Conductor Vladimir Jurowski was awarded the Royal Philharmonic Society Gold Medal onstage at the BBC Proms at his final concert as principal conductor of the London Philharmonic Orchestra.
This year is the 150th anniversary of the RPS’s most prestigious award, which is awarded for outstanding musicianship to a musician of any nationality. Prior recipients include Brahms, Elgar, Stravinsky, Bernstein, Jessye Norman, Daniel Barenboim, Antonio Pappano, Simon Rattle, Janet Baker and Mitsuko Uchida. Film composer John Williams was the award’s most recent recipient, who was awarded the Gold Medal last year.
Jurowski has been at the helm of the London Philharmonic Orchestra since 2007, having previously held the role of principal guest conductor with the orchestra for several years. He steps down from his post this summer, handing over the reins to Edward Gardner, who will become the first British conductor in the post since John Pritchard in the 1960s. Jurowski, meanwhile, will take up a new position as general music director of the Bayerische Staatsoper.
He has long been a major player in the UK’s classical music scene, since he became music director of Glyndebourne Opera in 2001, a position he held until 2013. These UK ties will be maintained as Jurowski continues in his role as principal artist of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment.
In his presentation to Jurowski, RPS chairman John Gilhooly said, ‘You have brought revelatory energy to the UK stage through your acclaimed associations with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, with Glyndebourne, and of course with your sterling companions of the London Philharmonic Orchestra as principal conductor. You have revolutionised what that term means, investing limitless invention in every step of the creative journey.’