Royal Academy of Music Museum
Royal Academy of Music
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The Museum displays material from the Academy’s world renowned collection of instruments, manuscripts, objects and images.
An integral part of Academy life, the museum regularly hosts exhibitions and events including daily live demonstrations on our historic pianos. We welcome all members of the public, students and families.
The Royal Academy of Music is Britain's senior conservatoire, founded in 1822. It is one of the leading music institutions in the world.
The York Gate building, designed by John Nash in 1822 as part of the main entrance to Regent's Park, hosts the Academy's museum, open to the public free of charge six days a week.
Visitors are encouraged to view the galleries, watch the instrument custodian's team in the on-site workshop and attend the many concerts and research events taking place.
This museum has Designated Collections of national importance.
11.30am - 5.30pm Monday to Friday
12.00 - 4.00pm Saturday
Closed on Sundays and public holidays
The nearest tube station is Baker Street.
The Special Collections and Archives of the Royal Academy of Music Library are Designated Collections of national importance.
The Collections contain early printed and manuscript music and books dating from the 16th century to the present day. There is a rich collection of pedagogical, institutional and social history dating back to the foundation of Britain’s earliest musical college in the 1820s. Any study of the history of music pedagogy in Britain, especially in the last two centuries would be incomplete without reference to this archive.
Museum galleries display many rare items from the Academy Collections. The Ground floor gallery usually houses a temporary exhibition and the long-term display 'Treasures of the Academy', which includes scores, manuscripts and artefacts from our collections relating to some of the most significant figures associated with the Academy's history, including Paganini, Jenny Lind, John Barbirolli and Robert Spencer.
On the first floor, the stringed instruments from the Academy's working collection narrate the lineage of 'Revolutionary Violinism'. This exhibition includes the craftsmanship of Cremonese makers usually including the 'Viotti ex-Bruce', which was famously saved for the nation in 2005.
On the second floor, the 'Experimental Pianism' exhibition displays pianos from the early 19th century depicting the design ideals and dreams of keyboard-makers during the industrial revolution, resulting in the modern piano we know today.
Personalities, Performing Arts, Music, Fine Art, Archives, Coins and Medals, Social History
Key artists and exhibits
- English music prints
- Designated Collection
Kenny Wheeler: Master of Melancholy Chaos
This new exhibition turns the spotlight on the quiet genius of a much-loved jazz trumpeter and composer, Kenny Wheeler. Now 83 years old, Wheeler remains one of the most enigmatic and original jazz voices in the world. His career spans an extraordinary breadth of styles and historical events - a titan of the European Free Jazz movement, a member of John Dankworth’s Big Band, and the composer of some of the most hauntingly beautiful compositions in the genre.
Tracing Wheeler’s varied career via seven milestone albums, the exhibition draws on many previously unseen items from his musical archive acquired by the Academy in 2012. Handwritten sketches and scores illuminate his creative process, from his very early arrangement of the jazz standard ‘Stella by Starlight’ to manuscripts from his latest big band offering ‘The Long Waiting’, among many other unique exhibits.
The displays are also enriched by unprecedented access to Wheeler’s personal memorabilia and recordings of recent interviews with him. Together these give glimpses of his famously self-deprecating personality, his wry and quick wit, and his quietly determined musical ambitions. Visitors to the exhibition will have a unique opportunity to see a letter from a nineteen-year-old Wheeler seeking work experience, hear about the children’s television programme that inspired his first album, and see one of the few remaining flugelhorns that Wheeler has not damaged or given away!
Wheeler enjoys huge and heartfelt acclaim from his many friends and collaborators in the jazz world. This exhibition is complemented by an exclusive video featuring behind the scenes footage of his latest Big Band recording session, and new interviews with singer Norma Winstone, saxophonist Evan Parker and trumpeter Dave Douglas recounting their musical memories both old and new.
A lively events programme of performances, talks and family events accompanies the exhibition.
The nearest tube station is Baker Street.