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Charles presents honours to top talent at Royal College of Music ceremony

The Prince of Wales and composer Anna Meredith (RCM/Christodoulou/PA)
The Prince of Wales and composer Anna Meredith (RCM/Christodoulou/PA)

The Prince of Wales has honoured some of the top musical talents at a ceremony held by the Royal College of Music (RCM).

Charles, in his role as president of the RCM, made his annual visit to the London conservatoire where he handed out awards to artists including Grammy-nominated saxophonist Amy Dickson and composer Anna Meredith.

He also met with students of the RCM’s junior department and young musicians who have been learning instruments through RCM Sparks, the college’s outreach programme.

The Prince of Wales alongside those he honoured during his annual president’s visit to the Royal College of Music (RCM/Christodoulou/PA)

RCM director Professor Colin Lawson said: “The president’s visit is always a significant moment in the Royal College of Music’s calendar and this year we honour the contribution made by exceptional musicians from across the world, many of whom are Royal College of Music alumni.

“To produce world-leading musicians there needs to be better access to high-quality music education for all, and ongoing support for young people as they progress.”

Musicians Dickson and Meredith were made fellows of the RCM alongside the founder of the Purcell Quartet Richard Boothby and Thomas Trotter, a resident organist at the Birmingham Symphony Hall and a recent recipient of the Queen’s medal for music.

RCM professor and violinist Gabrielle Lester, who has led orchestral recordings of numerous film and TV scores including Harry Potter, Lord Of The Rings and Doctor Who, was also among the cohort who became an RCM fellow during the ceremony.

Following the awards, Charles met with young musicians from the RCM junior department including siblings Imaan and Jamaal Kashim – who play the violin and the harp, respectively.

Imaan, 18, said the programme has been a “musical springboard” for him as he has now been offered a place to study at the RCM from September.

Jamaal, 14, added that his time in the junior department had shown him how “differences can be brought together through music to make something unified and very beautiful”.

Charles meets 12-year-old twins Sami and Mehdi, students involved in the Royal College of Music Sparks programme (RCM/Christodoulou/PA)

The siblings were also part of a musical performance delivered by RCM students for the prince.

Charles also met 12-year-old twins Sami and Mehdi Uwahemu, who have been engaged with RCM Sparks since 2016, with both going on to receive a place in the RCM junior department.

Their mother Fouzia Radi said: “I am grateful to the Royal College of Music for giving both my boys the opportunity to learn how to play an instrument with amazing teachers.

“They enjoy music a great deal and thanks to this opportunity, they have been given the chance to get into a good local secondary school with a specialism in music. It gives me great pleasure to see them both flourish.”

The RCM, which was established in 1883, was recently ranked as the world’s leading institution for performing arts in the 2022 QS World University Rankings by subject.

This is the first time the London conservatoire has taken the top spot, overtaking The Juilliard School in New York which has held the position since 2016, when this categorisation was first introduced.