The Royal Philharmonic Society is announcing an entirely new membership offer involving a range of benefits not previously offered.
The Society, which supports musicians through grants, commissions, mentoring, courses, performance opportunities and its own RPS Awards, will introduce a new series of talks and events featuring personalities devoted to classical music. It is intended that this will reflect all aspects of musical life, giving a platform to music lovers and music makers, amateur and professional.
From autumn 2019 to spring 2020, the first season of events will feature a range of artists in conversation with each other such as Sir Thomas Allen and conductor John Wilson, Dame Sarah Connolly and harpsichordist Mahan Esfahani, Sir John Tomlinson and soprano Nadine Benjamin. A host of performers – including baritone Roderick Williams OBE and pianist Joanna MacGregor CBE, and tenor Nicky Spence and pianist Iain Burnside – allow members an insight into their rehearsals, and Nicola Benedetti CBE will also give a speech on music education in Britain.
All talks will be filmed and available for members to view online anywhere in the world. ‘As these accumulate, we hope they’ll come to be regarded almost like TED talks for classical music,’ explains RPS chief executive James Murphy. Two talks already set for release this month include Kadiatu and Stuart Kanneh-Mason sharing the story of their musical family, and teacher Jimmy Rotheram on transforming a Yorkshire primary school with the power of music.
‘Imagine if Britain had an equivalent to the Royal Horticultural Society for music,’ says Murphy. ‘We’re hoping our fresh steps will lead the RPS one day to attain a place in the public’s hearts and minds equivalent to the RHS and the National Trust. They each do such good on a national scale for their own causes, and it feels to us that Britain’s vibrant musical ecology dearly deserves its own version of that too.’
Further details of the new membership can be found here.