Sir Harrison Birtwistle has become the most honoured musician in RPS Awards history, adding a fifth with this year’s win of the Chamber-Scale Composition award for The Moth Requiem (first performed in the UK by the BBC Singers at the 2013 Proms).
The RPS Awards for Music, in 13 categories, were announced at a ceremony hosted by Radio 3’s Petroc Trelawny and Sara Mohr-Pietsch at the Dorchester Hotel on 13 May.
In his address, John Gilhooly, chairman of the Royal Philharmonic Society, called 2013 ‘a great year’ for music, but warned against ‘inertia and complacency’:
‘2013 was a great year for classical music in the UK,’ said Gilhooly. ‘It was a year when the grand anniversaries ‒ the bicentenaries of Wagner and Verdi and the centenary of Benjamin Britten ‒ were celebrated in style, and this is reflected in the list of winners this evening. 2013 also brought us fantastic contemporary music that drew impressive audiences to 20th- and 21st-century music. Work on and off stage embraced new technology, and it was a year when distinguished names lined up alongside astounding younger talent, marking the way to a bright, adventurous future for classical music.
‘Mostly, however, this was a year about audiences; what unites all our winners is their desire to inspire existing enthusiasts and to reach out to new audiences with a boldness founded on passion and compellingly brilliant musicality.
‘I often feel that classical music is underrated in this country, and whilst celebrating the success of a wonderful year, I think we should not be blasé. We need to say, loud and clear, that music matters, shout loudly about outstanding talent, great concerts, inspirational opportunities to participate in music ‒ show how it makes a difference ‒ and understand that inertia and complacency can be every bit as detrimental to culture as a challenging economic climate.’
As previously announced, Sir John Tomlinson was awarded the RPS Gold Medal.
RPS MUSIC AWARDS ‒ WINNERS
RPS Music Award for Conductor ‒ Daniel Barenboim
RPS Music Award for Singer ‒ Joyce DiDonato
RPS Music Award for Instrumentalist ‒ Patricia Kopatchinskaja
RPS Music Award for Ensemble ‒ London Philharmonic Orchestra
RPS Music Award for Young Artists ‒ Igor Levit
RPS Music Award for Large-Scale Composition ‒ George Benjamin
RPS Music Award for Chamber-Scale Composition ‒ Harrison Birtwistle
RPS Music Award for Opera and Music Theatre ‒ Welsh National Opera
RPS Music Award for Chamber Music and Song ‒ Champs Hill
RPS Music Award for Learning and Participation ‒ Glyndebourne: Imago
RPS Music Award for Audiences and Engagement ‒ Britten-Pears Foundation: Britten100
RPS Music Award for Concerts Series and Festivals ‒ Southbank Centre: The Rest is Noise
RPS Music Award for Creative Communication ‒ Touch Press
The Royal Philharmonic Society Gold Medal was presented to Sir John Tomlinson
Full citations available at rpsmusicawards.com
A programme devoted to the RPS Music Awards will be broadcast on Radio 3 on Sunday 18 May at 10pm