Pianist and composer, Professor Jeffrey Sharkey, became Principal of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in September 2014, leading Scotland’s national conservatoire of dance, drama, music, production and screen. During his tenure, the RCS has raised its profile domestically and internationally and has been ranked in the top 10 world leading institutions for 6 out of the last 7 years. He is passionate about all of the RCS’s performing and production arts and the collaboration between them. He has grown several key partnerships, having RCS join the Nordic Association of Conservatoires as well as CUK and AEC. Jeffrey served as Director of Johns Hopkins University’s Peabody Institute from 2006-2014 where he helped to revitalise the curriculum and start a number of successful programmes with the colleges of Arts and Science, Engineering, Business, Education and the School of Medicine. Jeffrey served on the Board of Singapore’s Yong Siew Toh Conservatory, an institution founded by the Peabody Institute, contributing to its strategic direction and helping it become one of the most important conservatoires in Asia. He also developed key partnerships in Korea, Taiwan and China. In Baltimore, Jeffrey started free programmes in music and dance to reach out to the wider community. These were connected to key arts organisations in the city and created pathways for talented youngsters to receive support throughout their studies. He also created the Academy programmes within the Preparatory to serve future professional musicians. Before coming to Peabody he was Dean of the Cleveland Institute of Music.*
Jeffrey lived in the United Kingdom for 13 years, serving as director of music at the Purcell School in London and head of academic music at Wells Cathedral School where he started the school’s composition department. He was a founding member of the Pirasti Piano Trio, which recorded with ASV Records in the United Kingdom and toured throughout Europe and the United States. He maintained his performing profile in the United States, and Europe coaching chamber music as a faculty member and in master classes and summer festivals throughout the country. He performed with the Baltimore Symphony and collaborated with members of the Cleveland, Orion, and Cavani Quartets. Jeffrey Sharkey is a graduate of the Manhattan School of Music where he was the conservatory’s first double major in piano and composition. He earned a Master of Music degree in composition from Yale University and an MPhil from the University of Cambridge. His teachers have included pianists John Browning, Boris Berman, Constance Keene and Peter Frankl and composers Aaron Copland, Jacob Druckman, Earle Brown, John Corigliano and Robin Holloway. He was made of fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 2022.