Pianist Mitsuko Uchida has been awarded the Royal Philharmonic Society (RPS) Gold Medal, the Society’s highest honour.
The medal is awarded by the society’s members and is one of the most prestigious awards in the classical world.
Uchida was hailed as a ‘peerless musician’ by the Society and she joins other Gold Medallists including Janet Baker, Sir Simon Rattle, Plácido Domingo and Daniel Barenboim. The composers Brahms, Elgar and Richard Strauss also received the Gold Medal from the Society during their lifetimes.
The award was initiated in 1870 to mark the centenary of Beethoven’s birth following a close relationship between the composer and the RPS. The medal itself bears an engraving of Beethoven.
Uchida, 63, was given a CBE in 2001 and a DBE in 2009. She was born in Japan and has lived in London for more than 35 years. Among her performances this season, she will continue the Beethoven Piano Concertos cycle with the London Symphony Orchestra and Sir Colin Davis.
The pianist will be presented with her Gold Medal at the RPS Awards, which take place this evening – Tuesday 8 May – at the Dorchester Hotel.