I have now completed over a month in my new role as Principal of the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama and I am enjoying getting to know this wonderful institution. With its large and diverse student population, its very motivated and dynamic staff, with so many performances and events happening and with its warm and friendly ethos (you feel this the moment you enter the building), it is a real pleasure to be working for the College.

My appointment is as interim Principal after the departure of Dame Hilary Boulding in July in a period in which the College has sought to appoint a new Chair of the Board. John Derrick has now been appointed to this role and I am enjoying working with him to establish the way forward. The process of appointment for the full-time Principal has now begun.

Last week, we welcomed Valery Gergiev and his Mariinsky Stradivarius Ensemble to the College.Their concert, including a beautiful performance of the Shostakovitch Chamber Symphony and Stravinsky’s Concerto in D, was sold out and received a great reception with standing ovation. In addition, Valery Gergiev conducted the College’s string orchestra in a two-hour workshop on Elgar’s Serenade for Strings. Thanks go to the College’s President Lord Rowe-Beddoe for facilitating this visit and to the many patrons who supported it.

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