Ref NoRC/20
TitleRoyal College of Music
Description In November 1871 the Council of the Society of Arts approached the Commissioners requesting them to consider granting accommodation for a National Training School for Music in the neighbourhood of the newly opened Royal Albert Hall. After further communication in 1873 the Commissioners agreed to a lease of 99 years of a piece of land on which a building was erected by Mr. Charles Freake for the National Training School for Music.
The School was formally opened in 1876 although the Commissioners and others, including King Edward VII when Prince of Wales, remained convinced that an amalgamation of the National Training School and the Royal Academy of Music would be the best means of promoting the development of high musical training With the failure of this proposal, the prime object was pursued, namely, the creation of a new College of Music to take the place of the National Training School and continue the work of musical education on a more permanent and extended basis.
In February 1882 the proposal to establish the Royal College of Music was publicly announced and the College formally opened on 7 May 1883. However, from early on it was clear that the building provided insufficient accommodation and at length, in May 1888, a Memorial was addressed to the Commission requesting a site on the Estate for a new building.
Plans for the building were drawn up by Sir Arthur Blomfield and its erection made possible by generous donations from Mr. Samson Fox. On its completion in 1892 the Commissioners granted a lease of the site for 999 years at a ground rent of £5 a year and permitted the College to retain possession of its former premises (subsequently leased by the Royal College of Organists) as long as they were required.
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