The Royal Irish Academy of Music is a home of musical excellence and dynamism, a place of teaching and learning which consistently achieves its objective of transmitting and maintaining the highest standards of performance and appreciation in all musical disciplines. Founded in 1848 the Academy is Ireland’s oldest musical institution.
As a national thirty-two county institution, the Academy embodies and reflects the traditions and heritage of Irish musicianship. The Teaching Staff includes many international and national prizewinners, members of the National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland and the RTÉ Concert Orchestra and many individuals whose names have become synonymous with music education in Ireland. With the resources of such talents at its disposal, it is no wonder that the Academy’s students have been accepted for further study at the most prestigious music institutions around the world from the Juilliard School in New York to the Royal Academy of Music in London. Today, with recently established higher education courses, the Academy is in turn able to offer the finest Irish musical training to students from all corners of the world.
In recent years students of the Academy have garnered prizes from some of the world’s most prestigious international competitions including the Clara Haskil International Piano Competition, The Cardiff Singer of the World Competition, the China International Vocal Competition, the Cologne International Piano Competition, the AXA Dublin International Piano Competition and the BBC Musician of the Year. On the international stage, former students are currently members of such leading orchestras as the London Symphony Orchestra, the Philharmonia Orchestra, Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, as well as opera houses from the Royal Opera House at Covent Garden to La Scala, Milan.
Each season Academy staff and students perform a wide variety of concerts in many of Dublin’s finest venues including the National Gallery of Ireland and the National Concert Hall and internationally Academy students, through participation in its performing groups, have acted as musical ambassadors in England, Scotland, Switzerland, Norway and North and South America, garnering such favourable reviews as “zesty and superbly unified” and “this 16-player group made a fine case for the state of music education in Dublin” (Allan Kozinn, The New York Times, November 19th, 2001 on the Royal Irish Academy of Music Chamber Orchestra).
The Academy also plays an active role in the community by presenting a large number of outreach programmes including an annual charity event, Con Anima which over the last number of years has helped us raise in excess of €60,000 for charities such as The Irish Hospice Foundation, The Mater Misericordiae Hospital, The Hospitaller Order of St John of God and the Special Olympics World Summer Games. Indeed the Academy is particularly proud of the fact that out of its charity event in 2000 one of the most exciting musical projects of 2003 emerged. Following Gavin Friday’s collaboration with the RIAM Symphony Orchestra on Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf in the 2000 Con Anima concert a new recording with illustrations by Bono was launched in aid of hospice care.
The Academy also offers a wide-ranging Local Centre Examination System which offers examinations in classical music and speech and drama to over 40,000 students annually.
Having reached the twenty-first century, the Royal Irish Academy of Music is confident of continuing to develop its status as a place of response, excitement, innovation and achievement in Ireland.