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International music educators honoured by RPS

24 April 2013

British viola player Rosemary Nalden, founder of Buskaid, is one of five music-makers working on four continents who are to receive honorary membership of the Royal Philharmonic Society (RPS) at the society's awards ceremony, the 'Oscars' of live classical music, on 14 May at the Dorchester Hotel. 

The International RPS Memberships are part of the society's bicentenary celebrations and are given in association with the British Council and in partnership with the Guardian. They acknowledge inspiring individuals who have put music at the heart of sone of the most challenged communities in the world, supported young musicians and made a profound difference to diversity in music-making. 
Through the Buskaid Trust which she set up in 1992 in response to a BBC TV programme highlighting the difficulties it faced, Rosemary Nalden persuaded distinguished musicians to busk at British railway stations to raise funds for the string project in Soweto, South Africa, which she now directs. In 2007 the Buskaid Ensemble was the first South African orchestra to perform at the BBC Proms and three Buskaid students have taken up scholarships at the Royal Academy of Music.
The other recipients of the rarely-awarded honorary RPS memberships are Armand Diangienda, a former airline pilot who founded a symphony orchestra in Kinshasa, DR of the Congo, one of the poorest cities on earth; Ahmad Sarmast, founder of Afghanistan's first national music school, in Kabul; pianist Ricardo Castro, a former winner of the Leeds International Piano Competition, who established a flourishing youth music programme in Bahia, Brazil; and Aaron P. Dworkin, founder of the Sphinx organisation, which gives opportunities and assistance to aspiring Black and Latino musicians in the USA. Sphinx's mission is for classical music to embrace the diversity of the society inherent in the society that it strives to serve, and Mr Dworkin was President Obama's first appointee to the US National Council on the Arts.

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