Royal Conservatoire of Scotland’s review of the year

Royal Conservatoire of Scotland’s review of the year

Published: 04/12/2019

From royal days to remember to famous graduates returning to their roots and a year of captivating performances, 2019 brought many magical moments to the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (RCS).

At its Annual General Meeting today (Wednesday, December 4), Scotland’s national conservatoire reflected on a year of student, staff and graduate achievements. The Royal Conservatoire’s annual magazine, Review, was also unveiled at the meeting, which offers an insight into life at one of the world’s top performing arts institutions.

This year, Review features exclusive alumni interviews with:

  • screenwriter Krysty Wilson-Cairns (pictured) who co-wrote World War One epic 1917 with director Sam Mendes. The movie, which hits cinema screens in January, has been tipped as an Oscars frontrunner by critics
  • actor Ncuti Gatwa, breakout star of Netflix series Sex Education
  • pianist Fergus McCreadie, rapidly earning a reputation as one of the hottest properties in jazz


The magazine, which is also available online, shines a spotlight on some of the year’s biggest events, including an official visit in May from Royal Conservatoire of Scotland Patron, His Royal Highness, The Duke of Rothesay, who was joined by graduate, actor and Outlander star Sam Heughan. Sam accompanied The Duke of Rothesay on his tour of the Renfrew Street campus before hosting an exclusive Q&A session for current acting students.

Golden Globe-winning actor and graduate, Richard Madden, returned to RCS in July for an intimate Creative Conversation for students and staff. It was held the night before he received an honorary doctorate at the institution’s summer graduation.

Professor Jeffrey Sharkey, Principal of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, said: “We are incredibly proud of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland community who make a powerful and profound impact on the world through their art. In such uncertain times, their contribution is more needed than ever.

“Recently, our home city of Glasgow was awarded the accolade of creative and cultural centre of the UK by the European Commission. The city was praised for its openness, tolerance and trust and cultural participation all of which infuse the learning environment here at RCS. We will remain welcoming for all peoples and communities and will continue to strive to make better societies through our arts together.”

During the AGM which also included performances from BA Modern Ballet students Lilyella Featherstone and Daisy Mullen-Thomson and BA Music Performance student, cellist Madelyn Kowalski Principal Sharkey discussed a recent visit to UniArts Sibelius Academy in Finland who are benchmarking their institution with RCS and with the conservatoires of Bern and Gothenburg.

He also touched upon the Conservatoires UK Biennial Conference at RCS in October, which attracted leaders in performing arts education from some of the world’s top institutions. Artists, educators and special guest speakers explored the future of performing arts education and pedagogical practice, and the challenges and opportunities facing the sector. Conservatoires UK is the voice of conservatoire education and represents the collective views of eleven UK institutions.


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