Guildhall school of music and Drama was founded in 1880 and acts as one of the central London Hubs for education into the creative arts. The school has acted as educator for many notable alumni in both music and acting. These include actors Damian Lewis, Peter Cushing and Daniel Craig and musicians George Martin, Tamsin Little and Paul Lewis. Since 1977 the school has been located in London’s Barbican Centre and takes 900 students a year. What’s more, guests at London City Suites Hotel’s can visit the school and watch many of the brilliant performances that take part both there and at the Barbican as part of the schools programme.
The school was founded in 1880 and was opened in a disused warehouse with only 62 part-time students. Of course, the school grew in popularity and had to be moved elsewhere. The school’s first principle was called Thomas Henry Weist Hill and had a team of 90 professors when the school moved to its new premises in John Carpenter Street. This site was created by the architect Horace Jones but was moved three quarters of the way into the twentieth century. In 1977 the school moved to its current location in the Barbican Centre but still has its funding coming from the London City council, now as well as the Barbican, being listed as a Grad II building.
Recently, the school has been awarded the Queens Anniversary Prize due to its stellar development and outreach programmes helping those from poor backgrounds find a career in the arts. A new site was opened in 2013, the Milton Court site with new studio and teaching space which cost an incredible 90 million pounds to develop. The current site holds a 308 seat drama theatre and concert hall, lecture and recital hall and a small studio theatre.
As a performance school there is always a new piece of work being performed to members of the public. This year sees a range of performances being out on at a variety of venues including the Barbican centre and Milton Studio’s. Drama Performances include the comical satire The (Imaginary) Misogynist. Simon Stephens brutal play about urban disaffection, Herons is also brought to life in the Milton Theatre. Scheuberts Deutsche Messe will be performed by the Guildhall Consort, accompanied by a wind band whilst The Same Deep Water as Me, a comedy by Nick Payne brings its social comedy about compensation culture to the Milton Court Studio Theatre. The school of Music’s string concert will bring together some of the best talent from the school. On top of all this, viewers can also find opera’s being performed later in the month, with a program of songs by Wolf and Mahler being performed by Guildhall singers and Pianists.
How to get there
The Guildhall school of music and drama is located on the same site as the Barbican. Visitors will find it an equal distance between Moorgate Tube station and the Barbican Tube Station, both having directions to the arts hub from the tube stops.