Sir John Tomlinson receives the Royal Philharmonic Society Gold Medal

The English operatic bass is honoured for his 40 years at the top of the musical profession

Published: May 8, 2014 at 2:15 pm

Sir John Tomlinson is to receive the Royal Philharmonic Society Gold Medal for lifetime achievement in music.


The RPS jury has described the celebrated bass as a ‘Great British Wagnerian’ whose ‘magnificent bass voice has thrilled audiences around the world in opera and in concert for more than 40 years.’

Educated at the Royal Manchester College of Music, Tomlinson's career highlights include many acclaimed appearances at the Bayreuth Festival, receiving a Grammy award for his recording of Bartók’s Cantata Profana, premiering the title role in Birtwistle's The Minotaur at Covent Garden in 2008 and regular starring roles with the English National Opera. He was awarded a CBE in 1997 and received a knighthood in 2005.

RPS Chairman John Gilhooly will present Sir John’s award at the 2014 RPS Awards, which take place on Tuesday 13 May at The Dorchester Hotel in London.

The RPS Gold Medal was created in 1870 to commemorate the centenary of Beethoven’s birth. Past recipients include Johannes Brahms, Edward Elgar and Benjamin Britten.

As well as the presentation of the Gold Medal, the winners of the RPS Awards for musical performance will also be announced on 13 May. Click here to find out more about the nominations - the full list of winners will be revealed in the June issue of BBC Music Magazine.


Photo: Robert Workman

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