Hilary Boulding, Principal of the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama has been awarded a Damehood in the 2017 Queen’s Birthday Honours for services to performing arts education.
During her decade-long tenure as Principal of Wales’s National Conservatoire, Hilary, who until recently was also Chair of Conservatoires UK, oversaw a £22.5 million capital development to provide the Conservatoire and Wales with a landmark building housing state-of-the-art rehearsal and performance spaces including the Dora Stoutzker Hall and the Richard Burton Theatre.
In the Guardian University Guide published last month, the Royal Welsh College was ranked number one in the subject tables for Drama for the third time. In Music, Hilary has championed professional collaborations and the development of individual career paths, making it the only conservatoire outside London to achieve 90% of graduates employed within six months.
Graduates across all its disciplines can be found at the forefront of the cultural and creative industries worldwide.
In recent years, in a bid to give every child in Wales the opportunity to engage with the arts, the Conservatoire has also reached out to tens of thousands of children and younger people through special performances, short courses, and weekend schools.
We aim to offer as many opportunities as possible for all young people to experience the arts, regardless of their financial means.
“I’m deeply honoured to receive this award”, said Hilary. “It has been an enormous privilege to serve as the Principal of Wales’s National Conservatoire since 2007 and to witness the institution take its place alongside Wales’s leading national cultural institutions and within its international peer group.”
“I pay tribute to my inspirational and dedicated colleagues who give so generously of themselves to ensure that every student has the opportunity to fulfil their individual potential, and to our wonderful students who will go on to transform and enrich our communities.”
“It has been particularly exciting to welcome new conservatoire students who have already had a taste of the College through its junior and outreach activity,” said Hilary. “We aim to offer as many opportunities as possible for all young people to experience the arts, regardless of their financial means.”
Lord Rowe Beddoe, President of the Royal Welsh College said: “Personally, I am absolutely delighted that Hilary’s enormous contribution to the continuing development of Wales’ national conservatoire has been deservedly recognised by this honour. On behalf of the College, its excellent staff and wonderful students, we all appreciate her significant and extraordinary leadership. We wish her well, of course with sadness, as she makes her historic move to Trinity College, Oxford.”
Hilary Boulding will leave the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama at the end of July to take up the role of President of Trinity College, Oxford, its first female President in its 462-year history. Hilary Boulding was previously Director of Music for Arts Council England (1999-2007) and before that was a Producer, Director, and latterly a Commissioning Editor in arts broadcasting for the BBC. She recently completed her term as a non-executive director of Welsh National Opera. She is a graduate of St. Hilda’s College, Oxford.