The Royal Northern College of Music

The Radcliffe Trust has provided awards to the Royal Northern College of Music, for UK postgraduate composition students.

Celebrating its 50th birthday in 2023, the RNCM is recognised as one of the world’s most forward-thinking conservatoires. Home to over 900 students from more than 60 countries, it is dedicated to providing an outstanding education that propels students into careers as inspiring and versatile musicians, fully equipped for exciting futures both on and off stage.  Its alumni go on to shape influential careers in music performance, education and research, with RNCM graduates making up 47% of the North West’s orchestras and 18% of professional orchestra members in the UK and Ireland.

The Radcliffe Trust’s support for student scholarships and bursaries is particularly crucial in the context of the cost of living crisis, which is having a significant impact on students’ abilities to enable them to undertake and complete their studies, and to focus fully on their training at a crucial time in their musical development. They have seen their opportunities for performance and paid work drastically reduced by the pandemic over the last two years, and are now seeing their living costs rising rapidly. This particularly impacts composition students, who are often excluded from many external funding sources which prefer to fund more ‘visible’ musicians and singers.






RNCM Composition alumni whose studies were supported by The Radcliffe Trust include Tom Harrold (pictured here) winner of the BBC Proms / Guardian Young Composer Award and RNCM Honorary Associate Artist, and Michael Betteridge renowned for high quality and collaborative community music making working extensively as a composer across different communities in the UK and abroad, and musical and artistic director of Manchester’s male voice choir The Sunday Boys.

Sam Longbottom, a composition student supported by The Radcliffe Trust in 2021/22, said of the value of his training at the RNCM and the importance of the Trust’s support:

“I believe my work has developed significantly during my studies, into places I could not have foreseen, producing a number of pieces which I could not have imagined before arriving at the RNCM. I am extremely proud of this work I have produced and believe they will help enormously once I have completed my studies when attempting to acquire more professional work… My approach to writing and working with musicians has also developed greatly while being here, and I have made lasting relationships with performers who I will go on to work with far into the future. All of this would not be possible if it were not for the great generosity of The Radcliffe Trust, and so I am extremely grateful for your support across this academic year. It has given me the financial freedom to take part in every opportunity available to me, something which is critical for me at this stage in my development as a composer.”

In 2022/23 The Radcliffe Trust is supporting the tuition and living costs of emerging young composers Eve Vickers and Sophie Nolan.