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Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama

The Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama (RSAMD) is a conservatoire of music, drama and dance in the centre of Glasgow, Scotland. Founded in 1845 as the Glasgow Educational Association, today it acts as one of the leading cultural institutions in the United Kingdom, and is the busiest performing arts venue in Scotland.

The current principal is Professor John Wallace, a trumpet player, and the president is Sir Cameron Mackintosh.


RSAMD has been located in its current purpose-built building on Renfrew Street in Glasgow since 1988. However, its roots lie in several different organisations, and it primarily began with the establishment of the Glasgow Educational Association in 1845, which was formed to provide courses in competition with the University of Glasgow. The Association later became the Glasgow Commercial College, and this in turn became part of the Glasgow Athenaeum in 1847. The Glasgow Athenaeum provided training in commercial skills, literature, languages, sciences, mathematics and music. Its inaugural speech was given by Charles Dickens, in which he stated that he regarded the Glasgow Athenaeum as "an educational example and encouragement to the rest of Scotland".

In 1888, the commercial teaching of the Glasgow Athenaeum separated to form the Athenaeum Commercial College which, after several rebrandings and a merger, became the University of Strathclyde in 1964. In 1890 the non-commercial teaching side of the Glasgow Athenaeum became the Glasgow Athenaeum School of Music, which in turn became the Scottish National Academy of Music in 1929, which in 1944 became the Royal Scottish Academy of Music.

In 1950 the Royal Scottish Academy of Music established a drama department called the Glasgow College of Dramatic Art. It became the first UK drama school to contain a full, broadcast-specification television studio in 1962. In 1968 the Royal Scottish Academy of Music changed its name to the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama and introduced its first degree courses, which were validated by the University of Glasgow. In 1993 RSAMD became the first conservatoire in the United Kingdom to be granted its own degree-awarding powers.

Research degrees undertaken at RSAMD are validated and awarded by the University of St Andrews in Fife. RSAMD is a member of the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music.


RSAMD has a range of facilities, including several performance spaces: the Guiness Room, the Academy Concert Hall, the Chandler Studio Theatre, the New Athenaeum Theatre and the Alexander Gibson Opera Studio (built in 1998). The Academy also houses a professional recording studio.


School of Music

  • Keyboard
  • Vocal Studies
  • Opera
  • Strings
  • Woodwind
  • Brass
  • Timpani and Percussion
  • Scottish Music
  • Composition
  • Academic Studies
  • Conducting

School of Drama

  • Acting
  • Contemporary Performance Practice
  • Digital Film and Television
  • Technical and Production Arts
  • Musical Theatre
  • Modern Ballet

Junior Academy

  • Junior School of Music
  • Drama Works

Distinguished alumni

For a full list, see Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama alumni

See also


External links

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