The Royal Philharmonic Society has announced the winners of its annual music awards.
Hosted by BBC Radio 3’s Sean Rafferty and Suzy Klein at The Brewery in London, last night’s ceremony brought together the great and the good of the classical music world, and featured a live performance by percussionist and Instrumentalist Award winner Colin Currie (below).
The coveted conductor award went to Latvian maestro Andris Nelsons (above) for his work with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and German baritone Christian Gerhaher was awarded the Singer prize.
Other leading musicians to be recognised by the RPS jury include British soprano Mary Bevan, who won the Young Artist Award, Oxford Lieder Festival and the London Contemporary Orchestra, winning the Chamber Music and Song and Ensemble awards respectively. Composer Graham Fitkin was praised for his work Distil for string quartet and percussion, while Hans Abrahamsen won the Large-Scale Composition Award, with his song-cycle Let me tell you, scored for soprano and orchestra.
The English National Opera’s Opera and Music Theatre Award was a welcome reward for its work, after the company was placed under ‘special measures’ by the Arts Council England in February earlier this year.
The RPS’s highest honour, the Gold Medal, was presented to Antonio Pappano (far left). Introduced in 1870 to mark the centenary of Beethoven’s birth, the 100th RPS Gold Medal was presented to the distinguished conductor for his outstanding musicianship with the Royal Opera House. Pappano also gave the keynote speech at the ceremony, asking ‘How do you grow up without the Arts?’
Awards were given to new projects that incorporate classical music into the vastly growing digital world. The Philharmonia iOrchestra and the Royal Opera’s ‘The Opera Machine’ both provide innovative ways to experience orchestral and operatic works, presenting audiences with an exciting new perspective on live performances.
Highlights from the RPS Awards will be broadcast in a special programme on BBC Radio 3 on Monday 11 May, and will include interviews with the artists. Click here for more information.
Photographs: Simon Jay Price
AUDIENCE AND ENGAGEMENT
CHAMBER MUSIC AND SONG
Graham Fitkin: Distil
CONCERT SERIES AND FESTIVALS
Barbican: Birtwhistle at 80
Royal Opera: The Opera Machine
London Contemporary Orchestra
Hans Abrahamsen: Let me tell you
LEARNING AND PARTICIPATION
Britten’s War Requiem, Southbank Centre
OPERA AND MUSIC THEATRE
English National Opera