The Royal College of Music’s president, HRH The Prince of Wales, has inaugurated a new honour for RCM students who have done outstanding work in the community.
The President’s Award was given to Irish percussionist Ruairi Glasheen, currently completing a masters at the RCM, who has been mentoring children from schools where high numbers are eligible for free school meals as part of the RCM’s Sparks Juniors programme.
The Prince of Wales also presented honours to other individuals ‘who have made exceptional contributions to music and to the Royal College of Music’.
These include conductor and performer Christopher Hogwood and tenor Alfie Boe, whose comment in a recent Telegraph interview that ‘There is a class system in opera, and there’s no denying that really. It’s pretty damn obvious’ provoked controversy among professional classical singers.
Hogwood was awarded an honorary doctorate and said he was ‘honoured to receive this award from an institution which is at the forefront of combining historical awareness and period performance styles with an excellent music tuition programme’.
RCM Fellowships were awarded to Alfie Boe, RCM head of percussion and BBC SO principal David Hockings, guitarist and composer Gary Ryan, flautist and conductor Jaime Martin and Guildhall School of Music & Drama principal Barry Ife.
Alfie Boe said of the award: ‘It seems like a lifetime ago since I studied at the Royal College of Music. My musical career has developed though a number of evolutions where I have worked to break down the barriers between musical genres and so now, I am deeply honoured to receive the Fellowship of the Royal College of Music.’
RCM Honorary Memberships (HonRCM) were presented to Philharmonia Orchestra managing director David Whelton, composer and animatuer Rachel Leach, philanthropists Graham Bamford and Dasha Shenkman, and two RCM directors: Marcus McDonald, director of finance since 2009, and Samir Savant, director of development also since 2009.
The Tagore Gold Medal was presented to two students who graduated last year ‒ violinist Mari Poll and trumpeter Christian Barraclough ‒ and the Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother Rosebowl was given to pianist Caterina Grewe.