®The finest instrument is the mind.
Historical Timeline

1880s

1886 The Toronto Conservatory of Music is founded and the development of a unique graded curriculum for the study of music begins. Edward Fisher serves as the first Principal and Music Director. 

1890s

1897 The Conservatory moves into a new purpose-built structure at the corner of University Avenue and College Street in Toronto, while expanding its curriculum across Canada.
1898 The Conservatory establishes its first external examination centres in several southern Ontario towns in order to provide graded third-party assessment for local students studying the curriculum.

1900s

1906 Frank Welsman founds and directs the Toronto Conservatory Orchestra, which later becomes the basis of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra.

1910s

1913 Augustus Vogt, conductor of the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir, is appointed Principal of The Conservatory. Under his leadership, The Conservatory becomes one of the largest such institutions in the British Empire.
1916 The first piano repertoire book, based on The Conservatory’s graded curriculum, is published by the Frederick Harris Music Company and distributed to music students and teachers throughout Canada.

1920s

1926 Sir Ernest MacMillan is named Principal. Under his leadership The Conservatory’s music library is expanded and new courses are introduced, including opera classes. He also makes annual trips to communities across Canada, fostering musical culture and inspiring a generation of Canadians. 

1930s

1935 The Conservatory’s graded curriculum is accredited by the Ontario Department of Education.
1936 Conservatory faculty member Viggo Kihl is chosen to lead the inaugural music program of The Banff Centre.

1940s

1944 The Frederick Harris Music Company, exclusive publisher of all of The Conservatory’s curriculum materials, becomes a wholly-owned part of The Conservatory.
1945 Ettore Mazzoleni is named Principal of The Conservatory, having served as the director of the Conservatory Symphony Orchestra since 1934.
1945 Pianist Glenn Gould receives his ARCT Diploma at 12 years of age.
1946 The Conservatory Opera School is established under Music Director Nicholas Goldschmidt. The Opera School later leads to the formation of the Canadian Opera Company.
1947 In recognition of its status as one of the Commonwealth's greatest music institutions, The Conservatory receives the Royal Charter from King George VI, and becomes The Royal Conservatory of Music.
1949 Royal Conservatory faculty member Ernesto Vinci founds the celebrated opera department of The Banff Centre.

1950s

1950 Soprano Lois Marshall receives an Artist Diploma. Tenor Jon Vickers enrols in The Royal Conservatory of Music Opera School.
1959 Soprano Teresa Stratas receives an Artist Diploma.

1960s

1962 The Conservatory launches the Orff Music for Children program in North America, setting the music education foundation for thousands of teachers across North America.
1963 The Royal Conservatory's national headquarters moves to McMaster Hall on Bloor Street in Toronto.
1968 Organist, choir director, and keyboard pedagogue Dr. David Ouchterlony becomes Principal of The Royal Conservatory.

1970s

1978 Ezra Schabas is appointed Principal of The Royal Conservatory and launches the Orchestral Training Program and a comprehensive program for musically gifted children.

1980s

1987 A new academic plan is developed by Dr. Peter Simon, Robert Creech, and Campbell Trowsdale, which leads to the re-establishment of professional performance training programs at The Royal Conservatory.

1990s

1991 The Royal Conservatory of Music Act of the Ontario Legislature re-establishes The Royal Conservatory’s status as a fully independent, not-for-profit entity.
1991 Dr. Peter Simon, President of the Manhattan School of Music and a Conservatory alumnus, is appointed President of The Royal Conservatory.
1993 The Royal Conservatory Early Childhood Music Education creates a partnership with Ryerson University
1994 The Royal Conservatory launches Learning Through the Arts (LTTA), a national arts-based program designed to improve academic achievement in schools and address a range of social issues.
1997 The newly restored Mazzoleni Concert Hall opens and is named in honour of celebrated conductor and former Conservatory principal Ettore Mazzoleni.
1997 The Royal Conservatory of Music Professional School is re-named The Glenn Gould School. The Government of Canada designates The School as a National Training Institution.
1997 The program for musically gifted children is expanded and named the The Young Artists Academy.

2000s

2000 Following a successful expansion throughout Ontario, LTTA programming is launched across Canada.
2002 The Royal Conservatory launches the Building National Dreams Campaign to build a state-of-the-art centre for performance and learning that will include the restoration of historic McMaster Hall and building expansion to accommodate new studios and performance spaces.
2002 Queen’s University study of 6,000 students finds that Learning Through the Arts students score 11 percentile points higher in math than non-LTTA students. 
2002 The ARC Ensemble (Artists of the Royal Conservatory) is founded as The Royal Conservatory’s resident chamber ensemble, consisting of senior faculty members of The Glenn Gould School
2004 TELUS Corporation becomes the major supporter of the Building National Dreams Campaign and the new facility is named the TELUS Centre for Performance and Learning. The facility includes Koerner Hall, the stunning 1,135 seat concert hall named after leading Canadian philanthropists Sonja and Michael M. Koerner.
2005 Official groundbreaking ceremony for the TELUS Centre for Performance and Learning takes place.
2005 Royal Conservatory alumni Ian Ihnatowycz and Marta Witer provide support to preserve the beautiful McMaster Hall heritage building, which is renamed Ihnatowycz Hall in their honour.
2005 The Royal Conservatory launches Living Through the Arts, a program that brings artist-educators into health and social service organizations to deliver arts-based workshops for communities in need.
2006 The Royal Conservatory establishes a partnership with Baycrest, a global leader in providing innovations in aging and brain health, to deliver Living Through the Arts programming. 
2007 The LTTA method is adopted by 10 schools in Germany.
2008 The academic section of the new TELUS Centre for Performance and Learning opens.
2008
2009
The ARC Ensemble receives Grammy Award nominations for Best Chamber Music Performance.
2009 Koerner Hall opens, completing the final phase of The Royal Conservatory’s expansion and redevelopment at the TELUS Centre for Performance and Learning.

2010s

2011 The Royal Conservatory creates a partnership with Carnegie Hall to create the Carnegie Hall Royal Conservatory Achievement Program in the United States, based on the internationally respected graded curriculum system of The Royal Conservatory.
2012 The Royal Conservatory celebrates its 125th anniversary year.
2012 The Royal Conservatory is granted a Royal Patronage from His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales and was also selected to work with Prince's Charities Canada to expand Learning Through The Arts, The Conservatory's successful arts-based educational intervention program, into the United Kingdom.
2013 The Royal Conservatory takes on sole responsibility for the management and administration of its program of music assessments in the United States, under the name The Royal Conservatory Music Development Program.
2014 A research centre is established at The Royal Conservatory, dedicated to better understanding the impact of music education on brain development and cognition.
2015 Lang Lang selects the curriculum of The Royal Conservatory to be the basis of his foundation’s Keys of Inspiration program, which transforms young lives through music. 
  The Royal Conservatory launches RCM Teacher Certification, the first North American system of accreditation with embedded online professional development for music teachers who use the curriculum of The Royal Conservatory.