Rhinegold Children enjoying Virtual Benedetti Sessions, one of the winners of the Inspiration Award

Harriet Clifford

RPS Awards recognise lockdown initiatives for children and young people

1:47, 19th November 2020

The winners of the 2020 Royal Philharmonic Society Awards were announced in last night’s digital broadcast, featuring a new award recognising musical initiatives during the pandemic. 

The Inspiration Award was presented for the first time this year, recognising six musical initiatives that have engaged with children, young people, and adults during lockdown. 

Out of hundreds of nominees selected by the public, the RPS Board and Council presented the award to the following initiatives: 

Concerteenies – online concerts and activities created by Polly Ives in Sheffield, designed to engage young children in music at every hour of the day.

Diocese of Leeds – Schools Singing Programme – provided daily YouTube singing sessions and 18 weekly online choir rehearsals, keeping 4,500 children engaged throughout lockdown, especially in the most deprived areas of Yorkshire. 

Virtual Benedetti Sessions – interactive films and Zooms inspiring over 7,000 young string players. The next session is currently underway and will premiere on 13 December on YouTube. 

Stay At Home Choir – gave amateurs around the country the chance to sing with and learn from guest artists including The Sixteen, The King’s Singers, Sir James MacMillan, and more. 

The Opera Story’s Episodes – a series of witty mini-operas commissioned by The Opera Story, giving singers and composers the chance to keep creative. 

#UriPosteJukeBox – a series of diverse performances over 88 days by violinist Elena Urioste and pianist Tom Poster. 

Winners of other categories included Sound Young Minds – City of London Sinfonia, which took the Impact Award for its work with teenagers with mental health issues. The project was pioneered in partnership with Bethlem and Maudsley Hospital School. 

The Young Artist Award went to cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason, who the judges said ‘kept on shining this year with countless concerts, his sublime Elgar Concerto recording, and fabulous family endeavours in lockdown’. 

The digital broadcast is available to watch for free on demand. On 23 November at 7.30pm, BBC Radio 3 will present a musical celebration of the RPS Awards winners. 


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