Which violin teachers in RCM do you recommend?

February 4, 2007 at 08:34 PM · I'm a guy who's entering RCM in the coming year and I would like to ask who are good violin teachers there and who do u guys recommend? thank you very much!!

Replies (28)

February 4, 2007 at 10:07 PM · I apologize for my ignorance, but what is RCM?

February 4, 2007 at 11:22 PM · Is that the school in London?

February 5, 2007 at 12:12 AM · Greetings,

if it is my old alma mater then right now they are =all- fantastic. Back in the dark ages things were a bit patchy. Looking at the list now it is astonishing. Otehr than taht, recommending teahcer sia a lottery as well as not always beign eithe rpolite or helpful. Rodney Friend is world class and only takes a few students. There Maureen Smithh is a fine virtuouso who has inheorted a pedagogic streak form her illustrious mother (Eta Cohen) there. I think Francis Mason is still there. She is a fantastic musician and a really tough teahcer if you feel you need some pressure. There is I think a whole slew of superb Russian teachers now as well.

If you have other generla

quesaitons about RCM go ahead and ask.



February 5, 2007 at 12:19 AM · Does Hu Kun teach there? Which one is RCM?

I think a lot of competitioners were his students.


February 5, 2007 at 12:43 AM · Greetings,

Vince, I think he teaches at the Royal Academy. Whatever, he certainly produces a lot of competitors. My computer doesn`t seem to want to access the music colleges in London to check right now. Porbably need ssome prunes

Okay, Royal Academy is talking now...

Here is the list inbcluind Hy Kun:

Head of Department

Professor David Strange FRAM


Remus Azoitei MMus, ARAM

Joshua Bell Hon RAM (Visiting Professor)

Thomas Brandis Hon RAM (Visiting Professor)

Diana Cummings FRAM


Richard Deakin MMus, FRCO, ARAM

Mayumi Fujikawa

Clio Gould AGSM, Hon RAM

Erich Gruenberg OBE, Hon RAM, FGSM, FRCM

Maurice Hasson Hon RAM

Joji Hattori Hon RAM (Visiting Professor)

Hu Kun Hon RAM

Sophie Langdon ARAM

Mateja Marinkovic Hon ARAM

Nicholas Miller ARAM

Lydia Mordkovitch Hon RAM, FRNCM

Gy├Ârgy Pauk Hon RAM, Hon GSM (Ede Zathureczsky Professor of Violin)

Aleksander Pavlovic Hon RAM (Visiting Professor)

Igor Petrushevski Dip Moscow Conservatoire

Tomotada Soh

Marianne Thorsen FRAM

Maxim Vengerov Hon RAM

Can@t go wrong with any of them.;)



February 5, 2007 at 12:53 AM · I didn't know that Joshua Bell is on the faculty there.

February 5, 2007 at 10:47 AM · We spoke to Joshua Bell in Dubllin last year and asked him about that. He said he did not know why his name was listed like that, he has given some masterclasses there, but that was the height of it!

February 5, 2007 at 02:03 PM · That's hilarious! Then Juilliard has all the great violinists "teaching" there!

February 5, 2007 at 11:11 PM · Greetings,

it`s interesitng what the London colleges get up to! During the height of the Thatcher regime it was veyr much on the table that all the colleges but one were going to be slashed. The colleges for the first time found they had to fight for survival by proving that they were the best, or did amazing things or whatever. The Academy fought the hardest with new things and publicity (no shame in that). They created a soloists chair with a huge fanfare. The diea being tha a solosit professor could `give@ the sect few that extra knowledge required to be a soloist. (This is more or less verbatim). The fact that players like Erick Gruenberg or Rodnet Friend at the college had world class soloists travelling to them for lesosns anyway somehow got lost in the stupidity. I think the chair went to Anne Sophie Mutter first. It wa sa damp squib that nobody ever really talked about. What the academy students did talk aout at te time was how the institute tried ot prove it was a leader by inaugarating a huge modern music festival that lasted for months and required the poor stdunets to practice everything under the sun likely to screw up their fledgeling tehcniques. (Nothing wrong with pushing contemporary music- just do it for the right reasons in a reasonable fashion without hurting studnets).

Both the college and academy got into this visiting professor thing. Its just a fancy way of saying they do masterclasses. Delay came and did three days at the colleg and wa sawarded a thingummy jig whihc presumably made her a visiting professor. Presumably Mr Bell recieved the same kind of treatment. I hope he got a free beer in the academy bar which is seocnd to non.

And just to stir things a little more, now my memory is coming back, all these institues starting kicking out and rehiring professors left right and center, presumably because slashing jobs, streamlining and bringing in young turks was in line with the prevailing political ideology. The academy was daft enought to let Trevor Williams go and he wa s immediately snapped up by the college. There was a lot of toing and froing with jobs being threatened and change din that era.



February 6, 2007 at 12:00 AM · That's some interesting stuff Buri. This is a very ignorant question from an American, are music schools in Europe funded by the government? Someone told me German schools are but I wasn't sure if all of Europe is like that.

February 6, 2007 at 12:12 AM · Greetings,

Nate, to tell the truth I can`t answer your question with any guarantee of accuracy. The proposal to cut music institutes may have been feasible either because the colleges got/get subsidies direclty from the govenrment or through a government controlled organization such as the ARts Council. Given the expens eof the buildings and so forth I think that is a given. Certainly a lot of their money comes from fees (especially overseas studnets paying triple the amount or whatever) which when I wa sa boy were paid by the local authority according to your family`s income. Mine was minimal so I had everything paid for including a good some of money to live on for six years. Presumably the colleges could have bene threatened by rules restricting the amount of financing available to students. That system ha snow changed so its mor e like America. You need money to get an education....

Maybe someone with more currnet knowledge can fill you in better. I did read recnelty about some kind of proposed cuts that was going to effect the amount of work and money teahcers at the college got.

Make music, love, not war.


February 6, 2007 at 04:32 AM · It's good to hear that the faculty is consistent in quality, publicity gimmicks aside; I'm spending half of next academic year at the RCM on an exchange program, and won't find out who my teacher will be until I arrive!

February 6, 2007 at 04:48 AM · Does Maxim Vengerov actually teach at RAM on a regular basis?

February 6, 2007 at 06:57 AM · Hi, all the colleges in england are really good -no Maxim Vengerov does not teach there he gave one televised masterclass there years ago - also look at the other great colleges, the Royal Academie, the Guildhall and the Royal Northern College of Music (manchester).

the RNCM's friendlier then the london colleges, and it's cheaper to live in Manchester.

February 6, 2007 at 07:05 AM · Are Rodney Friend and Mr. Gruenberg both at the Royal Academy of Music?

February 6, 2007 at 07:48 AM · Nate,

Re: your question regarding funding in the UK. Buri is rightly saying that things have changed from the times where you were funded and had a grant to live depending on parental income, all started to be slashed under Thatcher.

In Germany at least it is still state-funded if you are admitted, fees are very nominal (60-150 euros the people I know) and in some cases this actually includes a public transport card. You need to have living expenses if you are a foreigner (think home/EU students can get grants).

Here in Spain, there is no concept of home/foreign student for fee purposes. A typical Conservatorio Superior will charge about 18 euros a credit, and depending on what you are studying, you will be doing about 35-50 credits a year. Help for living expenses available.

France is similar, the Paris Conservatory fees are about 400 euros/year plus social security (180 or so), Lyon is cheaper. Grants for living expenses are available for local students mostly.

An added extra will be lower cost meals available in many places: in the main campus here, these are provided by the students of the University Catering School and are really very good.

February 6, 2007 at 08:49 AM · That is very interesting Parmeeta, thank you. 400 Euros a year for the Paris Conservatory is a pretty good deal I think!

February 6, 2007 at 09:24 AM · Greetings,


Rodney Friend- RCM

Eric Gruenberg- Royal Academy



February 6, 2007 at 10:47 AM · England is rediculously expensive. unless u get a full scholarship plus living allowance you are looking at 9,000 pounds ($17,000) a year in fees plus little under that for transport, accomodation and pot noodles. Guildhall School of Music gives more scholarships than RCM. but in general if you are a non-EU student, I would not recommend to go to the UK. Though the teachers there are indeed great. In continental Europe one can survive much easier.

February 6, 2007 at 12:54 PM · Marianne, Vengerov does teach here, since last year, and we are all amazed about how often he comes. Three times a year in a public masterclass and apparently he's sometimes in for private tuition, but then usually nobody knows that, unless you meet him suddenly somewhere in the corridors.

February 6, 2007 at 01:52 PM · Dmitri, it's worth keeping in mind that US schools are even more expensive than that, although the living expenses are lower.

At my school, for example, tuition is about $33000/year, and food, housing, and books bring the annual cost to about $45000. Fortunately there are many scholarships and grants available, at least for domestic students, but still the UK schools are considerably cheaper.

February 6, 2007 at 05:10 PM · Thanks Buri for clarifying that for me. I didn't realize, till a few moments ago that Mr. Friend is a member here.


February 7, 2007 at 04:14 AM · Greetings,

Nate, sorry. I just checke dthe RCM list. Its finally working. Mr Friend is no longer on th elist. That wa sa fairly recent change I think. Frances Mason has gone two. There are a lot of really high powered Russian dudes and Levon Chillingirian who was the most wonderful quartet player of the Chiilingirian which may not hav ebeen so well known in the States but wa ssomehting to behold. I have heard their complete Beethoven cycles a few times. Levon Chillingirian is the nephew of one of the most underated violinists around- Manoug Parikien , whos eBeehtoven I heard as a kid moved me to tears.

Another brilliant teacher there now who I suspect is a little unde rthe radar screen at the moment is Dona Lee Croft. A real force to be reconed with. Don`t know what all this newfangled Jazz violin stuff is though.;)



February 7, 2007 at 07:36 AM · Nate,

yes it is, once you have solved the issue of getting in!

I have been helping a friend to look at the options within the EU, hence my new-found knowledge.

February 7, 2007 at 02:54 PM · In the states, I think teachers are often assigned by the head of dept.(performance,strings,violin, however they call it), sometimes following an in-house audition (different from audition to be admitted.) Are you sure you get to choose?

February 7, 2007 at 05:32 PM · Hi all,

I know I haven't been part of this discussion so far...sorry to butt in!

I was just wondering how big of a deal it is that I was given a recommendation twice by ABRSM examiners to apply for scholarships to any of the Royal Schools. That was when I sat for grade 8 (13yrs. old) and the Dip ABRSM (14yrs. old). I recieved distinction in both. I'm now seventeen.

I'm not sure if they do that kind of thing all the time or not...

February 7, 2007 at 06:31 PM · I can put in an experienced and very enthusiastic word for Ani Schnarch at the RCM. She is as extrordinary a didact as she is an artist, a thoroughly generous and singularly perceptive human being.

February 7, 2007 at 11:05 PM · Greetings,

Sue, at the College you got to choose up to a point, by having a private lesson before attending. But teahcer s have vey few places and after those decisions are made, no you don@t get to choose.



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