The Royal College of Music is a conservatoire established by royal charter in 1882, located in South Kensington, London, UK. It offers training from the undergraduate to the doctoral level in all aspects of Western Music including performance, conducting, music theory and history; the RCM undertakes research, with particular strengths in performance practice and performance science. The college was named the top institution for Performing Arts in both the United Kingdom and Europe in the 2018 QS World University Rankings, it was ranked second across all Performing Arts institutions worldwide. The college is one of the four conservatories of the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music and a member of Conservatoires UK, its buildings are directly opposite the Royal Albert Hall on Prince Consort Road, next to Imperial College and among the museums and cultural centres of Albertopolis. The college was founded in 1883 to replace the short-lived and unsuccessful National Training School for Music.
The school was the result of an earlier proposal by the Prince Consort to provide free musical training to winners of scholarships under a nationwide scheme. After many years' delay it was established with Arthur Sullivan as its principal. Conservatoires to train young students for a musical career had been set up in major European cities, but in London the long-established Royal Academy of Music had not supplied suitable training for professional musicians: in 1870 it was estimated that fewer than ten per cent of instrumentalists in London orchestras had studied at the academy; the NTSM's aim, summarised in its founding charter, was: To establish for the United Kingdom such a School of Music as exists in many of the principal Continental countries, – a School which shall take rank with the Conservatories of Milan, Vienna, Leipsic and Berlin, – a School which shall do for the musical youth of Great Britain what those Schools are doing for the talented youth of Italy, France and Belgium. The school was housed in a new building in Kensington Gore, opposite the west side of the Royal Albert Hall.
The building was not large, having no concert hall. In a 2005 study of the NTSM and its replacement by the RCM, David Wright observes that the building is "more suggestive of a young ladies' finishing school than a place for the serious training of professional musicians". Under Sullivan, a reluctant and ineffectual principal, the NTSM failed to provide a satisfactory alternative to the Royal Academy, by 1880 a committee of examiners comprising Charles Hallé, Sir Julius Benedict, Sir Michael Costa, Henry Leslie and Otto Goldschmidt reported that the school lacked "executive cohesion"; the following year Sullivan resigned, was replaced by John Stainer. In his 2005 study of the NTSM, Wright comments: Like the RAM at that time, the NTSM failed to relate its teaching to professional need, so did not discriminate between the education required to turn out professional instrumentalists/singers and amateur/ social musicians, and because its purpose was unclear, so was its provision. Before the 1880 report it had become clear that the NTSM would not fulfil the role of national music conservatoire.
As early as 13 July 1878, a meeting was held at Marlborough House, London under the presidency of the Prince of Wales, "for the purpose of taking into consideration the advancement of the art of music, establishing a college of music on a permanent and more extended basis than that of any existing institution". The original plan was to merge the Royal Academy of Music and the National Training School of Music into a single, enhanced organisation; the NTSM agreed, but after prolonged negotiations the Royal Academy refused to enter into the proposed scheme. In 1881, with George Grove as a leading instigator, with the support of the Prince of Wales, a draft charter was drawn up for a successor body to the NTSM; the Royal College of Music occupied the premises home to the NTSM, opened there on 7 May 1883. Grove was appointed its first director. There were 50 scholars elected by 42 fee-paying students. Grove, a close friend of Sullivan, loyally maintained that the new college was a natural evolution from the NTSM.
In reality his aims were radically different from Sullivan's. In his determination that the new institution should succeed as a training ground for orchestral players, Grove had two principal allies: the violinist Henry Holmes and the composer and conductor Charles Villiers Stanford, they believed that a capable college orchestra would not only benefit instrumental students, but would give students of composition the essential chance to experience the sound of their music. The college's first intake of scholarship students included 28; the potential strength of the college orchestra, including fee-paying instrumental students, was 33 violins, five violas, six cellos, one double bass, one flute, one oboe and two horns. Grove appointed 12 professors of orchestral instruments, in addition to distinguished teachers in other musical disciplines including Jenny Lind, Hubert Parry, Ernst Pauer, Arabella Goddard and Walter Parratt; the old premises proved restrictive, a new building was commissioned in the early 1890s on a new site in Prince Consort Road, South Kensington.
The building was designed by Sir Arthur Blomfield in Flemish Mannerist style in red brick dressed with buff-coloured Welden stone. Construction began in 1892 and the building opened in May 1894; the building was paid for by two large donations from Samson Fox, a Yorkshire industrialist, whose statue, along with that of the Prince of Wales
Peroz II Kushanshah was the penultimate Kushanshah of the Kushano-Sasanian Kingdom from 303 to 330. He was the successor of Hormizd II Kushanshah. Like his two previous predecessors—Hormizd I Kushanshah and Hormizd II Kushanshah—Peroz II had the same group of coins minted during his reign, with gold dinars and copper drachms provided from the main Kushano-Sasanian base of Tukharistan. However, Peroz II is called "the Great Kushan King" and not the "Kushan King of Kings" on his coins, hence renouncing their claim of kingship over the Sasanian Empire. Since the reign of Hormizd I Kushanshah, copper drachms were minted with the names of two local governors and Kavad; this was continued under Peroz II. In Gandhara, Peroz II issued copper coins with his characteristic "bull horns crown". However, he was the last of the Kushano-Sasanian rulers to issue such coins in Gandhara. After that point, the area was occupied by Shapur II. Peroz II was succeeded by Varahran Kushanshah in Tukharistan, while the Sasanian King of Kings Shapur II incorporated Gandhara and Kabul into his own domains.
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Ruth Fredman Cernea was an American cultural anthropologist, who dedicated all her field research and writings to the analysis of Jewish culture and symbols, in various settings. Born in Philadelphia in 1934, Ruth Fredman Cernea got her BA degree in English literature from Temple University and raised a family, returned to Temple University to complete her graduate studies. After gaining a doctorate in cultural anthropology, she became the Director for Publications and Research at the national headquarters of the Hillel Foundation for Jewish Campus Life. Previous positions include: Director of Research and Publications of the Hillel Foundation Chief Editor of the multiyear guide “Jewish Life on Campus” President of the Washington Association of Professional Anthropologists, 2001–02 The monograph “The Passover Seder: Afikoman in Exile – An Anthropological Perspective on Jewish Culture” established Ruth Fredman Cernea as a subtle interpreter of Jewish cultural and religious symbols, of popular myths.
She argued that the symbolism embedded in the Passover ritual expresses the political celebration of freedom and the cultural quest for purity. Published in several editions, the book remains in print as the only systematic anthropological examination of Passover's religious and secular symbols. Interested in the cultural transformation of Jewish immigrants in the US, she devoted five years to research among Jewish immigrants from North Africa living in Washington DC, the result of, her thesis on "Cosmopolitans at Home: The Sephardic Jews of Washington D. C.2. As noted by the Washington Post, "Dr. Cernea was on her second honeymoon in 1987 when she discovered a little-known Jewish community in Myanmar and the country’s only synagogue, the historic Mushmeah Yeshua Temple." That discovery spurred her enduring interest and she devoted 20 years to research and piece together the history of Burma's Jewish community, a thriving pre-World War II community decimated by the war and numbering now only a handful of people.
To reconstruct that community's history and culture, Cernea traveled to all places where small groups of descendants of Burma's Jewish community are known to live: India, Israel, United Kingdom, California, interviewing scores of families of Jewish Burmese ancestry and gathering family histories, pictures and personal recollections. Her tenacity salvaged from oblivion and reconstructed the history of Burma's Jewish community in the only existing monograph on that community, Almost Englishmen: Baghdadi Jews in British Burma. Cernea's interest for culture produced another unique work, entitled The Great Latke-Hamantash Debate; that is an anthology of selected speeches delivered by Jewish and non-Jewish scholars in a long series of mock debates started at the University of Chicago more than half a century ago and continuing today through debates organized in many universities across the United States and Canada, as well as in a number of synagogues. The book includes mock "scholarly arguments" delivered in live public contests between "supporters" of the Latke, the potato pancake traditionally served during the holiday of Hanukkah, "supporters" of the Hamatasch, the triangular sweet pastry associated with the holiday of Purim.
Among the presenters in her book are some of the most eminent American academics, including Milton Friedman and Leon Lederman, both Nobel laureates in economics and physics, historian Hana Grey, philosopher Martha Nussbaum, some other 30 scholars. These debaters construct the most absurd possible arguments to demonstrate the alleged superiority of the Latke or the Hamatasch vis-à-vis each other; the book is credited with the recent multiplication of the annual Latke-Hamatasch humorous debates across the US. In a nice turn of phrase, Dr. Cernea told the Chicago Tribune in 2005 that "Jewish humor is not silly, but it is absurd absurdity. In Jewish thought absurdity and humor is an antidote to seriousness. Jews have always been able to use humor to lighten the load." "Ruth Fredman Cernea, 74, Dies. "Ruth Fredman Cernea, author, Hillel professional", Washington Jewish Week, April 9, 2009. Hillel. 2009. "Hillel Remembers Ruth Cernea"