Thursday, 12 May 2016

New audiences and alternative classical musics - the 2016 RPS Music Awards

Graham Vick presented with Honorary Membership of the Royal Philharmonic Society by John Gilhooly at the RPS Music Awards, 10 May photo credit - Simon Jay Price
Graham Vick (right) presented with Honorary Membership of the Royal Philharmonic Society by John Gilhooly (left)
at the RPS Music Awards, 10 May. photo credit - Simon Jay Price
The winners of the 2016 Royal Philharmonic Society (RPS) Music Awards were announced on Tuesday 10 May 2016, and a remarkable group of artists has been honoured. What was particularly striking was the vein of alternative approaches to classical music and to audiences, which threaded its way through the awards. 

Katy Whitley and Chris Stark of Multi-Story, winner of the RPS Music Award for Audiences and Engagement photographed at the RPS Music Awards in London Tuesday 10 May photo credit Simon Jay Price
Katy Whitley & Chris Stark of Multi-Story, winner of the
RPS Music Award for Audiences and Engagement
photo credit Simon Jay Price
Opera director Graham Vick was made an honorary member of the RPS. Vick is a director who has become known for his more community based approach to opera production with his Birmingham Opera Company, taking performances out of the theatre. In his address he said that 'Music effects change by touching humanity. Through music we can harness and share the richness of cultural background and identity, the breadth of life experience and alternative perspectives available in our expanding communities and enrich all our understanding'.

Also taking music out of its usual venue is Multi-Story who received the RPS Music Award for Audiences and Engagement for its concert season in the Bold Tendencies car park in Peckham. And Michael Church collected the RPS Music Award for Creative Communication for the book The Other Classical Musics (Boydell Press) which he edited, presenting a range of different classical musics from various traditions.

Young artists and learning were also at the forefront, with pianist Clare Hammond (whose 2015 schedule included world premiere performances and her film debut as the younger incarnation of Maggie Smith’s character, Miss Shepherd, in The Lady in the Van) taking the RPS Music Award for Young Artists with the jury commending her support for contemporary repertoire. The National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain took the Ensemble aware for its 'campaign to engage hundreds more teenagers with the orchestra', and Tri-borough Music Hub won the Learning and Participation Award for a retelling of the Persephone Myth, Seven Seeds, (music John Barber; libretto Hazel Gould) which involved 1200 young singers and performers from three London boroughs alongside several leading ensembles.

Other awards including Daniil Trifonov (Instrumentalist), Sakari Oramo (Conductor), Roderick Williams (Singer), Glyndebourne Festival Opera (Opera and Music Theatre for Barry Kosky’s 'brilliantly imaginative' staging of Handel’s Saul), Carducci String Quartet (Chamber Music and Song for its complete cycle of Shostakovich quartets), Julian Anderson and Luca Francesconi won the two Composition prizes and Kings Place took the RPS Music Award for Concert Series and Festivals for its Minimalism Unwrapped series.
There was a special awards programme on BBC Radio 3 on 11 May, and this is now available on BBC iPlayer.

RPS MUSIC AWARDS - THE WINNERS
Audiences and Engagement – Multi-Story
Chamber Music and Song – Carducci String Quartet
Chamber-Scale Composition – Julian Anderson – Van Gogh Blue
Concert Series and Festivals – Kings Place: Minimalism Unwrapped
Conductor – Sakari Oramo
Creative Communication – The Other Classical Musics (Boydell Press, edited by Michael Church) Ensemble – National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain
Instrumentalist – Daniil Trifonov
Large-Scale Composition - Luca Francesconi – Duende: The Dark Notes
Learning and Participation – Tri-borough Music Hub – Seven Seeds
Opera and Music Theatre – Glyndebourne Festival Opera – Saul
Singer – Roderick Williams
Young Artists – Clare Hammond
Honorary Member of the Royal Philharmonic Society – Graham Vick

Full details from the RPS website.

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