News

ABO/Rhinegold Award winners named

- 30 January 2014

Backstage champions: (l-r) Gillian Moore and Jude Kelly; Konzertdirektion Schmid representatives Erdmuthe Pirlich and Emma-Jane Wyatt; Gijs Elsen; and ABO Award winner Sir Vernon Ellis Photo: Jessica Bernard

Backstage champions: (l-r) Gillian Moore and Jude Kelly; Konzertdirektion Schmid representatives Carola Reul and Emma-Jane Wyatt; Gijs Elsen; and ABO Award winner Sir Vernon Ellis
Photo: Jessica Bernard

The winners have been announced for the Association of British Orchestras/Rhinegold Awards 2014, presented at LSO St Luke’s on 29 January as part of the ABO annual conference.

The Southbank Centre’s artistic director Jude Kelly and head of classical music Gillian Moore were joint winners of Concert Hall Manager of the Year; Gijs Elsen of The English Concert was named Orchestra Manager of the Year; and Cornelia Schmid of Konzertdirektion Schmid Artist Manager of the Year.

The awards were inaugurated in 2011 to honour the backstage figures of the music business.

The adjudication panel was CM correspondents Andrew Green, Andrew Stewart, Simon Tait and consultant editor Keith Clarke, London Mozart Players managing director Simon Funnell and Kings Place Music Foundation managing director Jenifer Mitchell, with ABO director Mark Pemberton acting in an advisory capacity.

Jude Kelly and Gillian Moore took the Concert Hall Manager prize for The Rest Is Noise, their year-long season, the largest festival ever dedicated to the 20th century hoping to bring new audiences to classical music. The citation reports: ‘They sold just under 125,000 tickets, with about a third of them going to first-time Festival Hall concertgoers.’

Gijs Elsen was nominated for the award for his work during The English Concert’s landmark 40th anniversary season. The citation says: ‘He used the occasion to establish new partnerships and strengthen existing ones at home and overseas. The orchestra began 2013 with an international tour of Handel’s Radamisto, which marked the official launch of its three-year residency at Carnegie Hall … His ambitions to broaden the audience for early music were boosted when the English Concert joined trumpeter Alison Balsom at the Globe Theatre last summer for Samuel Adamson’s critically acclaimed play Gabriel, which attracted over 20,000 people during its run … This award honours Gijs Elsen’s tireless enterprise, passionate enthusiasm and visionary sense of his orchestra’s future direction.’

Cornelia Schmid was honoured for her work with a company which has a long history of supporting the work of British orchestras and, in the words of the citation, ‘delivered superlatively in 2013. As times remain tough economically, making orchestral touring work requires ingenuity, patience and persuasiveness as rarely before. During 2013, the company in question put together high-profile tours for the London Symphony Orchestra, the CBSO, the London Philharmonic and the Philharmonia. And also for the Academy of St Martin in the Fields ‒ whose association with this company goes back many decades.’

  • The ABO Award, which since 1990 has been presented annually to the ‘individual or institution considered by the membership to have made the most important contribution to the orchestral life of the UK’ was this year awarded to chair of the British Council Sir Vernon Ellis.

FULL AWARD CITATIONS

Jude Kelly and Gillian Moore

Alex Ross’s The Rest Is Noise, an extraordinarily profound history of classical music in the 20th century which marks the musical developments alongside historical events and other artistic and cultural developments, was a phenomenon as a book, but Jude Kelly as artistic director of the Southbank Centre and Gillian Moore, the classical music director there, who are the joint winners, took it further. They created a year-long season, the largest festival ever dedicated to the 20th century, to encompass the book’s range, hoping to bring new audiences to classical music. They sold just under 125,000 tickets, and about a third of them were to first-time Festival Hall concertgoers.

At the Royal Festival Hall, Jude and Gillian took their audiences on a unique odyssey of 250 events with 18 orchestras in 100 concerts, interlaced with 150 talks, debates and films It involved the Southbank residents, the London Philharmonic Orchestra ‒ a partner of the festival with the BBC and the Open University, the Philharmonia and the London Sinfonietta ‒ along with a host of other ABO members, including the Aurora Orchestra, BBC Concert Orchestra, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, City of London Sinfonia, the Hallé and the Southbank Sinfonia, as well as the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain, Royal Academy of Music and Royal College of Music ‒ and the year ended at Christmas in a perfect piece of programming, with Vladimir Jurowski conducting the LPO with a performance of John Adams’s nativity oratorio El Nino.:

For Gillian Moore, the festival gave the Festival Hall the chance to offer more than a series of concerts. ‘Through the extensive programme of weekend talks, films, debates and study evenings, we have given audiences a sense of community and encouraged the questioning spirit’, she said. For Jude Kelly the year was a challenge to audiences to open their minds to 20th century music, some of it notoriously difficult: ‘I believe we have a duty to young composers to build understanding and commitment for their work and also show people that just like other aspects of modern art, this music is both demanding and immensely rewarding’.

Gijs Elsen

When the English Concert made its debut in 1972, even the most optimistic among its supporters would have struggled to predict the ensemble’s glittering achievements and lasting significance. Its history gained an important new chapter last year, the gist of which speaks volumes for the period-instrument orchestra’s ability to adapt, innovate and grow. Gijs Elsen joined the English Concert as Chief Executive in July 2011 after more than nine years as Programmer Classical Music at the Barbican Centre. He has since helped steer the orchestra’s development as head of an administrative office comprising two full-time and one part-time members of staff, marshalling their collective skills to deliver projects that would test the abilities of much larger organisations.

Gijs was nominated for this award for his work during the English Concert’s landmark 40th anniversary season. He used the occasion to establish new partnerships and strengthen existing ones at home and overseas. The orchestra began 2013 with an international tour of Handel’s Radamisto, which marked the official launch of its three-year residency at Carnegie Hall. Gijs meanwhile worked closely with UK regional promoters to take programmes in the English Concert’s Wigmore Hall series on tour and attract newcomers to the orchestra’s repertoire. His ambitions to broaden the audience for early music were boosted when the English Concert joined trumpeter Alison Balsom at the Globe Theatre last summer for Samuel Adamson’s critically acclaimed play Gabriel, which attracted over 20,000 people during its run, and travelled with her to Suffolk’s Latitude Festival. This award honours Gijs Elsen’s tireless enterprise, passionate enthusiasm and visionary sense of his orchestra’s future direction.

Cornelia Schmid

We received a strong and lengthy line-up of nominations for the Artist Manager of the Year award, reflecting many different aspects of the job. So selecting the winner was no easy matter. Finally, though, the jury opted for someone whose company has a long history of supporting the work of British orchestras…and delivered superlatively in 2013.

As times remain tough economically, making orchestral touring work requires ingenuity, patience and persuasiveness as rarely before. During 2013, the company in question put together high-profile tours for the London Symphony Orchestra, the CBSO, the London Philharmonic and the Philharmonia. And also for the Academy of St Martin in the Fields ‒ whose association with this company goes back many decades.

The ABO/Rhinegold Artist Manager of the Year Award goes to Cornelia Schmid, on behalf of the Konzertdirektion Schmid office.

Cornelia is delighted at the award, but sends her regrets that longstanding work commitments in Vienna mean she hasn’t been able to travel to London (where she’s seen so often) to be here tonight. Instead, we’re pleased to welcome her colleague Carola Reul, Senior Project Manager of Konzertdirektion Schmid.

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