Winning two Royal Philharmonic Society Awards made for a busy evening on Tuesday – photos, interviews, collecting prizes! The really special treat though is spending the evening with other winners – Olly Coates, Toby Spence, Claudio Abbado, Maurizio Pollini, Mitzucho Uchida and Jonathan Harvey – and indeed the others who had been shortlisted. Collectively it’s a brilliant celebration of the vitality of classical music in the UK at the moment.
It seems to be rather rare to win two RPS awards in one go and we were really thrilled to have won what we consider to be the most important categories – Learning and Participation and Audiences and Engagement. I guess it’s sometimes hard to know exactly what titles like this mean – for us, it’s simply offering amazing music to as many people as possible.
The two projects that won – We are Shadows, our community opera and Buy One, Donate One, a scheme that ensures we have free tickets to offer to first time attenders from Tower Hamlets – achieve this goal in quite different ways. What’s brilliant about these two projects is that they take in everyone we work with – the rostra of world class artists including composers and workshop leaders, children from our local schools, our volunteer stewards, regular audiences, people attending Festival events for the first time, members of our local communities from all walks of life, our community partners, our staff team as well as trusts, company and individual donors. If any of these groups were not participating these projects would not have happened. The sense of a community of people helping each other is at the centre of our approach and what makes Spitalfields Music rather different.
Congratulations to everyone involved in these projects and everything we do as Spitalfields Music. And if you’re reading this and not already involved, come to our Summer Festival and get involved! There’s room for anyone here.
The annual RPS Music Awards are presented in association with BBC Radio 3’s In Tune programme and are the highest recognition for live classical music in the United Kingdom. They were set up in 1989 to celebrate the outstanding musical achievements of both young and established, British and international, musicians.
Awards, in thirteen categories, were decided by independent panels consisting of some of the music industry’s most distinguished practitioners. The awards honour musicians, composers, writers, broadcasters and inspirational arts organisations.
RPS Music Awards winners were announced on Tuesday 8 May and BBC Radio 3 will be broadcasting a special RPS Music Awards Performance on 3 on Sunday 13 May at 2pm.