Located between the great Victorian museums of South Kensington and the Royal Albert Hall, the Royal College of Music, founded in 1883, has been a central influence on British musical life ever since. This wide-ranging account of the College places it within its musical and educational environments. It argues that its significance lies not only in its famous performers and composers, but also in the generations of its more anonymous former students who have done so much to improve the musical life of the localities in which they have worked as teachers and amateurs. As a social and cultural history, this account also captures how significantly society's consumption of music - from new technologies to changing cultural perspectives of historical and world musics - has changed since the College was founded, and how very different our points of musical reference now are. This history traces the effects of these developments on the College's work.
Tim Blanning - Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge