, ,



preview by newsletter

read by Norman Warwick

The RNCM is both a music conservatoire and arts venue, where Manchester Camerata and big bands sit perfectly alongside FKA twigs, alt-J and Tim Burgess in an incredibly varied programme. Modernist landmark, site of educational excellence, the Royal Northern College of Music Concert Hall is one of Greater Manchester’s premier concert spaces.

Though Manchester’s Northern School of Music dates back to the 1920s – a legacy of the pre-war Manchester classical music boom which had its origins in Sir Charles Hallé’s pioneering of Manchester’s first symphony orchestra – its building is an icon of post-war modernism, constructed in the 1970s. The much-loved performance venue has had a couple of facelifts since then – most recently a celebrated interior refurbishment in the last decade by Scott Hughes Design. 

One of the largest black box stages in Greater Manchester with walls over a metre in thickness, the concert hall boasts a generous orchestra pit as well as benefiting from its newly expanded seating capacity. During the most recent refurbishment, an extra balcony was added, whilst utmost care has been taken to preserve the venue’s  distinctive organ. Air conditioning and state-of-the-art audio amplification make attending a modern and refreshing experience. Though the Royal Northern College of Music Concert Hall hosts pop and rock as well as classical, its excellent programming is pointedly more diverse and specialist than other venues in the city. This, and the venue’s unique characteristics, ensures that any visit to the concert hall remains something of a treat.

Architect Ian Palmer described the venue’s most recent redesign as affording “the audience to be fully immersed in the performance as if suspended in an Escher painting”, even comparing the venue to a Rubik’s cube. This means a venue with unique acoustic qualities where your experience varies – but always excels – depending on your seating location within the 500 capacity hall. 

As the college is an active hub of activity, the buzz of working musicians and busy students around the venue only adds to its appeal – the hall is right in the heart of  the Oxford Road Corridor.

The Royal Northern College of Music is continually recognised as one of the world’s most forward-thinking conservatoires and sits perfectly between The University of Manchester and Manchester Metropolitan University in Manchester’s innovation district. The college is home to over 900 students from more than 60 countries, it is dedicated to providing an outstanding education that propels students into careers as inspiring and versatile musicians, fully-equipped for exciting futures both on and off stage.

The RNCM is acknowledged worldwide for its exciting and innovative approach to teaching and research.  Rated Gold in all areas of the 2023 Teaching Excellence Framework and No 5 for music in the 2024 QS University World Rankings, recognition includes multiple Times Higher Education and Greater China Awards, and a Global Teaching Excellence Award.

The Royal Northern College of Music is a conservatoire located in Manchester, England. It is one of four conservatoires associated with the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music. In addition to being a centre of music education, RNCM is one of the UK’s busiest and most diverse public performance venues. 


124 Oxford Rd, Manchester M13 9RD, United Kingdom

Undergraduate tuition and fees: 9,000 GBP (2016 – 17)

Number of students: 890 (2019–2020)

Founded: 1973

Principal: Linda Merrick

Presidents: Willard WhiteJohn Tomlinson

In this year of its fiftieth anniversary RNCM there will be a performance by the Royal Northern College Music Brass Band. This will take place at The Royal Northern College on June 13th at 13.15

Travel aboard this opening fanfare, and you’ll find yourself soaring on a melody that marks pilot Maude ‘Lores’ Bonney’s 12,300-mile solo flight from Brisbane Australia to London UK in 1933, written by Louisa Trewartha. A slow and introspective march by George Lloyd then makes way for the first Paganini Variations written for brass band. In his own words, Philip Wilby notes, ‘The full flavour of Paganini’s romantic heritage finds expression in a mixture of extravagant display and serene and passionate melody’.

Louisa Trewartha Flight
George Lloyd Royal Parks
Philip Wilby Paganini Variations

David Thornton, Connor Lyster  conductors
RNCM Brass Band

There are plenty of other celebrations throughout the year.

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.