Thursday 11 April 2013

Graham Johnson to receive Wigmore Hall medal

Graham Johnson (c) Clive Barda
Graham Johnson
(c) Clive Barda
Graham Johnson has been awarded the 2013 Wigmore Hall medal 'in recognition of his unstinting championing of Song and his extraordinary achievements on the concert platform and in the recording studio'. The medal will be presented by John Gilhooly, the Director of the Hall, to Johnson during his concert on Saturday 13 April 2013 at the Wigmore Hall. The concert celebrates the launch of Graham’s three-volume encyclopaedia Franz Schubert: The Complete Songs, (published by Yale University Press). 

The concert features Schubert's settings of the British poets Colley Cibber, Abraham Cowley, 'Ossian' (James Macpherson), William Shakespeare and Walter Scott (including a complete performance of Seven Songs from Walter Scott’s Lady of the Lake), as well as songs particularly associated with memories of the book’s dedicatees. The performers include Ailish Tynan, Sarah Connolly, Mark Padmore, Ben Johnson, Robin Tritschler and Christopher Maltman.

Johnson founded the Songmakers' Alamanac in 1976 with Felicity Lott, Ann Murray, Anthony Rolf Johnson and Richard Jackson, the group explored lieder and other vocal music and presented the concerts in innovative ways, bringing a breath of fresh air to the recital room and having a profound effect both on what we listen to in recitals and how it is presented. Johnson's achievement in the record studio includes his stupendous complete Schubert edition (37 CD's in all), and his complete Schumann edition, both on Hyperion Records.

 The Wigmore Hall Medal, inaugurated in 2007, recognises major international artists and significant figures in the classical music world. Awarded at the discretion of the Director of the Hall, the Medal also honours those who have made a pre-eminent and committed contribution to Wigmore Hall over a long period of time. A special medal has been commissioned by the Hall, designed and made by British artist and medallist Irene Gunston. Previous recipients of the Medal include Matthias Goerne (2007), András Schiff (2009), Felicity Lott (2010), Thomas Quasthoff (2011) and Menahem Pressler (2012).

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