Music at King’s has a history as long as that of the College itself and students receive excellent support in College for both academic study and extra-curricular music. King’s is unique among Cambridge Colleges in having five Fellows in music.
Reading Music at King’s, you can benefit from round-the-clock access to the Rowe Music Library, by far the largest and most important College music library in Cambridge, containing valuable manuscript and antiquarian volumes as well as present-day texts, and a huge collection of scores. King's College Library also provides a very pleasant place to study in College (see the virtual tour). In addition, King's is one of the nearest Colleges to the Music Faculty on West Road (which also has a specialist music library) and the University Library. See the map (Music Faculty marked by red pin).
Undergraduate rooms for Music students are provided with pianos for private study. The College also has music rooms and two Steinway pianos available for student use. There is funding available to assist with the cost of vocal or instrumental lessons, and also with travel for educational and other purposes. King's awards two Derek Cornwell Scholarships each year for the contribution made by talented instrumentalists, as well as participating in the University Instrumental Award Scheme.
Many of our graduates go on to pursue performance studies in leading conservatories, or doctoral research. Career opportunities in other fields are very wide, and have included law, publishing, finance, and teaching in recent years.
A student perspective
Having just finished the course, Jess wrote about her experiences of studying Music, including what attracted her to the course, the transition from school, supervisions, relevant skills she developed, life at King's, and what comes after Cambridge Music. This is well worth reading to get a sense of what studying Music at King's is really like.
The King's Men close harmony group performing in King's at the annual Singing on the River concert
King’s has attracted and nurtured many internationally famous composers and performers over the years. Composers range from Robert Hacomplaynt, Provost of the College in the early sixteenth century, to Judith Weir, George Benjamin and Thomas Adès today. Performers include John Eliot Gardiner who formed his first choir and orchestra here at King’s in the 1960s, Andrew Davis, one of the world’s leading conductors and a former organ scholar; and Edward Gardner (King’s, 1993) and Paul Daniel (King’s, 1976), successive Music Directors of English National Opera.
The world-famous Chapel choir has been the training ground for many singers, including Robert Tear, Gerald Finley, and Andrew Kennedy, all of whom can be heard at opera houses and concert halls throughout the world.