The Royal Northern College of Music is a world leading conservatoire 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. The RNCM has a rich history, dating back to the late 19th century and the establishment of the Royal Manchester College of Music (RMCM). In 1858, Sir Charles Hallé founded the Hallé orchestra in Manchester, and by the early 1890s had raised the idea of a music college in the city. Following an appeal for support, a building on Ducie Street was secured, Hallé was appointed Principal and Queen Victoria conferred the Royal title. The RMCM opened its doors to 80 students in 1893, rising to 117 by the end of the first year. Less than four decades later, in 1920, the Northern School of Music was established (initially as a branch of the Matthay School of Music), and for many years the two institutions peacefully coexisted. It wasn’t until 1955 that NSM Principal, Hilda Collens, in recognising the importance of performance in training students, met with RMCM Principal, Frederic Cox, to raise the question of merging. Discussions continued until September 1967 when a Joint Committee was formed to oversee plans to combine the two colleges. The RNCM was formed in 1972, moving to its purpose-built home on Oxford Road in 1973. 2013 marked the 40th anniversary year of the RNCM. The college building was built in 1968 to 1973 by architects Bickerdike, Allen, Rich and greatly extended 30 years later. Currently the college offers both undergraduate (BMus and joint MusB/GRNCM course with the University of Manchester in any of the five specialisations offered) and postgraduate taught programmes (PGDip, MMus) in musical performance and composition. In association with Manchester Metropolitan University the college offers research degrees (MPhil, PhD) in musical performance, composition, musicology and music psychology as part of its Graduate School.
The RNCM currently has 770 students and 320 teaching staff, the majority of whom are part-time visiting tutors. Many of the staff also teach at the Junior RNCM, a Saturday music school for talented young musicians who are keen on pursuing a musical career.
The college is divided into 6 schools by area of specialisation includes School of Composition, School of Keyboard Studies, School of Strings, School of Vocal Studies, School of Wind, Brass & Percussion, School of Popular Music Performance.