|Type|| Music conservatoire |
|Established||27 September 1880|
|Patron||Lord Mayor of London|
|Owner||City of London Corporation|
The Guildhall School of Music and Drama is a conservatoire and drama school located in the City of London, United Kingdom. Established in 1880, the school offers undergraduate and postgraduate training in all aspects of classical music and jazz along with drama and production arts.The school has students from over seventy countries. Widely regarded as one of the leading performing arts institutions in the world, it was ranked first in both the Guardian’s 2022 League Table for Music and the Complete University Guide's 2023 Arts, Drama and Music league table. It is also ranked the sixth university in the world for performing arts in the 2022 QS World University Rankings.
Based within the Barbican Centre in the City of London, the school currently numbers just over 1,000 students, approximately 800 of whom are music students and 200 on the drama and technical theatre programmes. The school is a member of Conservatoires UK, the European Association of Conservatoires and the Federation of Drama Schools. It also has formed a creative alliance with its neighbours, the Barbican Centre and the London Symphony Orchestra. Notable alumni of the school include Sir Bryn Terfel, Sir James Galway, Daniel Craig and Ewan McGregor.
The Guildhall School of Music first opened its doors on 27 September 1880, housed in a disused warehouse in the City of London. With 64 part-time students, it was the first municipal music college in Great Britain. The school quickly outgrew its first home, however, and in 1887 it moved to new premises in John Carpenter Street in a complex of educational buildings built by the Corporation of London to house it and the city's two state schools.
The new building was completed by 9 December 1886 and the Lord Mayor of London, Sir Reginald Hanson, attended the opening ceremony. Teaching continued under the first principal of the school, Thomas Henry Weist Hill, who eventually had some ninety teaching staff.
The new site, designed by the architect Sir Horace Jones, comprised a common room for professors and 45 studios, each surrounded by a one-foot thick layer of concrete to "deaden the sound". Each room contained both a grand piano and an upright piano. Additionally, there was an organ room and a "practice" room, in reality a small concert hall which was used for orchestral and choir rehearsals. The practice room was also the venue for the fortnightly school concerts
Initially, all tuition was on a part-time basis, but full-time courses were introduced to meet demand in 1920. Departments of speech, voice, and acting were added, and by 1935 the school had added "and Drama" to its title.
The school moved to its present premises in the heart of the City of London's Barbican Centre in 1977 and continues to be owned, funded and administered by the City of London.
In 1993, the Corporation of London leased a nearby courtyard of buildings that in the 18th century had been the centre of Samuel Whitbread's first brewery, and renovated and converted this to provide the school with its hall of residence, Sundial Court.About three minutes' walk from the school, Sundial Court offers self-catering single-room accommodation for 178 students.
In 2001, the Secretary of State, Baroness Blackstone, announced that the Barbican Centre, including the Guildhall School, was to be Grade II listed.
In 2005, the school was awarded the Queen's Anniversary Prize for its development and outreach programme, Guildhall Connect,and, in 2007, it won a further Queen's Anniversary Prize in recognition of the work of the opera programme over the last two decades. The school was rated No. 1 specialist institution in the UK in the Guardian University Guide 2013 and 2014.
The most significant investment in the Guildhall School's future came to fruition via the £90 million redevelopment of the neighbouring Milton Court site. The new building, which opened in 2013, houses three new performance spaces: a concert hall (608 seats), a theatre (223 seats) and a studio theatre (up to 128 seats) in addition to drama teaching and administration spaces.
The school offers both undergraduate and graduate degree programsas well as the Junior Guildhall, a Saturday school serving students from 4 to 18 years of age. The school was awarded a further Queen's Anniversary Prize in 2007 in recognition of the achievements and work of the Opera Programme.
In August 2014, the Guildhall had a logo change to a more minimalist modern style. It was changed due to the school thinking that it needed to reflect its types of teachings.
The Guildhall School was awarded taught-degree awarding powers in 2014 by the Privy Council. Doctoral degrees are validated by City, University of London.
The Guildhall offers a four-year undergraduate program for musicians along with the Guildhall Artist Masters in performance or composition and the highly advanced Artist Diploma programme. Students can specialise in classical or jazz performance (either as an instrumentalist or vocalist), composition, historical performance and electronic music. At master's level, vocal students are able to specialise in Opera Studies. In addition to this, the school offers postgraduate degrees in opera writing (in association with The Royal Opera) and in music therapy.
The Guildhall School offers a three-year BA Honours in Acting and the MA in Acting preparing students for the world of professional theatre. The School also delivers the BA Honours in Acting Studies in partnership with the Central Academy of Drama in Beijing. A full time, four-year programme with two years of training at each institution, the BA Honours in Acting Studies takes in a cohort of students every other year, exploring cross-cultural approaches to acting.
The School also offers a three-year vocational degree in production arts where students can specialise in either Stage Management, Costume, Theatre Technology or Design Realisation.The school is one of a handful to offer specialist training in stage automation, with computer controlled flying installations in three of the venues provided by TAIT, based upon their eChameleon platform.
Guildhall School offers a Saturday school for advanced young musicians under the age of 18. In addition to this, the school the UK's largest provider of music education to under 18s by incorporating the Centre for Young Musicians (CYM) and creating new music "hubs" in Norfolk and Somerset; the school achieved recognition for Guildhall's music outreach and opera programmes through two Queen's Anniversary Prizes (2005 and 2007).
Admission to the Guildhall School of Music and Drama is by a highly competitive audition. The School holds auditions for their music programmes in London, New York, Hong Kong, Seoul, Taipei and Tokyo and from 2021 drama auditions will be held in cities across the UK (including London, Belfast, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Newcastle, Leeds and Nottingham) along with international auditions in New York.
For the Production Arts course, admission is through interview at the school's Milton Court building in London, or at the United States Institute of Theatre Technology conference held each year, where prospective students meet and take part in various activities which simulate the teaching offered on the course.
In the year 2018/19, the Acting course had 2,610 applications and awarded offers to only 1% of the applicants,giving it one of the lowest acceptance rates for any U.K. higher education institution. Unlike other UK conservatoires, Guildhall operates a separate applications procedure and applications are made directly to the school, as opposed to through UCAS Conservatoires.
The Milton Court Concert Hall is a 608-seat professional concert venue, with the largest audience capacity of any of the London conservatoires.The school works in association with the Barbican Centre to stage public performances from world-renowned ensembles, such as the Academy of Ancient Music and Britten Sinfonia within Milton Court. In addition to Guildhall's flagship concert hall, the Milton Court building also contains a 223-seat proscenium arch theatre, a flexible 128-seat studio theatre and several rehearsal rooms. The school's Grade II listed Silk Street building houses a 308-seat drama and opera theatre, along with a second smaller concert hall, a recital room, theatrical workshops and labs, electronic music studios, recording and sound studios, and over 40 teaching and practice rooms. The school also owns the John Hosier Annexe, a nearby building with a further 44 teaching and practice rooms. The Guildhall School library (located within the Silk Street building) houses one of the most extensive specialised collections of music and drama print in Europe. The Guildhall Symphony Orchestra and Chorus perform regularly in the neighbouring 1,943-seat Barbican Hall, whilst chamber musicians give recitals there as part of the acclaimed LSO Platforms: Guildhall Artists series.
Some distinguished alumni of Guildhall School's music department include:
Gold Medal of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama; list of winners of the Gold Medal
Some notable alumni of Guildhall School's drama department include:
Some notable alumni of Guildhall School's technical theatre department include:
Sir George William John Benjamin, CBE is an English composer of contemporary classical music. He is also a conductor, pianist and teacher. He is well known for operas Into the Little Hill (2006), Written on Skin (2009–2012) and Lessons in Love and Violence (2015–2017)—all with librettos by Martin Crimp. In 2019, critics at The Guardian ranked Written on Skin as the second best work of the 21st-century.
The Curtis Institute of Music is a private conservatory in Philadelphia. It offers a performance diploma, Bachelor of Music, Master of Music in opera, and a Professional Studies Certificate in opera. All students attend on full scholarship.
The Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM) 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.
The Hochschule für Musik Hanns Eisler Berlin in Berlin, Germany, is one of the leading universities of music in Europe. It was established in East Berlin in 1950 as the Deutsche Hochschule für Musik because the older Hochschule für Musik Berlin was in West Berlin. After the death of one of its first professors, composer Hanns Eisler, the school was renamed in his honor in 1964. After a renovation in 2005, the university is located in both Berlin's famed Gendarmenmarkt and the Neuer Marstall.
The Sibelius Academy is part of the University of the Arts Helsinki and a university-level music school which operates in Helsinki and Kuopio, Finland. It also has an adult education centre in Järvenpää and a training centre in Seinäjoki. The Academy is the only music university in Finland. It is among the biggest European music universities with roughly 1,400 enrolled students.
The Royal Birmingham Conservatoire is a music school, drama school and concert venue in Birmingham, England. It provides professional education in music, acting and related disciplines up to postgraduate level, and is a centre for scholarly research and doctorate-level study in areas such as performance practice, composition, musicology and music history. It is the only one of the nine conservatoires in the United Kingdom that is also part of a faculty of a university, in this case Arts, Design and Media at Birmingham City University. It is a member of the Federation of Drama Schools. and a founder member of Conservatoires UK.
Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance is a music and dance conservatoire based in London, England. It was formed in 2005 as a merger of two older institutions – Trinity College of Music and Laban Dance Centre. The conservatoire has 1,250 undergraduate and postgraduate students based at three campuses in Greenwich (Trinity), Deptford and New Cross (Laban).
Susanna Andersson is a Swedish soprano and the winner of the 2003 Guildhall School of Music and Drama's Gold Medal Competition. Her debut performance was in 2005 and she played Zerlina in the Grange Park Opera’s staging of Don Giovanni.
Matthew King is a British composer, pianist and educator. His works include opera, piano and chamber music, choral and orchestral pieces. He has been described, by Judith Weir, Master of the Queen’s Music, as “one of Britain's most adventurous composers, utterly skilled, imaginative and resourceful”.
Nicky Spence is a Scottish operatic tenor who performs in opera, oratorio and recital in both the UK and internationally.
The Australian Music Foundation [AMF] is a charitable foundation, first established in the United Kingdom, with the chief purpose of providing financial support to outstanding young Australian musicians who wish to pursue post-graduate music courses in leading music education institutions around the globe. It also offers performance opportunities in Australia and abroad, advice and mentoring to awardees.
Francesco Cilluffo is an Italian conductor and composer.
Matthew Jones is a British violist, violinist and composer primarily known for his international performance work as a soloist, recitalist and chamber musician. He also holds a Viola Professorship and is Head of Chamber Music at Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and runs an in-demand performance health consultancy practice. He is fluent in Italian.
Stephen McNeff is an Irish composer, best known for his work in contemporary theatre and opera.
The Faculty of Music at the University of Toronto is one of several professional faculties at the University of Toronto. The Faculty of Music is located at the Edward Johnson Building, just south of the Royal Ontario Museum and north of Queen's Park, west of Museum Subway Station. MacMillan Theatre and Walter Hall are located in the Edward Johnson Building. The Faculty of Music South building contains rehearsal rooms and offices, and the Upper Jazz Studio performance space is located at 90 Wellesley Street West. In January 2021, the Faculty announced Dr. Ellie Hisama as the new Dean starting July 1, 2021.
Walther Gruner was a baritone who taught at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.
Julian Philips is a British composer. Philips' works have been performed at major music festivals, including The Proms, Tanglewood, Three Choirs Festival, at the Wigmore Hall, South Bank Centre and Berlin Philharmonic Chamber Music Hall and by international artists such as Gerald Finley, Dawn Upshaw, Sir Thomas Allen, the Vertavo String Quartet, the Tanglewood Festival Orchestra, the BBC orchestras and the Aurora Orchestra.
Lucy Armstrong is a British composer based in London, who was appointed Fellow of Composition at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London in 2018.
Charles Owen is a British classical pianist.
Alexandra Ioana Dariescu is a Romanian British classical concert pianist, educator, mentor and producer. She is best known for her multimedia project The Nutcracker and I and her focus on promoting the works of female composers.