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Royal Conservatoire of Scotland


(Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama)

Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, Glasgow
©2016 Gazetteer for Scotland

Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, Glasgow

Located in purpose-built accommodation on Glasgow's Renfrew Street, the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland is Scotland's only institution dedicated solely to the education of musicians, actors and associated professions to the highest international standards. Known as the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama (RSAMD) until 2011, the Conservatoire comprises a School of Music, a School of Drama, formed in 1951, and the Alexander Gibson Opera School, opened in 1998.

The Conservatoire was founded in 1847 as the Glasgow Athenaeum, with a role to provide further education in commerce, science and the arts. In 1928 the School of Music was renamed the Scottish National Academy of Music and its Royal status was granted in 1944 by King George VI. In 1968, the name was changed to the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama to reflect the increasing importance of drama. The Conservatoire was given degree-awarding powers by the Privy Council in 1994 and is funded as a 'central institution' by the Scottish Government, through the Scottish Higher Education Funding Council (SHEFC). It is attended by approximately 800 students (2011).

The current building was opened in 1988 by HM Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother (1900 - 2002). The building has performance auditoria, as well as numerous practice rooms, rehearsal rooms and dressing rooms. The Alexander Gibson Opera School includes an opera studio, several rehearsal rooms and a conference suite.

Former students include Robert Carlyle (b. 1961), Tom Conti (b. 1941), Bill Paterson (b. 1945), Ian Richardson (1934 - 2007), David Tennant (b.1971) and actress and comedienne Ruby Wax (b.1953).


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