RPS music awards: nominees announced

- 12 April 2013

The Royal Philharmonic Society has announced the nominees for its music awards. Given to events or publications taking place in 2012, the awards will be announced at a ceremony in London’s Dorchester Hotel on 14 May.

The list further proves the impact of celebrations for the London 2012 Festival, which brought together events throughout Britain in celebration of the Olympic Games: nominations related to the celebrations include the LSO’s On Track scheme, nominated for its participation in the Olympics’ opening ceremony; The Big Concert, in which Gustavo Dudamel conducted young musicians from Sistema Scotland; the New Music 20×12 commissioning scheme, which will return in 2014; the Scunthorpe community opera Cycle Song; and Birmingham Opera Company’s production of Stockhausen’s Mittwoch aus Licht.

Works by Harrison Birtwistle, Julian Anderson and Gerald Barry (In Broken Images, The Discovery of Heaven and The Importance of Being Earnest) are in a three-way tussle for the Large-Scale Composition award, and Colin Matthews’ fourth string quartet, Rebecca Saunders’ Fletch and Tansy Davies’ Nature are shortlisted for Chamber-Scale Composition.

The double bill of Oliver Knussen’s Where the Wild Things Are and Higglety, Pigglety, Pop, in a well-received production with video projections by Netia Jones of Maurice Sendak’s original drawings, features in a particularly strong opera and music theatre list that also includes ENO’s Caligula, English Touring Opera (for an autumn season in which ETO collaborated with the Aurora Orchestra on Britten’s Albert Herring, Peter Maxwell Davies’ The Lighthouse and Viktor Ullmann’s The Emperor of Atlantis) and Birmingham Opera’s Mittwoch aus Licht.

The CBSO’s Andris Nelsons is joined by the Bournetmouth Symphony Orchestra’s Kirill Karabits and Richard Farnes, music director of Opera North, on the conducting shortlist.

Thomas Adès: Full of Noises, for which Tom Service has been nominated in the creative communication category. But there is no nod for The Space.

The young artist award will go to one of Daniil Trifonov, winner of the 2011 Tchaikovsky competition, baritone Duncan Rock and the Heath Quartet.

Radio 3 presenter and Guardian writer Tom Service is nominated in the creative communication award for two books: Thomas Adès: Full of Noises, and Music as Alchemy, his profile of the art of conducting. Soprano Jane Manning’s book Voicing Pierrot, described as ‘a practical, analytical and personal guide to the vocal part of Schönberg’s Pierrot Lunaire, and Classic FM, which celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2012, complete the shortlist.

There is no place in the creative communication category for The Space, the Arts Council England/BBC co-production which launched in May 2012 to coincide with the London 2012 Festival.

A series of awards will also be made with the support of the British Council which will ‘look beyond the UK and celebrate the extraordinary achievements of visionary music-makers on four continents’ as part of the 200th anniversary celebrations of the RPS. Details of this are yet to be confirmed.

A programme about the awards will be broadcast on BBC Radio 3 at 2pm on 19 May.

Further details on the awards website,


Full awards

Audiences and Engagement
Southampton’s Musical Alphabet (Turner Sims)
The Big Concert (Sistema Scotland, London 2012 Festival)
Universe of Sound (Philharmonia Orchestra)

Chamber Music and Song
Elias Quartet
Music in the Round

Large-Scale Composition
Harrison Birtwistle: In Broken Images
Julian Anderson: The Discovery of Heaven
Gerald Barry: The Importance of Being Earnest

Chamber-Scale Composition
Colin Matthews: String Quartet No. 4
Rebecca Saunders: Fletch
Tansy Davies: Nature

Concert Series and Festivals
BBC Proms
New Music 20×12 (PRS for Music Foundation)
sound Festival (North East Scotland)

Andris Nelsons
Kirill Karabits
Richard Farnes

Creative Communication
Classic FM
Jane Manning: Voicing Pierrot
Tom Service: Thomas Adès: Full of Noises and Music as Alchemy (Faber)

Britten Sinfonia
Ex Cathedra
Orchestra of the Royal Opera House

Colin Currie (percussion)
Francesco Piemontesi (piano)
Steven Osborne (piano)

Learning and Participation
Anthem for a Child (Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment)
Cycle Song (Proper Job Theatre Company and Scunthorpe Co- operative Junior Choir)
Drake Music Scotland: Technophonia by Oliver Searle (New Music 20×12)
LSO On Track at the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics

Opera and Music Theatre
Caligula (ENO)
English Touring Opera (autumn season)
Knussen double bill (Aldeburgh/Barbican)
Mittwoch aus Licht (Birmingham Opera Company)

Alice Coote
Bryan Hymel
Bryn Terfel
Sarah Connolly

Young Artists
Daniil Trifonov
Duncan Rock
Heath Quartet


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