ve had plenty of opportunities to be dazzled this past month… from student performers of the Royal Academy of Music’ Daily Telegraph, February 2008

‘Some of the most talented and ambitious young musicians in the world’ Paul Morley writes about the Academy in The Observer

Above: Stephen Sondheim in conversation at the Academy

Our students perform at major London venues including the Southbank Centre, Wigmore Hall, Royal Albert Hall and Kings Place, as well as at the Aldeburgh and Spitalfields festivals. We collaborate regularly with the Juilliard School, most recently through our joint commission of Kommilitonen!, a new opera by Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, with the world première at the Academy in March 2011.

One unique feature of performance at the Academy is our range of collaborations in which students perform literally ‘side-by- side’ with players from major professional ensembles. For example, in 2010 Academy students performed with the London Sinfonietta in George Benjamin’s 50th birthday concert at the Queen Elizabeth Hall.

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The Royal Academy of Music / Kohn Foundation Bach Cantatas monthly concert series has rapidly become a firm fixture in London’s concert life. It provides unique opportunities for students to work with some of the world’s leading professionals on this challenging and rewarding repertoire.

We’re extremely proud of our graduates’ successes: recently Adam Walker (2009 graduate) and Denis Bouriakov (2004) have become Principal Flutes of the London Symphony Orchestra and New York Metropolitan Opera respectively, and Dominic Seldis (1992) Principal Double Bass with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. Last year, Iestyn Davies (2002) won the Royal Philharmonic Society’s Young Artist Award, and Jack Liebeck (2003) won the Classical BRIT Award for Young British Performer.

Pianist Benjamin Grosvenor (current student) is appearing as soloist in two BBC Proms in the Albert Hall in 2011 (with the BBC Symphony Orchestra and the National Youth Orchestra), and has also recently been awarded a three-year recording contract with Decca. Soprano Meeta Raval (2009) is representing the UK in the 2011 Cardiff Singer of the World Competition, and guitarist Miloš Karadaglic´’s (2006) first DG CD reached no.1 in the UK classical charts.

Your own professional career could begin here. Please read on to find out more.

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