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Violinist Mark Messenger Leaves London’s Royal College Due to "Gross Misconduct"

A thorough disciplinary process around complaints of his behavior in late 2023 has resulted in his employment termination


After serving as head of strings at the Royal College of Music (RCM) for 20 years, violinist Mark Messenger is no longer employed at the school.

RCM has told The Violin Channel that its independent investigation has confirmed complaints of  "gross misconduct" by Messenger, who had resigned from his role during his disciplinary hearing.

"We would like to thank those who came forward and engaged with the external investigators and for their patience as we conducted a thorough process," a spokesperson of RCM told us. 

"The welfare and development of students is central to the Royal College of Music," they continued. "To make the process of making a complaint as simple and safe as possible, we will be launching a new reporting tool called Report + Support, replacing our existing RCM reporting tool. This online platform is widely used across the university sector; it is secure, confidential, and can be used to report any incident."

The news of Messenger's initial suspension from RCM prompted many in the industry to question whether one-to-one musical instruction is wise. Cellist Julian Lloyd Webber has called for classical academies and conservatoires to end all one-to-one music teaching, while others disagreed.

Advocate and violinist Lara St. John told The Violin Channel, "The idea of no 'one on one' teaching is basically putting the policing of wayward teachers directly on the shoulders of the students. It is not a solution."

Messenger’s representation, Keystone Law in London, has not replied to a request for comment on today’s announcement.

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