Since its formation in 1973 the Royal Northern College of Music has established itself as one of the principal international conservatories in Europe. Today a truly cosmopolitan 500-plus students are prepared each year for professional careers in music by distinguished international staff. The standing which the RNCM has achieved is reflected in a number of ways: it has one of the finest and most consistent records of student success in major national and international music competitions; its graduates have a formidable reputation in the music profession and are to be found in opera houses and orchestras throughout Europe. Student ensembles also undertake a number of overseas tours each year. In 1994/95, for example, Music Theatre pieces were presented at the 1995 UK/LA Festival in Los Angeles, the Symphony Orchestra undertook a Scandinavian tour conducted by Ole Schmidt and took part in the Montepulciano Festival in Italy, the Chamber Orchestra made its annual visit to Aix en-Provence Musique Festival in France, and the Wind Orchestra made a highly successful tour of Japan.