Royal Irish Academy of Music

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Royal Irish Academy of Music
Ceol Acadamh Ríoga na hÉireann
Type Private
Established 1848
President Deborah Kelleher
Location Dublin, Leinster, Ireland

The Royal Irish Academy of Music (RIAM) in Dublin, Ireland, is one of Europe's oldest music conservatoires. It is located in a Georgian building on Westland Row in Dublin.


The RIAM was founded in 1848 by a group of music enthusiasts including John Stanford (father of Charles Villiers Stanford), Richard Michael Levey, and Joseph Robinson. It was originally located in the former Antient Concert Rooms on Pearse Street, then at 18 St Stephens Green, and moved to its present address in 36 Westland Row in 1871.[1] The following year it was granted the right to use the title "Royal". Its 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.

The RIAM is a unique institution in the Irish context and doesn't follow the typical European conservatoire model. Since its foundation, it has developed to become a place of relevance and inspiration for musicians, reaching to over 50,000 each year.

The RIAM's Local Centre Examination System, founded in 1894, is Ireland's only indigenous examining body for music. The LCES caters for 42,000 students in 1,700 centres in every county across the island of Ireland. Over 7,000 private music teachers enter their students for these exams, and the RIAM has developed a portfolio of teacher training programmes aimed at this market. November 2013 saw the launch of the RIAM Teaching Network, Ireland's first virtual learning environment aimed at continuing education for the instrumental and vocal teacher. By utilising the skills of its core faculty to teach and advise the RIAM Teaching Network, the institution is committed to consolidating its position as "the champion and enabler of the private music teaching profession".

The RIAM has about 1,000 part-time students who are assessed annually and make up some of the pool of students who apply for RIAM's full-time courses. Recent initiatives such as junior chamber music and junior improvisation courses have sought to offer such students (and outside students) the opportunity to develop a more rounded musical education.

About 120 full-time students study at the RIAM and also act as cultural ambassadors for the RIAM and for Ireland, forging good professional careers and participating in international concerts and competitions. This student body is made of representatives from over 17 countries. These Bachelor, Master and Doctorate programmes are focused on classical music performance and education, and have been running for a quarter of a century. Graduates of the RIAM's full-time programmes 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. In recent years students of the Academy have been finalists and winners of 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 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.

The Cathal Gannon Early Music Room was opened in May 2003; it contains a harpsichord and clavichord made by Cathal Gannon, a Broadwood grand piano restored by him, a square piano and information about Mr Gannon.

Special collections[edit]

The RIAM library holds a number of collections of historical interest, originally privately collected or belonging to orchestral and choral societies active in Dublin in the 18th and 19th centuries. Most notably, the include:

  • The collections of the Sons of Handel and the Antient Concerts Society, who maintained a continuous choral tradition from 1790 to 1863 that was at the centre of musical life in Dublin.
  • The collection of the Anacreontic Society (Ireland), an orchestral society active in Dublin from 1740 to 1865.
  • The Hudleston Collection of solo and chamber music for guitar, collected by Josiah Andrew Hudleston (1799–1865) and which features around 1,100 works by Giuliani, Sor, Carulli and many others, in original and contemporary editions.
  • The Joan Trimble Collection.

Notable alumni[edit]

Notable former students and alumni of the Royal Irish Academy of Music include:

Notable teachers[edit]

Notable teachers at the Royal Irish Academy of Music (past and present) include:


  1. ^ See (retrieved 19 May 2015).
  • Richard Pine & Charles Acton (eds.): To Talent Alone. The Royal Irish Academy of Music 1848-1998 (Dublin: Gill & Macmillan, 1998). ISBN 0-7171-2759-1.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 53°20′32″N 6°15′01″W / 53.342333°N 6.250155°W / 53.342333; -6.250155