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RPS AWARDS NOMINATION – INSTRUMENTALIST
one of the most compelling violinists of her generation
Photograph © Giorgia Bertazzi
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ABO ANNUAL CONFERENCE MANCHESTER
29–31 January 2020
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Mahan Esfahani: Bach Harpsichord Works 2019 RPS Award shortlisted artist, Mahan Esfahani continues his series at Wigmore Hall with the exploration of Bach’s works for harpsichord Forthcoming concerts in the series WEDNESDAY 18 MARCH 2020 7.30PM THURSDAY 11 JUNE 2020 7.30PM
MAHAN ESFAHANI © Bernhard Musil
Box Office: 020 7935 2141 wigmore-hall.org.uk The Wigmore Hall Trust, 36 Wigmore Street, London W1U 2BP, Director: John Gilhooly OBE, Registered Charity: 1024838
WELCOME John Gilhooly OBE
Chairman, Royal Philharmonic Society The story of the RPS began with a group of musicians who, in 1813, set out to prove the vitality and power of classical music. They established a regular series of concerts, attracting worldclass artists like Wagner and Mendelssohn. They commissioned exhilarating new music – most famously Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. In their founding gesture, they helped make Britain an essential destination for music, and created a repertory and a culture that were set to last.
All of us who care about classical music have a duty to share its treasures with others. This year, the RPS is doubling its efforts on this front. We are proud to be relaunching RPS Membership, aiming to rouse greater curiosity and pride in classical musicmaking across the country. Central to this is a new series of talks and events in which great artists and unsung heroes each tell their story, revealing more of the passions and personalities that make Britain ‘philharmonic’.
With the RPS Awards, we celebrate the work of those equally dedicated to proving classical music’s rightful place at the heart of society today. This summer we received nominations from across the UK for 338 different entities, individuals, ensembles, organisations and initiatives. From this, one thing is abundantly clear: the nation is alive with music.
We are immensely grateful to our longstanding Members and those of you who have recently joined. This evening we invite you all to join us as we embark on this significant new chapter. Thank you to our generous sponsors and supporters of the Awards, to BBC Radio 3 and our guest presenters Sara Mohr-Pietsch and Andrew McGregor, and to this year’s 55 independent panellists who have kindly given their time and expertise in making some unenviable decisions.
Within every nomination there is a story worth hearing. While some of the shortlisted artists and initiatives may be familiar to you, the RPS Awards aim to shine a light on those you may not yet have discovered. We hope your encounter with them this evening will lead you to find out more. If you’re inspired by what you hear this evening, please share your discoveries with friends, colleagues and on social media.
Thanks finally to Battersea Arts Centre. Like the RPS, the venue first came to life in the 19th Century. Its recent breath-taking renovation marries a vibrant heritage with a bright future, which seems entirely apt for the RPS in this, the 30th year of the Royal Philharmonic Society Awards. 5
Thursday 28 November 2019 Battersea Arts Centre, London
18:00 RECEPTION CanapĂŠs Roast beef served in a baby Yorkshire pudding, watercress and horseradish cream Hot and sour duck salad served in a cucumber cup Sundried tomato and mozzarella arancini with pesto dip (vegetarian) Falafel with red pepper hummus dip (vegan) Prosecco Operetto Pinto Grigio Gable View Cabernet Sauvignon
19:00 AWARDS PRESENTATION hosted by Sara Mohr-Pietsch and Andrew McGregor Mendelssohn Saltarello from Symphony No.4 - A4 Brass Quartet winners of the RPS Henderson Chamber Ensemble Award Welcome by John Gilhooly OBE, Chairman Concert Series & Events Storytelling Chamber-Scale Composition Ensemble Haydn Finale from String Quartet in G, Op.76 No.1 - Castalian String Quartet Opera & Music Theatre Instrumentalist Large-Scale Composition Impact Appeal by James Murphy, Chief Executive Meredith Monk Double Fiesta - The Hermes Experiment Singer Young Artists Conductor RPS Gold Medal Gamechanger
The paid bar at the rear of the hall will be open throughout the evening serving a wide range of drinks.
21:00 RECEPTION Cumberland sausages, grain mustard mash, Savoy cabbage and onion Fish pie with herb mash and wilted spinach Aubergine and chickpea curry (vegan) Pea, mint and asparagus risotto (vegan) Butternut squash and lentil casserole with cous cous (vegan) Chocolate brownies (gluten free) Operetto Pinto Grigio Gable View Cabernet Sauvignon
22:30 CARRIAGES The Scratch Bar at the front of the venue will remain open till midnight after the festivities.
Help us tell classical music enthusiasts at large about the RPS Awards. We welcome you to share your personal highlights of the evening on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Simply use the BAC public wifi. #RPSAwards @RoyalPhilSoc The highlights of the 2019 RPS Awards will be broadcast on BBC Radio 3 on Sunday 1 December at 8.45pm and are available for download from bbc.co.uk/radio3 for 30 days afterwards.
SHORTLIST As the RPS Awards have moved from May to November, this year’s Awards are given for work which took place in the UK between January 2018 and June 2019.
CONCERT SERIES & EVENTS for a concert series, festival or unique event which, through imaginative programming and presentation, drew fresh interest to a facet of classical music The Cumnock Tryst FREEDOM Season - Welsh National Opera The Nature of Why - Paraorchestra Stockhausen: Cosmic Prophet - Southbank Centre sponsored by PRS for Music
STORYTELLING for a compelling and imaginative entity which furthered the understanding of classical music in a lateral medium (most likely written or spoken word, radio, television, film, digital, online) Debussy: A Painter in Sound – Stephen Walsh Janet Baker: In Her Own Words – John Bridcut/BBC4 Michael Tippett The Biography – Oliver Soden This year, we present this award in memory of Arthur Searle who was Honorary Librarian of the RPS from 1983 to 2019. In this role, he did much to tell the story of the RPS and ensured a lasting home for its treasures at the British Library.
CHAMBER-SCALE COMPOSITION for an outstandingly imaginative and engaging chamber-scale work receiving its first UK performance Clara Iannotta dead wasps in the jam-jar (iii) Julian Anderson String Quartet No. 3 Tansy Davies Cave sponsored by Boosey & Hawkes in memory of Tony Fell 8
The Nature of Why Among this year’s nominees are two initiatives that celebrate and empower disabled musicians: Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra’s Change Makers and Resound, and the Paraorchestra’s The Nature of Why. Here, some of the creative team at the Paraorchestra – Artistic Director Charles Hazlewood, clarinettist and Associate Music Director Lloyd Coleman and Executive Producer Jonathan Harper – share why their accomplishment doesn’t simply bring disabled musicians to the stage, but makes them the driving force of a thrilling new musical experience in which performers and audience become equals. Charles, tell us: what exactly is The Nature of Why? I’ve always been preoccupied with how we might create an environment which opens up the orchestra from the inside out, where the boundary between artist and audience no longer exists. Like promenade theatre, our audience freely moves around the performing space, towards anything that draws their attention. With a tremendous accomplice in choreographer Caroline Bowditch, and a killer new score from Will Gregory, The Nature of Why is a very unusual, sensual and surprising show. One critic called it ‘a modern Ode to Joy’. A large proportion of this company have disabilities and, without exception, they have brought with them a fearlessness and a sense of possibility without which we would never have dared to make this show.
Lloyd, what’s it like performing in The Nature of Why? Quite simply, no two shows are ever the same. Sharing the stage with our audience means that every single person in the room - be they a musician, dancer or punter - has agency, and by the end of the hour the boundaries between us are erased altogether. Never before have I experienced such a level of human connection with audience members, and when I’m close enough to see into the whites of people’s eyes, sense their breathing and feel their excitement, it’s an intoxicating energy that’s hard to resist. Jonathan, what’s next for the Paraorchestra? We have some international trips planned - to Moscow then Hong Kong next Spring. We’re also excited to be developing a new project Beethoven-Rendering to be premiered in 2020. With the 250th anniversary of his death next year, we’re bringing together four composers who will collaborate and re-imagine Beethoven’s compositions for a large ensemble. We want the work to be immersive with the orchestra moving among the audience again. It will take a year to make but the end result will be spectacular!
LLOYD COLEMAN in The Nature of Why
SHORTLIST ENSEMBLE for the outstanding quality and scope of the performances and work in any context of a group of musicians, no fewer than three Aurora Orchestra BSO Resound Royal Northern Sinfonia sponsored by Schott Music
OPERA & MUSIC THEATRE for an outstanding production, or for the overall accomplishments of a company or individual in opera and music theatre Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk – Birmingham Opera Company The Royal Opera The Second Violinist – Irish National Opera and Landmark Productions supported by Sir Simon and Victoria, Lady Robey OBE
INSTRUMENTALIST for the outstanding quality and scope of the performances and work in any context of a solo performer on any instrument Alina Ibragimova violin Jean-Guihen Queyras cello Mahan Esfahani harpsichord
Local Heroes The Royal Northern Sinfonia is shortlisted for the first time for the RPS Ensemble Award. We asked Co-Leader Kyra Humphreys to tell us more about the orchestra that, fresh from its sixtieth birthday, is in the prime of its life. What makes the Royal Northern Sinfonia so special to you? Being a contract orchestra, with the same players year-round and lots of time to rehearse together, there’s something of a family feeling. We all understand each other musically, we’ve all bought into what the orchestra stands for, and there’s already a real consistency of style that helps us hit the ground running, whether we’re plunging into something familiar or something entirely new. Most orchestras make chamber music to some extent, but here literally everyone does – it’s a core part of our routine and it’s what really enables us to connect up close with the community. Tell us more about the orchestra’s place in the community. We’re so fortunate to have the fantastic Sage Gateshead where we can assume many different shapes and guises, and the people of the North East really take pride in having this beautiful cathedral to music in their locality. We’re trying different measures to welcome younger audiences: a mix of educational projects and £5 tickets for a range of performances are proving popular. But we equally love getting out into the community’s own spaces.
The orchestra regularly tours the region, from Darlington to Middlesbrough to Carlisle, but in our chamber groups we visit countless charming churches and other venues around Northumberland and meet all kinds of people. Particular care goes into what we perform in each place: we can share music we personally love, and thereafter solo opportunities for orchestra members to shine. Whatever we programme, we really want to take the audience on a journey, making fresh connections for them, leading them to new discoveries. How did you celebrate the orchestra’s sixtieth birthday? There were lots of festivities: but then there are every year at the RNS. A particularly epic feat was performing all six Brandenburg concertos with three new works interspersed: a conversation across the ages between today’s composers and an all-time great master. We also did some fantastic concerts with Music Director Lars Vogt: our unconducted concerts with him are a particular thrill – they require great trust from every single player, and that trust enables us to take more creative risks together.
KYRA HUMPHREYS Royal Northern Sinfonia
SHORTLIST LARGE-SCALE COMPOSITION for an outstandingly imaginative and engaging large-scale work receiving its first UK performance Anna Meredith Five Telegrams George Benjamin Lessons in Love and Violence Per Nørgård Symphony No. 3 Rebecca Saunders Yes supported by The Boltini Trust
IMPACT for an outstanding initiative or organisation which set out to engage and have a lasting positive impact on the lives of people who may not otherwise experience classical music BSO Change Makers and Resound Empowering Young Carers – Bath Philharmonia Streetwise Opera sponsored by the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music
SINGER for the outstanding quality and scope of the performances and work in any context of an individual singer Carolyn Sampson soprano Elaine Mitchener vocalist Nina Stemme soprano
Meet Elaine Mitchener We hope you’ll leave the RPS Awards with a host of discoveries you’re eager to explore further. Among them may be the extraordinary Elaine Mitchener who’s been doing consistently exciting work for some time but has enjoyed a veritably explosive breakthrough year. Although she’s shortlisted in this year’s Singer category, like many great artists she defies categorisation. Her website describes her as an experimental vocalist, movement artist and composer. She’s also a curator, actor, improviser, researcher, member of both Apartment House ELAINE MITCHENER and experimental jazz cohort, in Of Leonardo da Vinci the Hawkins/Mitchener Quartet, as well as founder of the equally intriguing Elaine Mitchener Projects. row and a whipping ground. Alongside Mark Padmore, she Next she was seen at shone in the dystopian darkness Southbank Centre, improvising of Tansy Davies’ thrilling Cave, and interacting with an imposing nominated for the Chamber-Scale video wall, in Of Leonardo da Composition Award. Tansy says Vinci, a wild ride through the ‘Elaine is a great collaborator; diary entries of a genius, devised her positive outlook and energy with composer David Toop and is infectious. An electric stage filmmaker Barry Lewis. presence: I love the impulsive way she chooses and shapes sounds As the RPS Awards approach, and phrases in the moment, creating an almost physical contact she’s being equally inventive, in workshops for Hannah Kendall’s with the sounds around her, and new opera Tan-Tan and Dry with the audience.’ Bone. Hannah says ‘Elaine has emerged as one of the UK’s This was abundantly evident in most dynamic music creators, her own creation Sweet Tooth blending the borders of a diversity in which Elaine delved into the of creative influences resulting persecution of slaves in the sugar in a wholly unique artistry. The trade that looms large in her organic, seamless interweaving ancestry. In performances around of practices, disciplines, and the country, she and a cohort of ideological approaches to musicians encircled the audience, her music-making traverses transforming the performance boundaries, resulting in a space purely through sound from continually-shifting, deeply the squalid hold of a ship to a exciting aesthetic.’ slave marketplace to a plantation 13
SHORTLIST YOUNG ARTISTS for a solo performing artist or chamber ensemble, relatively new to the profession, who has shown remarkable promise and made a strong impression Castalian String Quartet The Hermes Experiment Sheku Kanneh-Mason cello
CONDUCTOR for the outstanding quality and scope of the performances and work in any context of a conductor Francois-Xavier Roth Mirga GraĹžinyte-Tyla Robert Ames supported by BBC Music Magazine
GAMECHANGER In 1813, the Society was founded by a group of musicians who set out to establish a lasting performance culture and repertory, playing a central role in making the UK an essential destination for classical music. The RPS is introducing this new award to celebrate those who in unique and contemporary ways continue to break new ground in classical music. It will be specially presented by the Board and Council of the RPS to an individual, group or organisation for their inspirational and transformative work.
Musical Postcards Musicians rarely stand still. We caught up with three RPS Awards nominees on their travels, asking each what’s lately been occupying them, what they’re listening to right now, and what’s coming up. Composer Clara Iannotta, conductor François-Xavier Roth and cellist Jean-Guihen Queyras each give us a glimpse into their musical passions… What was your musical highlight of the last year? Clara: Last May, my orchestral piece MOULT was premiered in Germany by the WDR Orchestra for the first time, and last week I had the pleasure to listen to it again, performed in Vienna by the RSO conducted by Marin Alsop. This was indeed the highlight of the year! François-Xavier: Maybe it was conducting Les Troyens in Berlioz’s home town La Côte St André with the Jeune Orchestre Européen Hector Berlioz – an academy orchestra I founded with Les Siècles. Jean-Guihen: Performing ‘Mitten Wir Im Leben Sind’ (‘In the midst of life’) comprising all the Bach cello suites, staged with choreographer Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker and her company Rosas, at the Odeon of Herodes Atticus in Athens. Timeless. A real oncein-a-lifetime experience. CLARA IANNOTTA (top) FRANÇOIS-XAVIER ROTH (middle) JEAN-GUIHEN QUEYRAS (bottom)
What are you listening to right now? Clara: I listen to music everyday (definitely not just contemporary) and, as composer and curator, I try to look for artists that are not part of the mainstream yet. Last week, I listened to music by Anna Korsun, Michelle Lou, Cat Lamb, Remy Siu, and Kelley Sheehan. François-Xavier: A new disc by Manoury for two pianos and electronics - Temps, mode d’emploi - and the first edit of our next LSO Panufnik Legacies recording. Jean-Guihen: I’ve been listening a lot to the app Jazz-Radio lately, in particular to the channel Vocal Legends. It’s worth a listen. What’s next for you? Clara: I’m just finishing a new string quartet for JACK. Then I will start working on a symphonic piece, as well as my ongoing collaboration with lighting designer Eva G. Alonso. François-Xavier: A new set of works by Ravel which we will perform with Les Siècles, a Beethoven Neue Akademie concert in London in February with my Gürzenich Orchestra, and another new adventure with the LSO this season: Bartók! Jean-Guihen: My son Jérémie, who is a painter, and I will perform for the first time together in 2020, music and live painting; so exciting! And I look forward to my New York solo recital debut at 92Y on the Upper East Side with Bach-Britten-Kodaly in April. 15
GOLD MEDAL The Royal Philharmonic Society Gold Medal is internationally recognised as one of the world’s highest honours in music. It is awarded for the most outstanding musicianship and presented to the finest musicians of any nationality. It was initiated in 1870, the Centenary of Beethoven’s birth, to celebrate the historic association between the Society and the composer. Among its recipients are Johannes Brahms, Sir Henry Wood, Sir Edward Elgar, Sergei Rachmaninov, Jean Sibelius, Richard Strauss, Myra Hess, Sir John Barbirolli, Kathleen Ferrier, Igor Stravinsky, Yehudi Menuhin, Benjamin Britten, Dmitri Shostakovich and Leonard Bernstein.
JESSYE NORMAN 2018 Gold Medal recipient
Recent Gold Medal recipients include Martha Argerich, Dame Janet Baker, Daniel Barenboim, Placido Domingo, Bernard Haitink, Mariss Jansons, György Kurtág, Jessye Norman, Sir Antonio Pappano, Sir Simon Rattle, András Schiff, Sir John Tomlinson and Dame Mitsuko Uchida. The Royal Philharmonic Society annually welcomes nominations for the Gold Medal from RPS Members and colleagues across the music profession, and the recipient is decided upon by the Board of Trustees and Council of the Society. We are very pleased to present the RPS Gold Medal to its newest recipient live at the 2019 RPS Awards.
PANELS Shortlists and winners for each award are decided upon by independent panels of experts, newly drawn each year from across the music profession. We are immensely grateful to the 2019 panels for the time, energy and passion they devoted in fulfilling this role. CONCERT SERIES & EVENTS Abigail Pogson Managing Director, Sage Gateshead Jenny Jamison Chief Executive, Scottish Ensemble Richard Morrison Chief Music Critic, The Times Rosenna East General Manager, Nevill Holt Opera Toks Dada Classical Programme Manager, Town Hall Symphony Hall, Birmingham
STORYTELLING Katy Hamilton writer and presenter Marion Friend MBE coach and consultant Simon Millward Director, Premier Communications Stephanie Childress violinist, conductor Tim Lihoreau presenter and Creative Director, Classic FM
CHAMBER-SCALE COMPOSITION Clifton Harrison viola, Kreutzer Quartet / Chineke! Harriet Wybor Relationship Manager, PRS for Music Kenneth Hesketh composer Natalia Franklin Pierce Executive Director, Nonclassical Zoe Martlew cellist, composer
Angus Smith Artistic Director, Music in the Round Alexis Paterson Chief Executive, Three Choirs Festival Jo Hensel sub-principal horn, Academy of St Martin in the Fields Sam Rigby Managing Director, Schott Music Ruth Rogers violinist / leader, London Mozart Players
Barry Farrimond MBE Chief Executive, Open Up Music Lydia Connolly Director, Harrison Parrott Tabby Estell Head of Children and Young People’s Programmes, Trinity Laban Sophie Lewis Managing Director, National Children’s Orchestra Suzanne Hay Head of Partnerships and Learning, BBC National Orchestra of Wales
OPERA & MUSIC THEATRE Anna Patalong soprano, founder of SWAP’ra Ashutosh Khandekar Editor, Opera Now Daisy Evans director Emily Gottlieb Chief Executive, National Opera Studio Fiona Maddocks writer
INSTRUMENTALIST Alasdair Tait Chief Executive & Artistic Director, YCAT / cellist Colin Currie percussionist Helen Wallace Programme Director, Kings Place Jessica Cottis conductor Svend McEwan-Brown Artistic Director, East Neuk Festival
LARGE-SCALE COMPOSITION Cathy Graham Director of Music, British Council Hannah Kendall composer Huw Humphreys Head of Music, Barbican Simon Webb General Manager, BBC Philharmonic Susanna Eastburn MBE Chief Executive, Sound and Music
SINGER Anna Picard writer James Clutton Director of Opera, Opera Holland Park Joseph Middleton pianist / Director, Leeds Lieder Sara Mohr-Pietsch broadcaster, writer and curator Toby Spence tenor
YOUNG ARTISTS Caro Barnfield Head, Britten-Pears Young Artists Programme, Snape Maltings Manus Carey Deputy Principal, Performance and Programmes, Royal Northern College of Music Oliver Condy Editor, BBC Music Magazine Rakhi Singh violinist / Music Director, Manchester Collective Sean Shibe guitarist
CONDUCTOR Catherine Arlidge MBE violin, CBSO / Artistic and Educational Director, National Children’s Orchestra Hannah Donat Artistic Producer, BBC Proms Matthew Swann Chief Executive, City of London Sinfonia Natalie Taylor viola, BBC Symphony Orchestra / Chineke! Sarah Derbyshire MBE Chief Executive, Orchestras Live
PRESENTERS SARA MOHR-PIETSCH Sara Mohr-Pietsch is a music broadcaster, writer and curator. She is best known as a presenter on BBC Radio 3, where she hosts Night Tracks, Music Matters, and live concerts from Wigmore Hall. She also presents the BBC Proms on BBC radio and television, and fronts live-stream events for the Royal Opera House. Her podcast series Composers’ Rooms for BBC Radio 3 was nominated for a Prix Europa. Sara’s writing includes A New Heaven: Harry Christophers and The Sixteen, Choral Conversations with Sara Mohr-Pietsch (Faber & Faber, 2019), and articles about music for The Guardian, Huffington Post and BBC Music Magazine. Sara is also Artistic Director of Dartington Music Summer School & Festival. She has curated events for the BBC Proms@ series, and devised and programmed Open Ear, BBC Radio 3’s showcase of new music at Tate Modern and LSO St Luke’s.
ANDREW MCGREGOR Andrew McGregor is a music broadcaster, critic and journalist. Trained as a violinist and countertenor, Andrew read music at Surrey University, was a choral scholar at Guildford Cathedral, has sung backing vocals for Kiri Te Kanawa, played string arrangements for rock groups, studied Stockhausen, and performed at the BBC Proms. Andrew worked for a classical record label, then as a sound engineer and producer for the BBC World Service. After presenting BBC Radio 3’s breakfast programme for over seven years, Andrew has been the presenter of Record Review for two decades, reviewing the latest releases, and talking to a wide variety of musicians about their recordings. Andrew also presents concert, opera and festival broadcasts from the BBC Proms, Royal Opera House, Glyndebourne, Aldeburgh Festival, and WOMAD. He has made documentaries about traditional music in Corsica and Crete, western classical music in China and Cuba, the Gürzenich Orchestra in Cologne, and the Borusan Istanbul Philharmonic Orchestra. He also reviews for Songlines and BBC Music Magazine.
THE NEXT MENDELSSOHNS Many people know the RPS for its annual Awards but may not realise what else the Society does yearround to help musicians prosper. We open this evening’s festivities with a performance by A4 Brass, winners of the RPS Henderson Chamber Ensemble Award, given annually to an outstanding ensemble at the start of its career. Fittingly, they will perform their own arrangement of Mendelssohn’s ‘Italian’ Symphony which the RPS commissioned from the composer when he too was in his twenties, setting out to captivate British audiences. Through grants, commissions, mentoring and performance opportunities, the RPS helps many promising performers and composers when they can often struggle, taking their first professional steps. We help young musicians with insufficient means to find the instruments they need to excel – giving each a grant, not a loan. Each year we not only give a cohort of composers a commission and premiere in partnership with ensembles, festivals and venues nationwide: we help them develop the confidence, skills and contacts they vitally need to secure further commissions and premieres of their own. We cherish making useful connections: with our help, young trumpeter Imogen Hancock is currently drawing invaluable insights on peak performance from Dr Pippa Grange, the psychologist who coached the England football 20
team to such success in 2018. Early next year, we collaborate with YCAT and Snape Maltings on a residency helping young musicians become confident, outgoing advocates, ready to put themselves forward and make a lasting impression. Our workshops led by Alice Farnham for young women to further their skills at conducting are much valued: many promising participants account that they previously did not see a future for themselves on the podium. In all our endeavours, we connect with colleagues nationally to gauge who we need to be helping next and direct our beneficiaries onwards to the next opportunity. It’s uplifting to see them excel, and we are grateful to all our supporters helping us make a real difference to their lives. With an RPS grant, Carmen Farfan is one of many musicians who have acquired the instrument they really need to progress
An early commission from the RPS has led composer Dani Howard to write new works for the LSO and Royal Liverpool Philharmonic
RPS Awards nominees the Castalian String Quartet began their professional journey as recipients of the RPS Albert and Eugenie Frost Prize in 2016
A4 BRASS QUARTET A4 Brass Quartet comprises principal players from some of the UK’s top brass bands, including Brighouse & Rastrick and Foden’s. With ‘technical virtuosity in abundance’ (Brass Band World), they have a unique blend of instruments, with a cornet, tenor horn, baritone horn and euphonium creating an exclusive sound that stands out from the standard brass quartet. With this unusual instrumentation, A4 Brass has actively developed their repertoire, commissioning new music, composing and arranging music themselves.
They have performed throughout the UK appearing at major venues and festivals including the Wigmore Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Bridgewater Hall, Cadogan Hall, Purcell Room, St. Margaret’s at Westminster Abbey (for Park Lane Group), Lake District Summer Music and King’s Lynn Festival. Further engagements have included a residency at the Lieksa Brass Week in Finland, a concert in the Ceresio Estate Festival in Switzerland, and a re-invitation to the Trakai Fanfare Week in Lithuania. In 2016 they released their debut CD.
Formed in 2013 at the Royal Northern College of Music, in their first year the Quartet won the coveted Philip Jones Brass Ensemble prize. They went on to win the College’s Christopher Rowland Ensemble of the Year Award, claiming both the jury and the audience’s votes. In 2018 the Quartet completed the prestigious International Artist Diploma in Chamber Music at the RNCM as John Fewkes scholars, and they are now Honorary Associate Artists of the RNCM.
A4 Brass have won numerous prizes and awards including the RPS Henderson Chamber Ensemble Award, the Royal Over-Seas League Chamber Music Competition, a Tunnell Trust Award, the Tillett Trust Young Artists’ Platform series and the Musicians’ Company Concert Series. They are City Music Foundation Artists and regularly work with Live Music Now and Music in Hospitals & Care. 21
WHAT UNITES US ‘Music is the art of all the things we cannot see or touch. It is feelings and thoughts, offerings of generosity, vulnerability and openness. Music teaches us about our connections to the voices of those from other countries and eras. It puts us in the mind and space of those who seem to experience lives very far from our own. It allows us to strip away all that separates us and urges us to see and feel what unites us.’ These are stirring words to cherish, and to recall next time someone questions your passion for classical music. In wondering which eminent philosopher pronounced them, you may be surprised to know they are the words of violinist Nicola Benedetti CBE, freshly expressed in a speech the RPS invited her to give this month. As the world lurches from one uncertainty to another, it’s heartening to think of music in such terms. Indeed, more than ever, we need to make this kind of case for the music we make, so it’s not overlooked as antiquity or ornament. The Royal Philharmonic Society can play a major part in this. Yet for all its good deeds, the Society is relatively unfamiliar to the population at large. It is known within the classical music profession, especially for the RPS Awards, but currently has only a few hundred members.
Let’s imagine for a moment what it could be. Imagine an equivalent to the Royal Horticultural Society for music that nurtures engagement and pride in music on the same national scale that the RHS does for gardening. Imagine membership as a way of feeling connected and valued within Britain’s musical ecology, of furthering your musical curiosity, of hearing the stories and sentiments of great artists and unsung heroes doing vital musical deeds nationwide. It’s a tantalising prospect, and something we feel music truly deserves. Duly, we are proud to be relaunching Membership of the RPS. At the heart of new Membership is the chance to attend – and watch online, wherever you are in the world – a new, regular series of talks and events featuring the likes of Nicky telling their story. By giving people fresh insights like these into classical music, we want to reawaken the sense of discovery that comes with it. We hope to refresh perceptions, help music lovers make new connections, and entice them to be more outgoing in sharing with us and others their discoveries. Alongside this, every Member can take pride that their subscription is helping the RPS in its charitable work nurturing musicians, as detailed on the previous pages.
an equivalent “ Imagine to the Royal Horticultural Society for music ”
(clockwise) STUART KANNEH-MASON, NICOLA BENEDETTI, JOHN WILSON, JOANNA MACGREGOR, DAME SARAH CONNOLLY, MAHAN ESFAHANI, NADINE BENJAMIN, SIR JOHN TOMLINSON, RODERICK WILLIAMS, SIR THOMAS ALLEN
We warmly invite you to join us on this adventure. If you care about the RPS and all it can do to cast a brighter light on classical music, please take a moment to consider becoming an RPS Member. With Christmas approaching, you may also like to think about Gift Membership as the solution you’ve been seeking for relatives and friends. Right now, Members can book for our first events of 2020 including Sir Thomas Allen and John Wilson in conversation, talking about their journey from modest musical childhoods in the North East to the international stage; the chance to join tenor Nicky Spence and pianist Iain Burnside in rehearsal and discover what happens in a creative process usually off-limits to public eyes and ears; and an exciting meeting of
minds as Dame Sarah Connolly and RPS Awards shortlistee Mahan Esfahani share frank views on music’s role in our changing world. Also online now for Members to watch are Nicky’s complete speech, a revelatory rehearsal laid bare as baritone Roderick Williams and pianist Joanna MacGregor collaborate together for the first time, and Sir John Tomlinson among others sharing his convictions on why we all need to sing. Please ask any of our team this evening about RPS Membership – you can even sign up during the after-show party – and find out more at royalphilharmonicsociety.org.uk.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS We are very grateful to all those who support our work and particularly to the following generous organisations, trusts and individuals. RPS AWARDS SUPPORTERS
BBC Radio 3 ABRSM BBC Music Magazine The Boltini Trust Boosey & Hawkes PRS for Music Schott Music Sir Simon and Victoria, Lady Robey OBE
Paul Hughes Patricia Jordan-Evans Leanne Langley Louise Mitchell Michael Peake Alan Sainer Dougie Scarfe Janis Susskind OBE James Williams Anonymous supporters
ABRSM Allianz Musical Insurance Cazenove Chandos Records musicalchairs Schott Music Wigmore Hall
RPS FELLOWS Beyond our cherished Members, we are thankful to those individuals able to make a greater donation to help the RPS further its reach and fulfil ambitious plans. All such donors are called RPS Fellows and enjoy a unique relationship with the charity and the musicians we champion. Let us know if you’d like to talk about becoming an RPS Fellow. Pamela Bullock and Sir Antonio Pappano Colin Clark John Gilhooly OBE Charles Henderson Jennifer Hodgson Ursula Jones OBE Sir Simon and Victoria, Lady Robey OBE Janis Susskind OBE Anonymous supporters
Michael Berman CBE and Katherine Verney Anthony Bolton Sir Vernon Ellis Dame Felicity Lott Kingsley Manning Anonymous supporters
We are additionally thankful to all our Members, Gold Members and Life Members whose contribution does much to help us support performers and composers, as well as those who have kindly made arrangements to support the RPS long into the future through a Gift in their Will. TRUSTS Andor Charitable Trust Arts Council England Sir John Barbirolli Memorial Foundation The Boltini Trust Susan Bradshaw Composers’ Fund The John S Cohen Foundation Delius Trust The Elgar Bursary Fund The Albert & Eugenie Frost Music Trust Lennox Hannay Charitable Trust Julius Isserlis Scholarship Kirby Laing Foundation Presteigne Festival / Alan Horne Memorial Fund PRS Foundation RVW Trust Harold Hyam Wingate Foundation
CORPORATE MEMBERS Association of British Orchestras BBC Music Magazine Boosey & Hawkes Faber Music Incorporated Society of Musicians International Artist Managers’ Association Kings Place NMC Recordings Oxford Philharmonic Orchestra PRS for Music Royal Scottish National Orchestra WPTA Performance Psychology
If you are part of an organisation - a trust, foundation or company that shares our belief in the power of music to enrich lives, we would love to talk about making a difference together.
BOARD OF TRUSTEES
John Gilhooly OBE Chairman
James Murphy Chief Executive
Edward Blakeman Jerome Booth Sir Vernon Ellis Sarah Gee Johnny Langridge Kingsley Manning Louise Mitchell Honorary Secretary
Robin Sheffield General Manager
Gillian Moore CBE Anthony Newhouse Honorary Treasurer
Matt Belcher brochure and projection design
Victoria, Lady Robey OBE Roderick Williams OBE
COUNCIL Lincoln Abbotts Anthony Bolton Iain Burnside Helena Gaunt Jess Gillam Dame Evelyn Glennie Helen Grime Sally Groves MBE Sam Jackson Leanne Langley Honorary Librarian Colin Matthews OBE Chi-chi Nwanoku OBE Tom Service Janis Susskind OBE Atholl Swainston-Harrison The RPS is immensely grateful to Mary King, Colin Lawson CBE, David Long MBE, Laurie Watt and the late Arthur Searle who stepped down from the Council in 2019 following many years of devoted support in their respective roles.
YeYe Xu Assistant Administrator Alison Pavier Development Consultant
FOR THE RPS AWARDS
Julie Jones trophies Mark Allan photography Jessie Rodger filming Rebecca Driver Media Relations With many thanks to our team of volunteers
FOR BATTERSEA ARTS CENTRE Sarah Ireland Events Manager Jack Champion Head of Production & Technical Mike Cunningham Production Manager Nassib Hamdane Events Manager (Catering)
Royal Philharmonic Society 48 Great Marlborough Street London W1F 7BB Tel 020 7287 0019 email@example.com royalphilharmonicsociety.org.uk UK Registered Charity 213693
RPS AWARDS NOMINATION – INSTRUMENTALIST
an outstanding and imaginative superstar of the harpsichord
Photograph © Kaja Smith
CREATIVE THINKING FOR CLASSICAL MUSIC AND THE ARTS
HOW CAN I HELP YOU? There is so much to celebrate in music already and even more still waits to be unlocked.
Creative direction + production designed for a variety of audiences
In doing so, we can refresh the way we present and interpret concerts, delve deeper into the stories that power classical music, entice new audiences, and help your organisation stand out from the crowd.
Print, digital + brand design Film making + editing Imaginative programme notes Projection + lighting design
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Places available now in our Junior section Do you know a talented and passionate young string player, pianist or classical guitarist who would benefit from joining our musical family? Means-tested financial assistance may be available through the Department for Educationâ€™s Music and Dance Scheme or through our own Bursary Fund To find out more, or to register for our Open Day on 19 January, visit www.menuhinschool.co.uk/admissions or call 01932 864739 The Yehudi Menuhin School, Stoke dâ€™Abernon, Cobham, Surrey, KT11 3QQ | Registered Charity No. 312010
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TRINITY LABAN photo: Tas Kyprianou
LONDONâ€™S CREATIVE CONSERVATOIRE
Music is in crisis
BREXIT MUSIC EDUCATION EBACC FUNDING CUTS EXPLOITATION We are fighting to protect you POOR PAY Join a united community UNPAID FEES of music professionals DISCRIMINATION HEALTH ISSUES ism.org/join VENUE CLOSURES
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Welcome to the 30th anniversary of the Royal Philharmonic Society Awards which celebrate the outstanding, the pioneering, and the inspiratio...
Published on Nov 26, 2019
Welcome to the 30th anniversary of the Royal Philharmonic Society Awards which celebrate the outstanding, the pioneering, and the inspiratio...