Rhinegold Anne-Marie Minhall, Neil Bennison, Kathryn Enticott, Bob Riley, Chi-chi Nwanoku, Roy McEwan, David Whelton, Kathryn McDowell

Katy Wright

Deputy Editor, Classical Music

ABO/Rhinegold Award winners announced

9:40, 27th January 2017

The winners of the 2017 ABO/Rhinegold Awards, which shine the spotlight on the managers who contribute so much to the success of the UK’s classical music-making behind the scenes, were announced at the annual ABO conference dinner on 26 January.

Kathryn Enticott, director of Enticott Music Management, won the ABO/Rhinegold Award for artist manager of the year. The citation described her as ‘popular and respected’, highlighting her 25-year professional relationship with Leif Ove Andsnes and her track record of managing and mentoring young artists. She was also praised as a partner who, ‘whilst always representing the best interests of her artists, works tirelessly to find solutions for partners too, and to bring projects to fruition.’

Neil Bennison, music programme manager of the Royal Concert Hall Nottingham, was named ABO/Rhinegold concert hall manager of the year. According to the citation, his time in the role has been about ‘gradually and tirelessly building up relationships with orchestras and audiences to the point that the people of Nottingham have no reason to envy larger British cities with their own symphony orchestras.’ Bennison’s achievement in making Nottingham Classics financially self-sufficient, as well as the venue’s audience figures and outreach programme, were also applauded.

Bob Riley, chief executive of Manchester Camerata, received the ABO/Rhinegold Award for orchestra manager of the year. Praised as ‘a hero of change and innovation, one who knows that nothing stays the same forever and understands the importance of innovation and experiment’, the award recognised Riley’s ‘unconditional belief n orchestral music’s power to touch audiences of all ages and backgrounds, to inspire and, by inspiring, unite.’

Classical Music magazine will profile the winners of the ABO/Rhinegold Awards over the course of 2017. Editor Kimon Daltas said: ‘We are delighted to be involved for the sixth year in these awards. We are grateful to all at the ABO for committing to this partnership, which goes to the very heart of what Rhinegold Publishing and Classical Music magazine are all about: supporting and celebrating the industry.’

The dinner also saw three additional awards presented. This year’s ABO Award, whose recipient is nominated by the member orchestras themselves, was presented to Chi-chi Nwanoku MBE. The double bassist, presenter, broadcaster and teacher has recently become best known as the founder, artistic and executive director of the Chineke! Foundation, which supports, inspires and encourages black and minority ethnic classical musicians working in the UK and Europe. The citation described Nwanoku as ‘a dedicated advocate of the importance of music in everyone’s lives [who] is committed to teaching and sharing her love of music.’

This year, the ABO board also decided to create ABO Special Awards for two long-serving orchestra directors, Roy McEwan OBE (former chief executive of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra) and David Whelton OBE (former managing director of the Philharmonia Orchestra).

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