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Last night's winners

Lucy Thraves


Winners of RPS Music Awards 2018 revealed

10:30, 9th May 2018

The winners of the Royal Philharmonic Society (RPS) Music Awards 2018 were announced in a ceremony at The Brewery in London on 9 May.

The awards recognise outstanding musical achievement across the UK in 2017, with projects, artists, and organisations receiving accolades.

Allan Clayton won the singer’s award for his performances as Hamlet in Brett Dean’s production at Glyndebourne Festival Opera, and as David in Wagner’s Der Meistersinger von Nürnberg at the Royal Opera House. The instrumentalist’s award went to pianist Igor Levit, celebrated by the jury as ‘an artist who is not afraid to challenge audiences and who is fully engaged in the world.’

Vladimir Jurowski, principal conductor of the London Philharmonic Orchestra, won the conductor’s award, while 26-year-old Scottish guitarist Sean Shibe collected the Young Artists award. The Concert Series and Festivals award went to the LSO’s This Is Rattle, which marked the arrival of the orchestra’s new music director, Simon Rattle.

Composers James Dillon and Mark-Anthony Turnage won the composition awards, the former becoming the most decorated musician in the RPS Music Awards history. Turnage was recognised for Hibiki, which received its premiere at the BBC Proms 2017, and was commissioned as a requiem for the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

In the vocal categories, American soprano Jessye Norman was awarded an RPS Gold Medal – one of the society’s highest honours – for ‘raising the bar of the possibilities of the human voice.’ Other winners included the choral ensemble The Sixteen, the Monteverdi Choir and Orchestras, and Spitalfields Music’s Schumann Street, which took its audiences on a musical tour through the historic Huguenot houses of east London.

The award for creative communication went to Thomas Quasthoff and BBC Studios for the documentary Becoming a Lied Singer: Thomas Quasthoff and the Art of German Song. Meanwhile, CalderlandA People’s Opera, commissioned by 509 Arts, picked up the award for learning and participation. The work celebrated the resilience and recovery of Yorkshire’s Calder Valley community following the floods of 2015, and involved thousands of participants.

Yorkshire’s second success came from Classically Yours, which brought live orchestral music to isolated coastal and rural areas in East Riding. Produced by Orchestras Live in partnership with the East Riding of Yorkshire Council, the project set out to nurture the belief in isolated communities that culture happens everywhere.

‘The RPS Awards offer a very rare focus on what is really happening in classical music, right across the country,’ said John Gilhooly, chair of the RPS Society. ‘There’s much to celebrate. This is music for everyone, often years in the making; music that provides a lasting emotional impact and can change lives.’

Highlights from the RPS Music Awards will be broadcast on BBC Radio 3 on 14 May at 7.30pm.


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