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Leeds College of Music

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Leeds College of Music

Leeds College of Music
Established 1965
Type Conservatoire
Principal Philip Meaden
Students 752
Location Leeds, West Yorkshire, England
Former names Leeds Music Centre (1965–1971), City of Leeds College of Music (1971–1997)

Leeds College of Music is a specialist music conservatoire based in the Quarry Hill cultural quarter of Leeds, England.

The college is the only conservatoire in the UK to offer both Higher and Further Education courses. Aside from its education provision – which also includes short courses and programmes for adults and school-age musicians – Leeds College of Music hosts a seasonal programme of concerts, largely in its 350-seat auditorium 'The Venue'. In 2011 Leeds College of Music was awarded All-Steinway School status – becoming the only conservatoire in England to have 90% of its pianos from the Steinway family.[1] It was formerly known as Leeds Music Centre (1965–1971) and City of Leeds College of Music (1971–1997), and became a wholly owned subsidiary of Leeds City College in August 2011.[2]


Leeds College of Music offers an undergraduate degree course - BA (Hons) Music - with specialisms/pathways available in Jazz, Classical Music, Popular Music, Music Production and Music Business; as well as a combined option. Students can also take a Foundation Certificate, which is designed to provide them with the necessary skills and knowledge for successful degree-level study at a specialist music institution.

The conservatoire also offers a Postgraduate Diploma/MA/MMus in Performance, Composition, Performance and Composition, and Production.

Further Education courses available include Business and Technology Education Council Level 3 Extended Diploma in Music (Classical, Jazz and Pop pathways) and Music Technology.

In addition to the Further & Higher Education programmes of study, there is a range of short instrumental, vocal and technology courses for both adults and schoolchildren which run throughout the year, alongside ensemble membership.


In 2011, Leeds College of Music was refurbished to accommodate 60 state-of-the-art teaching and practice rooms, seven recording studios (including an SSL G Series console) and three mixing studios (one of which has 5.1 Surround Sound) – enabling students to study and create in a professional environment.

The SSL G Series console is linked to recital space, meaning live performance can be captured directly. Studios, ensemble and rehearsal rooms and iMac computer labs are open until 3am.

As an Apple Authorised Training Centre, the conservatoire has six fully equipped Mac labs, with high computer-to-student ratio and in-house Apple-trained tutors.

Leeds College of Music became an All-Steinway School in 2011, meaning that 90% of its pianos come from the Steinway & Sons family. These include two Steinway Model Ds.

The library is stocked with more than 10,000 CDs, 8,000 LPs and 18,000 items of printed music. Housed in a quiet and comfortable environment – including a computer cluster, silent study room, listening posts and a postgraduate study area – the library's printed music and study score collection spans all styles, eras and instruments, from unusual ensemble formats to guitar and pop songs. There is a large collection of books and DVDs covering subjects from music biography to composition for film and sound recording; and a piano with headphones. A wide range of magazines and journals – from Wire to MusicWeek and Jazzwise, The Musical Times to Psychology of Music – caters for all interests and research areas, and electronic journals can be accessed via the conservatoire's virtual learning environment, Space.

The library is also home to the conservatoire's Jazz Archive, which holds a wide range of recordings (including unreleased material), printed music and memorabilia, valuable collections of biographical files and original manuscripts.

Performance Opportunities

With its own 350-seat concert hall (The Venue) and 120-seat Recital Room, numerous ensembles for students to join, a busy concert season and a location right in the middle of Leeds' Quarry Hill Cultural Quarter, Leeds College of Music offers a platform to build up a varied portfolio of performing experience.

Students perform nationally as well as regionally, with the conservatoire's outreach programme having seen bands play at London's Jazz Café, 606 Club and Steinway Hall, and at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

Musicians are regulars at Leeds venues such as the Hi-Fi Club, Sela Bar, West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds Cathedral and the Wardrobe, and at regional venues including Lotherton Hall and Wakefield Cathedral.

The Venue and Recital Room host the majority of events in the conservatoire's packed concert season, which runs from September to May each academic year.

Students play a vital part in the concert season, with many of the conservatoire's ensembles appearing in an eclectic programme that encompasses jazz, classical, contemporary and world music, orchestral, choral and big band concerts and small ensemble and solo recitals.

The concert season allows students to rub shoulders with global names through showcasing the work of graduates and alumni alongside emerging and international artists. Past seasons have seen appearances from the likes of Michael Nyman, Jamie Cullum, Courtney Pine, Polar Bear, Soweto Kinch, Amy Winehouse, Joanna MacGregor and more.

In conjunction with Leeds International Concert Season, Lunchtime Chamber Music is presented every Wednesday at The Venue, while an International Chamber Series is held throughout the year.

Notable alumni

Notable staff (current and former)

Visiting Professorships

Leeds College of Music has appointed a number of world class musicians and music technologists to Visiting Professorships. The Visiting Professorships will play a leading part in the development and dissemination of good practice in HE performance and composition. The following Visiting Professors have been appointed:

Merger proposals

In October 2010, Leeds College of Music and Leeds City College announced that their plans to enter into a strategic alliance have received approval from the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE). HEFCE has approved an application to the Strategic Development Fund (SDF) for funding to support the alliance, in which Leeds College of Music will become a wholly owned subsidiary within the Leeds City College group.

On 1 August 2011, Leeds College of Music became a wholly owned subsidiary of Leeds City College.[3]

From September 2013, degree courses are validated by the University of Hull.[4]

The Venue

Leeds College of Music contributes significantly to the artistic life of the region. The Venue, a 350-seat concert space based on campus, hosts the majority of the College’s Concert Season, which runs from September to May each academic year. The annual programme includes a wide variety of styles encompassing jazz, classical, contemporary, folk, popular and world music, ranging in scale from orchestras, choirs and big bands to small ensembles and solo recitals/concerts. Concerts also take place in the College’s Recital Room. Full-time LCM students are offered discounted tickets on many of the concerts in the season.

Since opening in 2003, The Venue has brought leading national and international artists to the city, ranging from established artists to newcomers including Michael Nyman, Jamie Cullum, Courtney Pine, Manchester Camerata, Soweto Kinch, Tord Gustavsen Trio, Stacey Kent, Kenny Wheeler, Corinne Bailey Rae (workshop), Norma Winstone, Led Bib, IDST, Matthew Bourne, Joanna McGregor, Amy Winehouse, London Sinfonietta, Enrico Rava, Rodrigo y Gabriela, Solveig Slettahjell, Gaggle, Mike Gibbs, Gilad Atzmon and Claire Teal. Festivals and organisations such as the BBC, Live at Leeds, FuseLeeds, Opera North, The Leeds Jewish International Performing Arts Festival and South Asian Arts UK have programmed content in The Venue.

From January 2011, the concert season will focus mainly on the College’s flagship ensembles, free twilight concerts, a small number of high profile guest artists and concerts programmed by Leeds International Concert Season and Leeds Lieder+.

See also

Notes and references

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  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^

External links

  • Leeds College of Music
  • Ofsted Report for LCM FE courses
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