Alumni of the Department of Music have achieved enormous success on the world stage, from pop singers to composers, and developed rewarding careers in events management, teaching and many more disciplines besides.
Notable Music alumni
Joby Talbot (1971-)
BMus Music, 1992 Royal Holloway and Honorary Fellow
In 2011 composer Joby enjoyed great success with his full length ballet for the Royal Ballet, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, the first to be commissioned by the company for 15 years.
He first worked with the Royal Ballet on the score of Chroma, their 2007 Olivier Award-winner.
Shortly after graduating he was Musical Director and performer with the cult chart-topping band The Divine Comedy.
In 1996 he was a finalist for BBC Young Composer of the Year. Dame Evelyn Glennie toured his 1998 percussion concerto, Incandescence.
In 2004 he was Classic FM’s first resident composer and his BBC Proms commission Sneaker Wave was premiered.
He has since composed widely for major orchestras, soloists and vocal groups, including the trumpet concerto Desolation Wilderness for Alison Balsom and Tide Harmonic for the Orchestre National de Lille.
He has written several scores for television and film, notably The League of Gentlemen, BBC Young Musician of the Year, Chambers, Tomorrow's World, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Son of Rambow and for Alfred Hitchcock's silent film The Lodger.
He premiered his first opera in January 2015 with Dallas Opera entitled Everest. A one-act piece with a libretto by Gene Scheer, it follows three of the climbers involved in the 1996 Mount Everest disaster.
KT Tunstall (1975-)
BA Drama & Music, 1996 Royal Holloway College; Honorary Doctorate, 2011
Katy’s debut album Eye to the Telescope (2004) helped her win BRIT Awards for Best British Female Artist and European Border Breakers Award in 2006. The single "Black Horse and the Cherry Tree" was given the Q Magazine Award for Best Track in 2005, and "Suddenly I See" won the Ivor Novello Award for Best Song in 2006. This song became a popular hit and has been featured in various film soundtracks, and as a campaign song for Hillary Clinton’s US presidential campaign of 2008.
She co-wrote the songs Bad Moms (Suite) and Enough is Enough (Suite) for the soundtrack of the 2016 comedy film Bad Moms. She also appeared in two episodes of the comedy series This is Jinsy on Sky Atlantic.
Roger Wright (1956-)
BMus Music, 1977 Royal Holloway College and Honorary Fellow
Roger is an English arts administrator. He is currently the Chief Executive of Aldeburgh Music. He has also presided over the expansion of the Proms, with over 90 concerts over eight weeks.
He has had a distinguished career in music management, first as Director of the British Music Information Centre, then as an artistic director to major orchestras on both sides of the Atlantic.
He has previously been Vice-President of the leading classical record label Deutsche Grammophon and as BBC’s Head of Classical Music.
He was made CBE in 2015 for services to music.
Sarah Fox (1973-)
BMus Music, 1995 RHBNC and Honorary Fellow
An international opera and concert soprano, Sarah won the most prestigious national singing award, the Kathleen Ferrier Award, in 1997 and the John Christie Award at the Glyndebourne Festival in 2000.
She made her debut with the Royal Opera at Covent Garden in 2004 in Wagner’s Ring. Further British engagements include with English National Opera, Opera North, Welsh National Opera and the Edinburgh Festival.
In 2005 she made her debut with both the Salzburg Festival and the Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich.
Other international engagements include the Royal Danish Opera, Deutsche Oper Berlin and Cincinnati Opera. She performed opposite Plácido Domingo at the Gran Teatre del Liceu in Barcelona in 2011.
She starred in the immensely popular BBC MGM Prom with Sir Thomas Allen and the John Wilson Orchestra. Sarah performed with fellow alumnae Dame Felicity Lott and Susan Bullock at Royal Holloway in 2010 and again in 2013.
She was awarded an Honorary Fellowship from Royal Holloway in May 2012.
Susan Bullock FRAM (1958-)
BMus Music, 1980 Royal Holloway College and Honorary Fellow
Susan is considered one of the world's leading dramatic sopranos, having sung in all major opera houses around the world.
She sang at the Last Night of the Proms in 2011 and takes centre stage as Brunhilde in the Royal Opera’s Ring cycle having previously sung the role opposite Placido Domingo at the Royal Opera House in 2007.
She has also sung Richard Strauss' Elektra to great acclaim at the Royal Opera House and the Metropolitan Opera House in New York.
She was awarded First Prize in the prestigious Kathleen Ferrier Award in 1984 and was immediately offered the opportunity to sing principal roles with English National Opera.
At the same time she began to make regular appearances with the BBC and all the other major British orchestras and made an acclaimed debut at the Glyndebourne Festival as Janacek's tragic heroine, Jenufa.
She was made CBE in 2014 for services to opera.