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Keyboard Department (Postgraduate)

Our Keyboard department will develop your individual skills in a supportive, innovative and challenging environment.

Overview

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 one-to-one lesson 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 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 one-to-one 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.

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 quality CD 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, Liszt prize, Walcer recital prizes, a rare Russian music prize, rare romantic music prizes and the prestigious Governor’s recital prize. Prize money for the various internal competitions totals more than £4,000.00 per annum.

The important details

UK Applicant Deadline:
2 October 2024

International Applicant Deadline:
2 October 2024

Institution Code:
R58

Programme Code:
MMus Performance - 890F OR MA Performance - 801F

Audition Fee:
£65

Application Fee:
£28.50


Why Study Keyboard at RCS?

Individual Lessons


As part of your studies, you will receive unparalleled one-to-one tuition. We offer 40.5 hours of principal study tuition and supporting studies classes each academic year. Lessons will support your development in a collaborative and caring setting.

Steinway Pianos


We have Steinway pianos through campus, with Steinway Model B grands in all dedicated piano teaching and practice rooms

Performance Opportunities


Throughout your studies, you will have a multitude of performance opportunities, including regular showcases, prestigious concerto opportunities, piano festivals, competitions and chamber music. We also run a number of internal competitions with prize money attached.

Cutting-edge Technology


Our Keyboard department utilises cutting-edge video technology for recording, documentation and peer feedback, which provides innovative structures for highly creative learning and development.

Masterclasses


You will benefit from a varied programme of masterclasses from distinguished visiting artists; recent visitors include Nikolai Lugansky, Steven Osborne, Idil Biret, Olga Kern, Andrei Gavrilov, Richard Goode, Angela Hewitt, Bernard d’Ascoli, Jean-Efflam Bavouzet, Leslie Howard, Elisabeth Leonskaja, Malcolm Martineau and Pascal Rogé

Professional Partnerships


During your studies you will have the opportunity to audition to perform a concerto with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and RCS Symphony Orchestra.

Meet the Head of Department

Professor Fali Pavri enjoys a busy and varied international career as soloist, chamber musician and teacher. He has performed with world-renowned artists like Mstislav Rostropovich, Nicola Benedetti and Roderick Williams and toured around the world.

Fali had his first piano lessons in his native city of Mumbai, India with Shanti Seldon. This was followed by seven years in Moscow where he graduated with distinction from the Moscow Conservatory under Victor Merzhanov and then postgraduate studies at the Royal Academy of Music in London with Christopher Elton.

A committed and sought-after teacher with many international prize-winning students, Fali Pavri is Head of Keyboard and Professor of Piano at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. He has given masterclasses in many countries around the world and served on the jury of many international piano competitions.

Meet the Staff

  • Pianoforte

    Petras Geniusas
    Graeme McNaught
    Norman Beedie
    Stephen Coombs
    Sinae Lee

    Isobel Anderson

    Nicholas Ashton
    Saša Gerželj-Donaldson
    Aaron Shorr
  • Bachelor of Education Faculty and Keyboard Performance Studies

    Anna Rastopchina

    Anna Mavromatidi

    Saša Gerželj-Donaldson
    Edward Cohen
    Clare Sutherland

    Silviya Mihaylova

    Yoon-Kyung Kim
  • International Fellow of Piano

    Steven Osborne
  • International Fellow in Collaborative Piano

    Malcolm Martineau
  • International Visiting Professor in Contemporary Improvisation

    Anto Pett
  • Visiting Professor of Piano

    William Fong
  • Accordion

    Djordje Gajic
  • Organ

    David Hamilton
  • Harpsichord

    Jan Waterfield

Masterclasses

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

  • Steven Osborne
  • Leon Fleisher
  • Richard Goode
  • Olga Kern
  • Jean-Efflam Bavouzet
  • Ingo Dannhorn
  • Idil Biret
  • Malcolm Martineau
  • Andre Gavrilov
  • Stephen Hough
  • William Fong
  • Lukas Geniusas
  • Dimitri Bashkirov
  • Dr Roy Howat
  • Dr Leslie Howard
  • Pascal Rogé
  • Roberto Prosseda
  • Louis Lortie

Facilities

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 B 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 and one Bosendorfer 280VC concert grand.

Additionally, we operate a free loan system where students may take upright pianos to use in their accommodation during the academic year.

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.

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:

  • 2nd Place and Audience Prize, Rubinstein International Piano Competition (Tel Aviv)
  • 1st Prize, UNISA South Africa Competition
  • 1st Prize, Rio International Piano Competition
  • 1st Prize, Ciurlionis Competition
  • 1st Prize Morocco Philharmonic Competition
  • BBC Young Musician of the Year Keyboard Final

Programme Structure

The programme structure for your studies will depend on whether you choose to undertake Guitar and Harp principal study as part of an MMus or an MA in Performance. Further information is available on the MMus/MA Performance page:

MMus/MA Performance


How to Apply

More information about how to apply, including entry requirements and tuition fee & funding information, is available on the MMus/MA Performance page. The specific audition requirements for this principal study are detailed below:

Audition Information

Specific audition dates and locations will be updated here when available. Should you apply on time, you will be e-mailed directly with details of your audition date and time, and your UCAS Conservatoires track will be updated with this information.  

International applicants are welcome to submit a recorded submission via Acceptd. 

Recording Guidelines: 

  • When setting up for your video recording, your body (typically, from about the waist up) and instrument should be the focal point of the frame. The committee wants to be able to see not just your face but how well you navigate your instrument. 
  • The video recording should be provided in ONE continuous shot without separate tracks for different musical pieces. 
  • Please begin the recording by introducing yourself to camera and stating what you will be performing. You can take a little time between pieces so long as your body must remain in the frame. 
  • For any pieces that were written for your instrument and piano accompaniment, you are encouraged to perform with piano accompaniment (whether live or pre-recorded) if practical for you. Be assured, however, that if this is not possible for you, then you will not be disadvantaged in any way. 

For more information on recording a video audition, Guitar Lecturer Matthew McCallister reveals his top tips on recording your music audition online: 

Through audition, applicants will be required to demonstrate:  

  • A high degree of technical competency on the instrument or voice in the service of specific repertoire 
  • An ability to demonstrate a considerable degree of understanding of the repertoire performed 
  • An ability to perform specific repertoire convincingly 
  • A considerable degree of self-confidence and creativity with respect to the repertoire performed 
  • A degree of self-sufficiency, initiative and independence in selecting, preparing and performing a particular programme 
  • A developing musical personality 

Details of the repertoire requested for your in-person audition/recorded submission can be found below: 

Piano Solo

Performance of a programme from memory, comprising not less than three contrasting works (total playing time 25 minutes). 

Harpsichord

Performance of a programme comprising not less than three contrasting works (total playing time 25 minutes). 

Organ and Accordion

Performance of a programme comprising not less than three contrasting works (total playing time 25 minutes). 

Once you submit your recording, this may be followed up with a live online interview.

The interview will be held by members of the audition panel. It will explore your understanding of the demands of the programme, knowledge of repertoire, aspects of performance practice, performance experience and attitudes, and professional aspirations. You may also be invited to talk about the recording you have submitted. You may also be given a sight reading as part of this process, depending on your principal study department(s).

Successful candidates will show potential to develop their beliefs and skills through the programme.

More from the Keyboard Department

Why RCS?

We are the only place in Europe where you can study all of the performing arts on the one campus. There is a distinctive creative energy at RCS and you’ll be made to feel part of our inclusive and diverse environment from the very beginning of your studies.

Our graduates are resourceful, highly employable and members of a dynamic community of artists who make a significant impact across the globe.

At RCS, students develop not just their art but their power to use it.

Find out more 

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