Katy Wright

Deputy Editor, Classical Music

Winners of the 2018 ABO/Rhinegold Awards announced

11:00, 25th January 2018

The winners of the 2018 ABO/Rhinegold Awards, which shine the spotlight on the individuals who play a vital role in the UK’s classical music industry, were announced at the annual ABO conference dinner in Cardiff on 25 January.

Richard Heason, director of St John’s Smith Square, won the ABO/Rhinegold award for concert hall manager of the year. The citation praised his decision to transform the venue into a national centre for championing engagement with Baroque music, noting that ‘his artistic vision and marketing flair have in turn led to audience numbers rising dramatically’.

Bettina Mehne and Bernhard Kerres of Hello Stage won the artist manager of the year category. Their publication Be Your Own Manager, is designed to help musicians better understand the processes involved in career development; the judges described the book as ‘a vital tool for any artist looking to get the best out of the relationship with his or her manager’.

Sue Mallet, director of planning, London Symphony Orchestra, was the winner of orchestral manager of the year for her ‘outstanding track record in concerts planning and international touring’, with particular reference to her contribution to the arrival of Sir Simon Rattle and the first visit of an international orchestra to Vietnam. A legend in orchestral administration circles who has worked at the LSO for 50 years, Mallet was praised for her ‘extraordinary achievement and extraordinary service’.

Classical Music magazine will profile the winners of the ABO/Rhinegold Awards over the course of 2018.

New ABO chair Gavin Reid presented a special ABO Award to John Smith, former general secretary of the Musicians’ Union, and the ABO Award 2018 was presented to conductor Marin Alsop in recognition of her outstanding contribution to the orchestral life of the UK, and in particular her support for women conductors. She thanked the ABO Board and former chair Kathryn McDowell in a video acceptance speech, describing the award as ‘an incredible honour’.

She continued: ‘I fell in love with British orchestras when I first conducted here in the 1990s; not only are they incredible musicians with an admirable and intense work ethic, they are always a lot of fun. This recognition means a great deal, not only to me, but to everyone I work with. Music has the power to change lives, to challenge, and to inspire and I dedicate this award to the future generation of conductors, musicians and audiences.’


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