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BMus Keyboard

Introduction

Professor Aaron Shorr, Head of Keyboard

Professor Fali Pavri, Associate Head of Keyboard

Steven Osborne, International Fellow of Piano

The Keyboard department will develop your individual skills in a supportive, innovative and challenging environment. Our staff bring a wealth of experience to their teaching and enjoy active performing and recording careers. You will benefit from their expertise in your weekly 90-minute one-to-one lessons as well as participating in regular performance classes for solo and chamber music in either one of our concert halls. Students may also elect to share their 1-1 lessons between two principal study teachers, a practice which is encouraged and supported by the department. Students also have weekly opportunities to work with other members of the keyboard faculty, either by signing up for additional 1-1 piano classes or from the teaching rota in operation for each performance class. The department also runs an innovative, internal digital platform where all performance classes and concerts are recorded and then stored in a digital archive for our students to consult throughout their studies. This system is supported by a rich array of peer and tutor feedback and has become one of the key innovations in the department’s working practice, enabling students to watch, listen and reflect on their playing as well as supporting the work and development of their peers.

Our performing, teaching and practice facilities are world class. The Stevenson Hall plays host to regular live recital broadcasts for BBC Radio 3 and the prestigious, triennial Scottish International Piano Competition. Piano students benefit from a dedicated piano corridor with 10 practice rooms and 8 teaching rooms. Each piano practice room has a Steinway Model A grand and all piano teaching rooms are equipped with two, Model B Steinways. There are also 6 Model D Steinways in our concert halls and recording studio. Additionally, we operate a free loan system where students may take upright pianos to use in their accommodation during the academic year.

Principal study lessons and performance classes are also complemented by a wide variety of supporting study options, including classical improvisation, conducting, piano technique, organ and harpsichord seminars and French repertoire classes with world renowned pianist and scholar, Roy Howat. Students may also make CD quality recordings in our state of the art recording studio.

Opportunities to perform are one of the key drivers of the department. In addition to regular showcase concerts, masterclasses, an annual Piano Festival and the Plug contemporary music festival, keyboard students may also compete in over ten, internal competitions, including a concerto competition, classical concerto competition, Mozart piano concerto competition, duo-piano competition, Debussy prize, Bamber/Galloway and Walcer recital prizes, a rare Russian music prize and rare romantic music prizes and the prestigious Governor’s recital prize. Prize money for the various internal competitions total in excess of £5000.00 per annum.

Our students regularly win top prizes in many international and national competitions. During the past year alone, RCS piano students have won a total of 7 top prizes at international competitions, including First Prizes at the UNISA South Africa competition, Rio International Piano Competition, Ciurlionis Competition and Morocco Philharmonic Competition. Other competition successes include the Prix du Piano Interlaken Classics (Switzerland), the Sheepdrove Competition, Andre Dumortier Piano Competition (Belgium), the Royal Over-Seas League, (Overseas Prize) and Moray (1st Prize), Yamaha Competition (UK), Bromsgrove International Competition, Estonia (Tallinn 1st Prize), Lagny sur Marne and Piano Campus (France), Vines (Spain), Chieri (Italy) , Maria Callas (Greece), EU Competition (Prague) the Czech Republic, Sparkasse Chamber Music Competition (Frankfurt ) and Isidor Bajic (Serbia). We also offer an annual concerto performance opportunities with the prestigious Royal Scottish National Orchestra and the RCS Symphony Orchestra.

For more information on day-to-day highlights from the Keyboard Department, follow us on the RCS Keyboard Facebook Page.

Introduction

Professor Aaron Shorr, Head of Keyboard

Professor Fali Pavri, Associate Head of Keyboard

Steven Osborne, International Fellow of Piano

The Keyboard department will develop your individual skills in a supportive, innovative and challenging environment. Our staff bring a wealth of experience to their teaching and enjoy active performing and recording careers. You will benefit from their expertise in your weekly 90-minute one-to-one lessons as well as participating in regular performance classes for solo and chamber music in either one of our concert halls. Students may also elect to share their 1-1 lessons between two principal study teachers, a practice which is encouraged and supported by the department. Students also have weekly opportunities to work with other members of the keyboard faculty, either by signing up for additional 1-1 piano classes or from the teaching rota in operation for each performance class. The department also runs an innovative, internal digital platform where all performance classes and concerts are recorded and then stored in a digital archive for our students to consult throughout their studies. This system is supported by a rich array of peer and tutor feedback and has become one of the key innovations in the department’s working practice, enabling students to watch, listen and reflect on their playing as well as supporting the work and development of their peers.

Our performing, teaching and practice facilities are world class. The Stevenson Hall plays host to regular live recital broadcasts for BBC Radio 3 and the prestigious, triennial Scottish International Piano Competition. Piano students benefit from a dedicated piano corridor with 10 practice rooms and 8 teaching rooms. Each piano practice room has a Steinway Model A grand and all piano teaching rooms are equipped with two, Model B Steinways. There are also 6 Model D Steinways in our concert halls and recording studio. Additionally, we operate a free loan system where students may take upright pianos to use in their accommodation during the academic year.

Principal study lessons and performance classes are also complemented by a wide variety of supporting study options, including classical improvisation, conducting, piano technique, organ and harpsichord seminars and French repertoire classes with world renowned pianist and scholar, Roy Howat. Students may also make CD quality recordings in our state of the art recording studio.

Opportunities to perform are one of the key drivers of the department. In addition to regular showcase concerts, masterclasses, an annual Piano Festival and the Plug contemporary music festival, keyboard students may also compete in over ten, internal competitions, including a concerto competition, classical concerto competition, Mozart piano concerto competition, duo-piano competition, Debussy prize, Bamber/Galloway and Walcer recital prizes, a rare Russian music prize and rare romantic music prizes and the prestigious Governor’s recital prize. Prize money for the various internal competitions total in excess of £5000.00 per annum.

Our students regularly win top prizes in many international and national competitions. During the past year alone, RCS piano students have won a total of 7 top prizes at international competitions, including First Prizes at the UNISA South Africa competition, Rio International Piano Competition, Ciurlionis Competition and Morocco Philharmonic Competition. Other competition successes include the Prix du Piano Interlaken Classics (Switzerland), the Sheepdrove Competition, Andre Dumortier Piano Competition (Belgium), the Royal Over-Seas League, (Overseas Prize) and Moray (1st Prize), Yamaha Competition (UK), Bromsgrove International Competition, Estonia (Tallinn 1st Prize), Lagny sur Marne and Piano Campus (France), Vines (Spain), Chieri (Italy) , Maria Callas (Greece), EU Competition (Prague) the Czech Republic, Sparkasse Chamber Music Competition (Frankfurt ) and Isidor Bajic (Serbia). We also offer an annual concerto performance opportunities with the prestigious Royal Scottish National Orchestra and the RCS Symphony Orchestra.

For more information on day-to-day highlights from the Keyboard Department, follow us on the RCS Keyboard Facebook Page.

Programme structure

In each year of the undergraduate course, keyboard students will have regular opportunities to play in weekly performance classes, masterclasses, showcase concerts and festival events, including the Piano Festival and Plug Festival.

Chamber music is an important part of the department’s curriculum and all students during four years will be examined in piano duo (Year 1), piano and voice (year 2) and piano and strings/winds or brass (Year 3). All year 4 students are examined in concertos.

Each year also concludes with a final recital, increasing in length throughout the four years of the course. In the final two years, students have an increasing amount of choice in how they present their final recitals, which can include chamber music or song accompaniment.

The Keyboard department also runs over ten, often innovative competitions throughout the year. These competitions encourage students to explore a wide variety of music, including rare Russian music and rare romantic music. In addition to these competitions, there are prizes for recitals, concertos and chamber music as well as named prizes for Bach and Debussy.

The department also offers prestigious concerto opportunities to students to perform with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, as well as the RCS Symphony Orchestra.

There are frequent masterclasses throughout the year. Most recent visits included the distinguished artists Idil Biret, Stephen Hough, Richard Goode, Angela Hewitt, Andrei Gavrilov and Olli Mustonen.

For further departmental news and highlights, follow us on the RCS Keyboard Facebook Page.

Staff and masterclasses

Pianoforte

International Fellow in Piano

International Fellow in Collaborative Piano

International Visiting Professor in Contemporary Improvisation

Visiting Professor in Piano

  • William Fong

Accordion

Organ

Harpsichord

Masterclasses

The Keyboard Studies department is fortunate to have masterclasses given by world renowned performers, including:

  • Steven Osborne
  • Leon Fleisher
  • Richard Goode
  • Elisabeth Leonskaja
  • Idil Biret
  • Malcolm Marineau
  • Andre Gavrilov
  • Stephen Hough
  • William Fong
  • Angela Hewitt
  • Dr Roy Howat
  • Dr Leslie Howard
  • Pascal Rogé
  • Roberto Prosseda
  • Louis Lortie

For further departmental news and highlights, follow us on the RCS Keyboard Facebook Page.

Why choose us?

The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (RCS) has been ranked sixth in the world of performing arts education in a new global review published today. (QS Top Universities World Rankings)
Scotland’s national conservatoire today joined great world performing arts institutions including Juilliard in New York, Vienna’s prestigious University of Music and the Performing Arts and the renowned Sibelius Academy in Finland in a new ranking published by QS World Rankings, the most respected global higher education ranking authority.
RCS is a national and international centre of excellence for the performing arts. It is one of the world’s most multi-disciplinary arts learning and teaching environments. Through our innovative curriculum we offer highly specialised education in and across the art forms of music, drama, dance, film and production.
Professor Jeffrey Sharkey, Principal of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland said:
“I am thrilled and incredibly proud to see the innovative and ground-breaking work of our staff and students recognised in the global top 10 of these highly-respected QS rankings.
“The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland is leading the way in redefining the performing arts for our nation and our students and graduates make diverse and important contributions to the arts and society globally.
“There is a special energy and daring creativity in our home city of Glasgow and I hope this recognition helps celebrate Scotland’s place as one of the world’s dynamic cultural nations.”
Founded in 1847, RCS now has around 1000 students from 52 countries around the world.

Additional reasons to choose us:

  • Competitive Scholarships
  • 90-minute individual lesson each week with your principal study tutor and the possibility to share principal study with two teachers
  • Steinway Model A grands in all dedicated piano practice rooms
  • Multitude of performance opportunities, including regular showcase concerts, annual Piano Festivals, internal competitions and chamber music
  • Annual concerto opportunities with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and RCS Symphony Orchestra
  • Over 10 annual internal competitions with prizes totalling circa £5,000. Competitions include, Concerto Competition, Classical Concerto Competition, Mozart Concerto Competition, Bamber Galloway Recital Competition, Walcer Recital Prize, Webster rare Russian Music Prize, Rare Romantic Music Prize, Debussy Prize, Bach Prize, Governor’s Recital Prize, Governor’s Chamber Music Prize and the Lieder accompaniment prize
  • State-of-the-art recording studio, also with HD video capability
  • Up to 8 hours of performance classes each week in Stevenson Hall and the Ledger Recital Hall
  • Video documentation of concerts, events, masterclasses and performance classes
  • Online peer feedback
  • Rich array of Supporting Studies including: improvisation, conducting, piano technique, French repertoire, organ and harpsichord seminars and video lab
  • Varied programme of masterclasses from distinguished visiting artists; recent visitors include: Idil Biret, William Fong, Andrei Gavrilov, Richard Goode, Angela Hewitt, Leslie Howard, Elisabeth Leonskaja, Malcolm Martineau, Roberto Prosseda and Pascal Roge

For further departmental news and highlights, follow us on the RCS Keyboard Facebook Page.

How to apply

Applications for the Keyboard programme should be made through the UCAS Conservatoires website. There is a UCAS application fee of £24 (which is in addition to the audition fee) which allows you up to six choices of programme of study.

Before applying we recommend that you read the Guide for Applicants which provides information regarding entry requirements, and the full application and audition process. Please download the Guide for Applicants – BMus here.

Late applications may be considered, find out more on our Apply for Music page.

Preparing for an interview

The audition/interview panel will take account of all aspects of the applicant’s profile i.e.:

  • performance at audition/interview
  • commitment to the particular programme
  • potential to benefit from the programme
  • academic qualifications
  • personal statement
  • performance qualifications
  • performance/practical experience
  • references
  • contextualised data

Applicants are selected first and foremost on the basis of merit and potential. However, due attention is also paid to the range of Principal Studies accepted in order to ensure the optimum experience for each student and to sustain the critical mass required for curricular activities, such as the symphony orchestra and choral activities.

Entry requirements

  • Scottish Highers – 3 passes (grade C or above)
  • A Levels – 2 passes
  • International Baccalaureate – minimum score of 24 with 3 subjects at Higher Level

Subject recommended

  • Music at Higher, Advanced Higher or A Level or equivalent
  • English at Higher, Advanced Higher or A Level or equivalent

Other standards

A strong indication of potential is sought at the entrance audition for this programme. Successful applicants will normally be of a standard at least equivalent to Grade 8 with Distinction of the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music in their Principal Study.

We offer a flexible approach to students taking Highers over more than one academic year and/or who achieve their qualifications in more than one sitting.

Entrance to the Conservatoire is based on talent, potential and ability, therefore consideration will be given to relevant experience which is deemed to compensate for any traditional education. We accept a wide range of qualification, including international qualifications. If you wish to check the suitability of your qualification/experience, please contact us ( admissions@rcs.ac.uk ).

English language

The language of study is English. Applicants whose first language is not English will be required to provide evidence of proficiency in English. We accept the International English Language Testing System (IELTS).

Other equivalent English Language qualifications may be considered, please contact us (admissions@rcs.ac.uk ) for more information.

  • IELTS – 6.0 with a minimum score of 5.5 in each component

Audition requirements

Audition requirements can be found in the BMus Guide for Applicants on the following website

Fees & scholarships

Tuition fees for academic year 2016-17

  • Scottish/EU Students – £1,820
  • Rest of UK (RUK) Students – £9,000
  • International (Non EU) – £15,135

Scottish/EU students

The Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS) will pay tuition fees for all eligible full-time Scottish-based and other non-UK undergraduate EU students, who are studying in Scotland at degree level for the first time. Students should apply to SAAS for payment of tuition fees even if they are not applying for any other means of support. Eligible students can also apply for student loans through SAAS . For further advice and to check eligibility contact SAAS directly on 0300 555 0505 or visit their website .

Rest of UK students

Students from England, Wales and Northern Ireland studying in Scotland will be eligible for the same funding/loan package that they would benefit from if they attended an institution in their home country. For further advice please visit student finance England , student financeWales , or student finance Northern Ireland as appropriate.

International students

Students from outside the EU typically fund higher education by a variety of resources, depending on the home country. More specific information on funding options relevant to specific countries can be found here .

Scholarships

Any potential student who auditions for a place at the Royal Conservatoire will automatically be considered for a scholarship. They are awarded on a combination of talent, potential and financial need. More information about Scholarships is available here

Sources of external funding

For more information about alternative funding sources, including external scholarships and bursaries, please visit here.

The Conservatoire’s International and Student Experience team are available to advise and assist applicants and current students in respect of queries about funding your studies at the Conservatoire. Please email or telephone +44 (0)141 270 8281/ +44 (0)141 270 8223 for further information.

Graduate destinations

Graduates of the RCS keyboard department are extremely resourceful and find employment in a wide variety of areas and contexts, including prominent, performing careers in solo, chamber music and accompaniment. RCS keyboard graduates have also gained high level university and specialist music school teaching posts throughout the world.

For further departmental news and highlights, follow us on the RCS Keyboard Facebook Page.

Facilities

RCS Keyboard facilities are amongst the best across the conservatoire sector. The Stevenson Hall plays host to regular live recital broadcasts for BBC Radio 3 and the prestigious, triennial Scottish International Piano Competition.

Piano students benefit from a dedicated piano corridor with 10 practice rooms and 8 teaching rooms. Each piano practice room has a Steinway Model A grand and all piano teaching rooms are equipped with two, Model B Steinways. There are also 6 Model D Steinways in our concert halls and state of the art recording studio. Additionally, we operate a free loan system where students may take upright pianos to use in their accommodation during the academic year.

There are up to 8 hours a week of performance classes in the Stevenson Hall and Ledger Recital Hall, allowing students to gain invaluable performing experience. All performance classes, concerts and masterclasses are videoed and placed on an internal network for RCS students and staff. In a unique and highly supported environment, staff and students provide feedback for each other, enabling students to document and reflect on their evolving practice throughout their time on the course.

For further departmental news and highlights, follow us on the RCS Keyboard Facebook Page.

Images and videos

Pan Yicheng performs Tchaikovsky Seasons, Scriabin Sonata No. 4 and two etudes by Rachmaninoff, Op. 39

Sinae Lee performs Szymanowski Etudes Op. 33, Sonata No. 2 and 4 Mazurkas Op. 50, 13-16

Yoonjeong Kim performs Szymanowski Variations on a Polish Theme, Op. 10

Daniel Petrica Ciobanu (RCS BMUS and MMUS) performs Strauss/Grunfeld Die Fledermaus Paraphrase

 

Daniel Petrica Ciobanu (RCS BMUS and MMUS) performs Silvestri’s Bacanale at the 2014 Scottish International Piano Competition

RCS Piano Festival 2016: Fitkin Totti for 4 Pianos – Edyta Mydlowska, Maya Leigh-Rossenwasser, Viktoria Sarkadi, Georgios Kypridemos

RCS Piano Festival 2016: Kapustin Concerto for Two Pianos and Percussion, 1st Movt. – George Todica and Peter Johnstone

RCS Piano Festival 2016: Vivaldi/Bach Concerto for 4 Pianos: Piano Faculty – Sinae Lee, Victor Sangiorgio, Fali Pavri and Aaron Shorr

RCS International Fellow in Piano, Steven Osborne performs Messiaen Vingt Regards

Artem Amaro performs Rachmaninoff Concerto No. 2 with the RCS Symphony Orchestra

Mohamed Shams performs Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No. 2 with RCS Symphony Orchestra

RCS Piano Festival 2013: Stravinsky The Rite of Spring

RCS Piano Festival 2015: Jonathan Plowright and Victor Sangiorgio perform Dave Brubeck’s They All Sang Yankee Doodle

RCS Piano Festival 2015: Kapustin Paraphrase on Dizzy Gillespie’s Manteca – Paulius Rudokas and Robertas Lozinskis

Artem Amaro – Piazzolla “Adios Nonino” Tango Rhapsody

Jonathan Plowright and Aaron Shorr perform Schubert Grand Duo

RCS Piano Festival 2013 Faculty Recital: Petras Geniusas performs Prokofiev Sonata No. 7

For further departmental news and highlights, follow us on the RCS Keyboard Facebook Page.