Image courtesy of RNCM.

RNCM Spring Season 2023

Carmel Smickersgill, Tours & Activities Editor

The Royal Northern College of Music has been a cultural staple on Oxford Road for 50 years. To mark this milestone they’ve put together a programme of renowned alumni, ambitious projects, newly commissioned works and hotly anticipated collaborations. Below, we’ve rounded up some of the concerts we’re most looking forward to in the RNCM Spring Season.

In March, the college will be teaming up with Chetham’s School of Music and the Bridgewater Hall to bring Leonard Bernstein’s Mass to life. This colossal piece takes a full orchestra, rock band, marching band, soloists, chorus and the catholic mass, combining them to create a shocking and beautiful piece of musical theatre. It’s an incredible piece and one that doesn’t often get performed due to how much of an undertaking it is. We cannot wait to see it brought to life in Manchester.

Later that month, RNCM Opera are staging Jonathan Dove’s adaptation of Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park. This intimate chamber opera pays homage to Jane Austen’s characters, whilst enriching those pained period drama silences with thoughtful and deft underscoring.

Part of the excitement surrounding the RNCM Spring Season is caused by some of the famous alumni who will be returning to the college for particularly intimate and special recitals. Pianist Sir Stephen Hough will be bringing his idiomatic interpretations of Liszt, Mompou and Debussy to the RNCM Concert Hall as well as encouraging the young pianists in the college to follow in his footsteps with masterclasses and teaching.

In the world of vocal music, internationally acclaimed baritone Simon Keenlyside and pianist Malcolm Martineau are returning to the college with a programme that spans from German romanticism to French impressionism and beyond.

Finally, Manchester Collective, one of the UK’s most innovative ensembles, who also happen to feature multiple RNCM alumni, will be performing Bag of Bones. In collaboration with vocalist, violinist and composer Alice Zawadski, Bag of Bones is a musical and theatrical exploration of Alice’s Polish roots. Expect a genre-defying score, innovative set and raw storytelling.

Here are our picks