The Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama has announced that Professor Helena Gaunt, currently Vice Principal and Director of Innovation at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, has been appointed as the College’s new Principal.
In her most recent role at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama she provided strategic leadership in academic and artistic development, research, enterprise and internationalisation. She has also led on the School’s relations with key partners such as the Barbican Centre, and most recently the City of London’s Culture Mile, which also includes the London Symphony Orchestra and Museum of London as core partners.
Helena directs the International Reflective Conservatoire Conference, hosted triennially at the Guildhall School, and is the Chair of the Innovative Conservatoire (ICON) partnership, providing pioneering professional development internationally for conservatoire teachers.
“Helena brings a wealth of knowledge and experience of the international conservatoire sector.”
She has extensive professional experience as an oboist and member of the Britten Sinfonia, and as a conservatoire teacher and researcher. Among her other roles she is a Visiting Professor at the Sibelius Academy, University of the Arts, Finland, as well as being a National Teaching Fellow and Principal Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.
Announcing the appointment, John Derrick, Chair of the Board of Directors at the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama, said: “We are delighted to welcome Professor Gaunt to Cardiff and the appointment reinforces the position of the College as a leading European conservatoire. Her depth of experience across both music and drama combined with her strong international relationships will enhance our national and international aspirations. Helena’s reputation and leadership will ensure that we continue to nurture and grow the stature of our offering for undergraduate and postgraduate students.”
Dame Hilary Boulding, President of Trinity College, Oxford, and former Principal of the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama, said: “Helena brings a wealth of knowledge and experience of the international conservatoire sector. She cares passionately about the quality and nature of the training of young artists. In this new role leading Wales’ National Conservatoire she has so much to contribute and I look forward to the future development of this wonderful institution under her leadership.”