Media Release: Doctor who?

David Tennant - Official

Three Internationally-renowned artists to receive honorary degrees from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland

THE Royal Conservatoire of Scotland is to award honorary degrees on three of the world’s most successful artists – at graduation ceremonies on Tuesday July 5 2016.

Those being honoured are actor and RCS alumnus, David Tennant, world-renowned choreographer, Sir Matthew Bourne, and the internationally-distinguished cellist, Ralph Kirshbaum.

David Tennant will be awarded an Honorary Doctor of Drama, Sir Matthew Bourne will receive an Honorary Doctor of Dance and Ralph Kirshbaum will receive an Honorary Doctor of Music.

On announcing the 2016 honorary doctors, Professor Jeffrey Sharkey, principal of the RCS, said: “I am delighted that the RCS is to confer honorary degrees on these truly world-class and inspirational individuals.

“They represent the highest levels of artistry in their chosen disciplines and help promote international reach of the performing arts.

“It is fitting that such respected artists join the RCS family in the year that we are named in the world’s top ten for performing arts education.

“We want to celebrate the exceptional achievements of David, Sir Matthew and Ralph and the profound impact they have on individuals and audiences around the world.

“Graduation is special time for celebration and a great moment for us to congratulate those students who have completed their journey with us.

“Having stellar honorary doctors such as the ones we are announcing today, provides a wonderful opportunity for our students and graduands to engage with and be inspired by these cultural leaders as they prepare to enter into the professional world.”

An actor of international stature, David Tennant is one of the country’s most versatile, performing with the Royal Shakespeare Company in Hamlet and Richard II on stages in both the UK and in the USA, he was the world’s tenth Doctor Who, stars in the hugely popular Broadchurch series and is the comic book villain in Marvel’s Jessica Jones series.

Sir Matthew Bourne, hailed as one of the UK’s most popular and successful choreographers, has created and directed dance for some of the most successful musicals and operas produced all over the world. His latest production, the ballet version of the Oscar-winning film, The Red Shoes, premieres later this year.

Distinguished cellist and educator of international standing, Ralph Kirshbaum, is indisputably one of the most significant artists of the modern era.

The career of Texas-born cellist Ralph Kirshbaum encompasses the worlds of solo performance, chamber music, recording and pedagogy and places him in the highest echelon of today’s cellists. He is respected not only by audiences worldwide, but also by his many eminent colleagues and students.

The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland is ranked sixth in the world for performing arts education.

*QS World University Ranking

Notes to editors:


David Tennant

Over his 27 year-long acting career, David Tennant has left a trail of memorable characters over an expansive and diverse array of film, television and on stage credits.

Currently, David can be seen on stage as the title character in Shakespeare’s Richard II as a part of the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s King & Country: Shakespeare’s Great Cycle Of Kings series.

The series marks the celebration of the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death and will run at the BAM Harvey Theater through April 29th.

In November, Tennant starred as the villainous Dr. Zebediah Kilgrave – otherwise known as The Purple Man – opposite Krystin Ritter in the Netflix Marvel series, Jessica Jones. The streaming service aired the 13-episode in its entirety on November 20 2015.

Tennant will next star as the world-renowned Scottish psychiatrist, RD Laing, in Robert Mullan’s Mad to be Normal alongside Elizabeth Moss. The story follows Dr. Laing and his unique community at Kingsley Hall, East London during the 1960’s. The film completed production in autumn 2015 and is set to release in 2016.

Tennant is most recently known for his role as detective, Alec Hardy, on the critically-acclaimed TV crime series, Broadchurch. Tennant ‘s character was brought to the small town of Broadchurch to investigate the murder of an 11 year-old local boy. In its second season, Broadchurch was nominated and won several awards, including the 2014 BAFTA TV Award for Best Drama Series. Season three of the series will begin filming this summer. Tennant is most recognisable for his portrayal as the tenth Doctor on the widely-beloved series, Doctor Who.

Sir Matthew Bourne OBE

Artistic director, New Adventures & Re:Bourne

Matthew Bourne is widely hailed as the UK’s most popular and successful choreographer and director. He was knighted in the Queen’s New Year Honours 2016, for services to dance.

Matthew is the creator of the world’s longest-running ballet production, a five-time Olivier Award winner, and the only British director to have won the Tony Award for both Best Choreographer and Best Director of a Musical.

Matthew started his dance training at the comparatively late age of 22. He danced professionally for 14 years, creating many roles in his own work. As artistic director of his first company, Adventures in Motion Pictures (1987-2002) Matthew created many award winning works. Further hit productions were created when New Adventures was launched in 2002, becoming the UK’s busiest and most successful dance company.

In 2008, he established his charity Re:Bourne to increase opportunities that inspire young people with a passion for dance.

Ralph Kirshbaum

Ralph Kirshbaum has appeared with many of the world’s great orchestras, including the Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, Pittsburgh, BBC and London Symphonies, Cleveland Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Philharmonia, Zurich Tonhalle, Orchestre de Paris and Israel Philharmonic.

He has collaborated with many of the great conductors such as Herbert Blomstedt, Semyon Bychkov, Christoph von Dohnányi, Andrew Davis, the late Sir Colin Davis, James Levine, Kurt Masur, Zubin Mehta, Sir Antonio Pappano, André Previn, Sir Simon Rattle and the late Sir Georg Solti.

He has appeared frequently at such prominent international festivals as Edinburgh, Bath, Verbier, Lucerne, Aspen, La Jolla, Santa Fe, Music@Menlo, Ravinia and New York’s Mostly Mozart. In addition to his thirty-year collaboration with pianist Peter Frankl and violinist Gyorgy Pauk, he has frequently appeared with Pinchas Zukerman, Robert McDuffie, Lawrence Dutton, Peter Jablonski and Shai Wosner.

Other recent collaborators have included Leif Ove Andsnes, Joshua Bell, Yefim Bronfman, Midori, Lang Lang, Vadim Repin, Joseph Swensen, Pepe Romero, and the Emerson and Takács String Quartets.

A renowned pedagogue, Ralph Kirshbaum has recently assumed the chair of the String Department at the Thornton School. He continues to serve as artistic advisor of IMS Prussia Cove and is founder/honorary president of the Pierre Fournier Award, as well as honorary president of the London Cello Society.

He recently served a five-year term on the United States President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities. He served on the faculty of the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester for 38 years.

About the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland

The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland is ranked sixth in the world for performing arts education. The Conservatoire is a national and international centre of excellence for the performing arts.

Building on our roots in 1847 as a national academy of music, we are now one of Europe’s most multi-disciplinary performing arts higher education centres offering specialised teaching across music, drama, dance, film and production as well as encouraging trans-disciplinary learning throughout our innovative curriculum.

We are bold, ambitious and optimistic about our future as a truly 21st century conservatoire.

As we work towards 2020, our goal, through our students, staff and graduates, is to raise the transformative power and reach of the performing arts in Scotland and to project our distinctiveness to the wider world.

Our vision is to be Scotland’s globally-recognised and inspirational leader in learning for the performing arts, attracting and nurturing the best Scottish and international creative talent.

Media enquiries to: Katie Bell 0141 270 8387.

MEDIA RELEASE issued by RCS. You too can share your stories (aka press or media releases), on Email here for more information.

Check out for your very own media releases feed…

Check out too,

To catch up on all the media releases recently posted on to, you need only click the link icon that you see towards the bottom right of our two media release ‘gateway boxes’. 

Link iconIt’s this icon, here. It’s your route straight into the rich archive.

RCS contact details…

Contact: Katie Bell
Phone: 0141 270 8387