Patrons of the Junior Conservatoire, Nicola Benedetti and James McAvoy are passionate advocates of the performing arts, believing in the positive impact the arts can have on young people.


Nicola Benedetti

Nicola works frequently with our undergraduate and Junior Conservatoire students, sharing her knowledge and techniques through masterclasses to help refine solo, chamber and orchestral playing skills.

Nicola began playing violin at the age of four and by eight was leading the National Children’s Orchestra of Great Britain. Today she is one of the world’s finest and most in-demand young musicians, with a multi-album recording contract and an MBE for services to music and charity.

From the start of her performing career, Nicola has been a passionate and committed campaigner for music and arts in education. She has collaborated with RCS, as well as other organisations to develop the ‘Benedetti Sessions’, a workshop programme for children and young people of all abilities and backgrounds.


James McAvoy

RCS alumnus James McAvoy founded the James McAvoy Drama Scholarship, which aims to support applicants who would otherwise find meeting the cost of tuition fees a barrier to accessing pre-Higher Education drama education at RCS.

At the age of 16 James’ interest in acting was sparked when actor David Hayman visited his school in Glasgow and inspired him to apply for the BA Acting degree. He graduated from RCS in 2000 and appeared in various popular TV series before hitting the big screen, starring in movies such as The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and X-Men.

James is a BAFTA-winning and Golden Globe nominated actor and a prolific advocate of the value an arts education can have on young people. He believes that by nurturing the creative potential of young people, the next generation of artists can be found and that by harnessing this potential, young people can be given the opportunity to turn their lives around.