RPS 2020 award winners announced

Thursday, November 19, 2020

The Royal Philharmonic Society Award winners were revealed this evening at a digital broadcast featuring performances filmed at Wigmore Hall.

John Williams, winner of the RPS Gold Medal
John Williams, winner of the RPS Gold Medal

Credit: TashTish

Winners include:

  • Sheku Kanneh-Mason (Young Artists Award) for captivating listeners worldwide
  • Welsh soprano Natalya Romaniw (Singer Award) for her leading roles at Scottish Opera, English National Opera and Opera Holland Park
  • Scottish Ensemble (Ensemble Award) for innovation and international reach
  • The Inspiration Award – introduced to celebrate the extraordinary music-making that has uplifted the nation in lockdown – went to six winners: Concerteenies, Diocese of Leeds Schools Singing Programme, The Opera Story, Stay At Home Choir, #UriPosteJukeBox and the Virtual Benedetti Sessions. For this award, the RPS opened nominations to the public for the first time, inviting households nationally to share what has moved them musically since March
  • City of London Sinfonia (Impact Award) for Sound Young Minds, a programme for young people with mental health issues
  • Jane Glover (Gamechanger Award) for carving a path for young women conductors
  • Dalia Stasevska (Conductor Award) for her role with the BBC Symphony Orchestra
  • Viola player Lawrence Power (Instrumentalist Award), for being an outstanding advocate for his instrument
  • Naomi Pinnock (Chamber-Scale Composition) for I am, I am
  • Frank Denyer (Large-Scale Composition) for The Fish That Became The Sun
  • Kings Place’s year-long Venus Unwrapped celebrating female artists (Concert Series and Events)
  • Garsington Opera’s production of The Turn of the Screw; and Stephen Hough’s book ‘Rough Ideas’ (Storytelling).

Composer John Williams has been announced as the recipient of this year's RPS Gold Medal, in recognition of his many decades of composition. He said:‘To receive this award is beyond any expectation I could possibly have. For any composer to be able devote his or her life entirely to the composition of music is very fortunate indeed. I’d like to thank our musicians of our great orchestras in London and in the United States with whom I’ve worked so happily for so many years.’

Director Steven Spielberg sent his congratulations in a video recorded especially for the RPS, saying: ‘John, you have brought the classical idiom to young people all over the world through your scores, and through your classical training and your classical sensibilities. You are in the DNA of the musical culture of today.’

The stream of the award ceremony remains available to view on the RPS website. 

RPS Awards partner BBC Radio 3 will present a musical celebration of the RPS Awards winners at 7.30pm on Monday 23 November.