Ian Ritchie Architects

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Musical Architects

The Royal Academy of Music is one of the most prestigious conservatoires in the world, training generations of eminent musicians for all parts of the profession. Its alumni include Henry Wood, John Barbirolli, Myra Hess, Felicity Lott, Simon Rattle, Harrison Birtwistle, Elton John, Annie Lennox and Jacob Collier. Royal Academy graduates populate all the great orchestras and opera houses of the world, including the Berlin Philharmonic and the Metropolitan Opera, New York. They are players, singers, composers, conductors, curators, animateurs and teachers.

Approaching its bicentenary in 2022, the Royal Academy is Britain’s oldest conservatoire. An international organisation from its foundation, it has just completed a transformative programme of new building at the heart of its Marylebone Road site. Bright ancillary spaces, refurbished studios and two exceptional additions designed by Ian Ritchie Architects, the Susie Sainsbury Theatre and the Angela Burgess Recital Hall, have already won major national and international awards for their breath-taking designs and outstanding acoustics, ideal for talented young singers, instrumentalists and composers.

Recent decades have seen the Royal Academy extend its interests to jazz, musical theatre and vital outreach, educational and celebrated collaborative projects to foster future generations of musicians and music lovers. This book reveals how virtuoso architecture and technology have brilliantly fused the Academy’s famous Edwardian building with the modern institution’s creative values and aspirations as it moves towards its third century.

About the Author:
Anna Picard* the author has brought together a wonderful and beautifully illustrated book which covers RAM’s history, its new architecture and future ambitions, and includes an introduction by Susie Sainsbury, deputy chair of the RAM board, and a conversation about design between Jonathan Freeman-Attwood, Principal of RAM and Ian Ritchie.

*Anna Picard studied at the Royal Academy of Music and with Dr Thomas Lo Monaco in New York. She worked in the field of early music before moving into journalism. From 2000-2013 she was classical music critic of the Independent on Sunday. In 2013, she joined The Times. She is a regular contributor to the Times Literary Supplement and BBC Radio Three’s Record Review. In 2017, she joined Opera Holland Park as research and repertoire consultant, leading their programme of talks and panel discussions. She has served as a juror in the International Opera Awards, the Royal Philharmonic Society Awards and the Leopold Mozart Violin Competition and contributed a chapter on disease and materialism to the Overture Opera Guide to La Traviata.

Publication date: June 2020

Published by Unicorn Publishing and available in their online shop
or from Ian Ritchie Architects.