Royal College of Music director announces retirement

24 November 2022
By Ellie Palmer
Professor Colin Lawson yesterday informed the RCM Council of his decision to stand down from the role on August 31, 2024

RCM's tenth director, Colin Lawson, is set to retire from his position in 2024, the college has announced. 

In an email to staff, he said, "It remains an extraordinary and humbling experience to lead the Royal College of Music, and a tremendous honour to work with such talented colleagues and students across the institution - one that I will proudly continue with the utmost dedication and vigour."

Lawson has been with the RCM for almost two decades, leading the college to No 1 in the global top institution for performing arts (QS World University Rankings 2022).

Appointed CBE in 2016, Lawson has increased access to excellence through digital innovation, global partnerships and the remarkable delivery of a transformational £40 million campus redevelopment as well as leading the college through the pandemic.

In addition, his international outlook has brought new significant partnerships such as the ground-breaking Global Conservatoire which connects students and cultures, sharing knowledge on-screen across the world. He has also expanded digital infrastructure so that the RCM broadcasts many more concerts, including masterclasses with some of the world’s greatest musicians reaching over a million YouTube views in 95 countries.

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On his plans for the coming months, Professor Lawson comments: "The student experience and the pursuit of excellence have been of upmost importance to me ever since my arrival at the RCM in 2005 and there is still much to do as we continue our programme to invest in facilities, widen access for the most talented musicians across the world and drive innovation.

"I remain fully committed to delivering the current strategic plan - and the leadership transition will not detract from this vital work. In the RCM’s Directorate, the teaching and professional services teams and the RCM Council – we truly do have extraordinarily talented people."

There will be a global search for the next RCM Director and consultants will be appointed to support the process.

Main image: ©Chris Christodoulou


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