Media Release: Summer Honours announced by Royal Conservatoire of Scotland

ONE of China’s most fascinating celebrities is to be honoured next month when she is awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Dance from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

Jin Xing, the first transgender individual in China to be officially recognised by the Chinese Government, will be awarded the Honorary Doctorate at the summer graduation in July.

Joining her on the platform will be retiring Principal John Wallace who is being awarded an Honorary Doctor of the Conservatoire in recognition of his 12 years at the helm of the Royal Conservatoire.

Also being honoured are RSNO musicians, John Gracie and John Cushing.

The graduation ceremonies are on Tuesday, July 1 2014.

On announcing the 2014 honorary awards, Professor John Wallace, CBE, said: “Graduation is the time to celebrate the achievement of our students. We also present honorary doctorates to innovators who have created pastures new in the creative and cultural industries and performing and producing artists who have made a special mark.

“Imagine my shock and surprise when I was chosen to be the recipient of such an award.

“This mark of esteem from my peers is deeply felt and punctuates the period of my curation of this great institution with profound clarity as it goes on to yet greater things.”

Biographies of the Royal Conservatoire Honorary Doctors 2014:

Jin Xing

Jin Xing began life as a boy and at the age of 26 she underwent gender reassignment surgery and became the first transgender person to be officially recognised by the Chinese Government. She is now a wife, mother and global celebrity with millions of fans around the world.

She founded the Jin Xing Dance Theatre, China’s first independent dance company. A star of stage and screen, Jin Xing is also a highly decorated soldier in the people’s Liberation Army.

Jin Xing not only represents a new generation in China today. Her name is a synonym for courage, freedom, self-responsibility and the endless power of an artful spirit.

John Wallace CBE

John Wallace has been principal of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland since January 2002, (when it was still the RSAMD) and will retire at the end of the current academic year.

Long acclaimed as a virtuoso trumpet player, his performances as soloist with leading orchestras and conductors and at major festivals and venues throughout the world have established him as a musician of enormous distinction.

John’s largest audience was 750,000,000 when – during his tenure as Principal Trumpet of the Philharmonia – he duetted with Dane Kiri te Kanawa at the Wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer.

He was awarded the OBE in 1995 and the CBE In 2011, in recognition of his distinguished services to music.

He has an extensive list of recordings to his name and has premiered many new works. In 1986 he founded the Wallace Collection, an ensemble devoted to the development of brass music and education and which fast became one of the world’s pioneering brass groups.

With Professor Trevor Herbert he is co-editor of the Cambridge University Press Companion to Brass Instruments and, as co-author with Sandy McGrattan, his history of the trumpet, The Trumpet, was published in 2012 by Yale University Press

John Gracie

John Gracie is the principal trumpet in the RSNO and director of the RSNO Brass Ensemble and Brass Quintet.

As well as a busy performer, he works with the RSNO education department and regularly participates in education and community projects throughout the country.

In 1971, John was appointed principal trumpet with the Ulster Orchestra and in 1973 joined the BBC Northern Symphony Orchestra in Manchester.

He taught trumpet at Royal Northern College of Music and at Manchester University and has performed with the Halle, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and the City of Birmingham Symphony orchestras.

He returned to Scotland in 1981 to take up his position with the RSNO and joined the Brass Department of the RSAMD, now Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, in 1982.

John Cushing

John Cushing is principal clarinet with the RSNO.

He has taught clarinet at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama) since 1978 and gives masterclasses and recitals throughout the country, primarily with pianist Scott Mitchell.

As an orchestral player, John has guested with many of the British symphony orchestras. He has appeared as soloist with the Orchestra on many occasions, and has an extensive Concerto repertoire, including – James Macmillan’s Ninian, which was written for and dedicated to him.

John performed premieres of Ninian in Edinburgh, Glasgow and London and later around the UK, as well as on tour in Bergen, Norway.

He made the world première recording of the work with the RSNO and Alexander Lazarev.

Notes to Editors

Other recipients of Royal Conservatoire of Scotland Honorary Doctorates include singer Annie Lennox, actor and comedian Billy Connolly, actress Tilda Swinton, opera singer Dame Felicity Lott, actress Geraldine McEwan and stage and screen actor Timothy West CBE.


Press information:

Katie Bell, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland

0141 270 8387 (direct),


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Contact: Katie Bell
Phone: 0141 270 8387