Students at the Academy will have the opportunity to take part in international exchanges with partnered conservatoires from September 2022

Elton John at the Duke's Hall, Royal Academy of Music

Elton John at the Duke’s Hall, Royal Academy of Music | Photo supplied by Royal Academy of Music

The Royal Academy of Music has announced a new programme which will promote global mobility and international collaboration between deserving and talented young musicians. 

The scheme, developed by the Academy and endorsed by Elton John, goes live in September 2022 and will enable students from twelve conservatoires worldwide to take part in educational exchanges with the Academy. These will vary in length from one week of intensive project-based work to, in exceptional cases, a full year of study.

 Confirmed exchange institutions include: 

•           The Juilliard School (New York)

•           Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse de Paris

•           Shanghai Conservatory of Music

•           Sibelius Academy of the University of the Arts Helsinki

•           MDW - University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna

•           Hanns Eisler Academy, Berlin

•           The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts

•           Sydney Conservatorium of Music

•           University of Music and Performing Arts, Munich

•           Reina Sofía School of Music (Madrid)

•           The Glenn Gould School of The Royal Conservatory of Music, Toronto

•           Tokyo University of the Arts Faculty of Music and Graduate School of Music


The Academy’s principal, Jonathan Freeman-Attwood CBE, said: ‘In a rapidly changing global landscape, conservatoires must evolve to meet future needs and create fresh opportunities for young artists. Central to this is the free exchange of ideas without regard for international boundaries – which is why we have set up this network from a selection of the finest music schools in the world. All have long been friends of the Royal Academy of Music, and so re-connecting with each of these institutions has been profoundly encouraging. Because each is committed to expanding horizons for our future generation of musicians, the prospect of sharing our work and culture through individual exchanges and projects is thrilling. 

‘Elton John, himself an Academy alumnus, has provided remarkable assistance to our international student body over the years, and is deeply committed to ensuring that young musicians are able to collaborate, innovate and develop as artists in the broadest environment. We are hugely grateful to him for lending his name to this project and offering support.’ 

Elton John has been the Academy’s most generous alumni donor, in recognition of which he is being made a member of the Regents’ Court of Benefactors, along with his husband David Furnish, at a ceremony in January 2022. The Global Exchange Programme will primarily be supported by new income from an existing fund created by Elton to provide scholarships for exceptionally talented musicians across multiple genres. The scope of the gift has been expanded to meet the growing need for an international educational forum and exchange. 

He said: ‘My passion is to help nurture the next generation of global artists. Music can and should transcend borders, and I am delighted to be supporting a scheme which offers high-level, tangible opportunities to talented young musicians coming together from many different countries.

Up to 20 participants a year from the Academy and its partner conservatoires will benefit from short, collaborative projects, a single term, or a full year of tuition at their host institution.