03.04.2015
13:10

Royal Academy of Music Museum

Address:

Marylebone Road, London, NW1 5HT

Phone:

020 7873 7443

Website:

www.ram.ac.uk/museum

Opening times:

Monday to Friday 11.30-5.30pm and Saturday 12-4pm, closed Sunday, public holidays and the month of December.

How to get there:

Tube: Baker Street/Regents Park

Entry fee:

Free

Additional information:

Shop

 

MUSEUM CLOSURE UPDATE - SEE BELOW

The Royal Academy of Music was founded in 1822 at the instigation of the keen amateur composer Lord Burghersh, later Earl of Westmorland, and granted its Royal Charter by George IV in 1830. It was the original venue for the Proms, the ‘Promenade Concerts’ devised by the impresario Robert Newman in 1895 to ‘train the public’ to appreciate classical music. All that survives of the original building, destroyed by bombing, are five carved busts representing Beethoven, Mozart, Bach, Haydn and possibly Purcell, now displayed in the basement lobby. The Royal Academy of Music (since 1999 a college of London University) moved here in 1911.

The museum is now housed in York Gate, designed in 1822 by John Nash as a main entrance to his new Regent’s Park. The collections include a number of treasures: a Renaissance-style lute by Venere of Padua, dating from 1584 and still with its original back; a horn used by Alfred Brain, principal horn of 20th Century Fox. ‘The Violin Family’ features selections from a collection of more than 200 stringed instruments, kept in playing order by the resident luthier, whose workshop can also be seen. The collection includes the Archinto violin (1696), the Rutson violin (1694), and the Maurin violin (1718), all by Stradivari, as well as instruments made by the Amati brothers. They form a representative selection of most of the famous names. Violins seem to have originated in eastern Lombardy, in the craftwork traditions of Cremona, native town of Stradivari and the Amati and Guarneri families. A Turkish violin here from 1737 was made by Giuseppe Guarneri del Gesù, who incorporated the Jesus monogram into his label and was popularised by Paganini. The instrument has been played by the great Russian interpreter of Brahms Jaschka Heifitz; Isaac Stern,; and Polish violinist Henryk Szeryng, best known for his recordings of Bach and Mozart. The Savage-Stevens bequest of 1865 includes an important collection of 17th- and 18th-century Italian manuscripts, purchased in 1817. The Goetz Library of full scores was donated in 1902 and the David Munrow collection in 1993. Conductors’ libraries include those of Otto Klemperer, Henry Wood and John Barbirolli. On the second floor, the Piano Collection demonstrates the technical development of the grand piano in the first half of the 19th century and contrasts it with the daintier Viennese style, illustrated by nine examples. The sequence of English square pianos traces half a century of changes responding to composers and players.

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Gravatar: MuseumMuseum
17.04.2015
11:33
Update from Royal Academy of Music Museum

Experience centuries of creativity and craftsmanship, with fine instruments and objects that have inspired music-making from the 16th century to the present day.

The Royal Academy of Music was founded in 1822 at the instigation of the keen amateur composer Lord Burghersh, later Earl of Westmorland, and granted its Royal Charter by George IV in 1830. It was the original venue for the Proms, the ‘Promenade Concerts’ devised by the impresario Robert Newman in 1895 to ‘train the public’ to appreciate classical music. All that survives of the original building, destroyed by bombing, are five carved busts representing Beethoven, Mozart, Bach, Haydn and possibly Purcell, now displayed in the basement lobby. The Royal Academy of Music (since 1999 a college of London University) moved here in 1911.

The museum is now housed in York Gate, designed in 1822 by John Nash as a main entrance to his new Regent’s Park. Your musical tour begins with our ‘History of the Academy’ display. Through our Timeline you can discover highlights of the Academy’s story in relation to British and world events across two hundred years. A wide range of display items includes the original score of Gilbert and Sullivan’s famous operetta ‘The Mikado’; letters by Felix Mendelssohn and Franz Liszt; a photograph from an Academy fun run; and a backstage pass for alumnus Sir Elton John’s performance at Radio City Music Hall.

The Strings Gallery exhibits some of the most exquisite and diverse string instruments in the Academy’s collections, including by the famous Antonio Stradivari. Instrument displays are interspersed with rare archive material of prints, images and scores, illustrating the instruments in performance and animating the people associated with them.

Upon reaching the Piano Gallery, ask a Gallery Assistant for a demonstration of the instruments. The displays explore the keyboard across four different locations – the home, the stage, the workshop and the Academy itself – to see how domestic music-making, grand concerts, craftsmanship and virtuoso performers have all influenced the development of the instrument. All pianos are kept in playing condition and are used for staff demonstrations, research and special events.

Alongside the permanent galleries the Museum presents an annually changing temporary exhibition, regular lecture-recitals and workshops.

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MUSEUMS & GALLERIES OF LONDON

Details below are taken from our Blue Guide Museums and Galleries of London.  This is a 2005 title, here generally updated for website address and opening times, with useful comments from some of the museums themselves.  More recent information is given in Emily Barber's magisterial new Blue Guide London, "Exceptional update to a classic and useful guide to this amazing city" (Amazon reader review).

FULL LISTING of CURRENT EXHIBITIONS in London from Apollo Magazine »

Emily Barber recommends five major London museums »

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