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The Sound of Music: Prince Charles presents Royal College of Music awards

The Prince of Wales donned his gown this morning to celebrate the achievements of students and key figures at an awards ceremony at the Royal College of Music (RCM) in his capacity as President.

Arriving shortly after 10:00, Prince Charles was greeted by the Lord Mayor of Westminster, the Deputy Chairman of the RCM, Jane Barker and Director of the RCM, Professor Colin Lawson, before proceeding to the College’s Amaryllis Fleming Concert Hall for the ceremony. The Prince, along with today’s Honorands, were all seated on the stage.

The Royal College of Music, founded in 1882 by the-then Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII), is one of the world’s leading conservatoires and provides specialised musical education and professional training at the highest international level for performers, conductors and composers. Prince Charles has been President of the Royal College since 1993, and its Patron is The Queen.

The Royal College of Music, located opposite the Royal Albert Hall in London, was built between 1892 and 1894 and the building was designed by Sir Arthur Blomfield

The current Royal College of Music building, located opposite the Royal Albert Hall in London. Designed by Sir Arthur Blomfield, construction began in 1892 and was completed in 1894.

After a short speech by Professor Lawson, His Royal Highness presented numerous awards, including six prizes, honorary memberships and Fellowships of the Royal College before conferring the HonDMus award on two individuals.

Those present were then treated to a short concert, given by the prize-winners, before The President’s Party exited the Concert Hall to a Fanfare composed by Arne Gieshoff and performed by the RCM Brass Ensemble.

Upon leaving the hall, Prince Charles joined a group photograph with the Honorands and prize winners, a full list of which is below.

The ceremony comes the day after The Queen approved the recipient for The Queen’s Medal for Music 2014. Mr Simon Halsey, Choral Director for the London Symphony Orchestra is the 10th recipient of the prize and received his award from Her Majesty in a reception yesterday evening at Buckingham Palace.


Award winners and Honorands

The President’s Award

Introduced in 2013 by Prince Charles, this award recognises an individual’s contribution to music-making in the wider community.

Recipient: Arne Gieshoff

Arne is currently completing a Masters Degree at the Royal College and is originally from Germany working as a composer. He already has a number of accolades including the 2012 Royal Philharmonic Society Composition Prize and the 2014 Mendelssohn Scholarship.

His works have been performed by the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, the Philharmonia and the London Philharmonic Orchestra and have also been broadcast on BBC Radio 3.

 Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother Rosebowl

Recipient: Agata Daraskaite

Agatha is an award-winning violinist and graduated last year from the Royal College with a Masters degree with Distinction. During her time at the College, she previously won the RCM Concerto Competition and performed Berg’s violin concerto under Edward Gardner.

In 2013, she won a place in the Kremerata Baltica, a chamber orchestra of musicians from the Baltic states lead by Gidon Kremer.

Tagore Gold Medals

Recipient: Amy Green

A saxophonist, Amy graduated with a Master of Performance with Distinction and a First Class Honours BMus degree from the Royal College of Music. She has already performed at venues including the Royal Festival Hall, Cadogan Hall and the Royal Albert Hall’s Elgar Room.

Previously, she was the winner of the Edward and Helen Hague Senior Woodwind Prize and Melber Saxophone Competition.

Recipient: Rodrigo Moro Martin

Hailing from Spain, Rodrigo is a double bassist who graduated from the Royal College of Music with First Class Honours in 2014. Since then, he has performed concertos with the Welsh Chamber Orchestra, Opera Studio Orchestra of Lviv Music Academy and Bridgewater Sinfonia, amongst others


Honorary membership of The Royal College of Music:
  • Chris Cotton – Chief Executive of the Royal Albert Hall
  • Edward Fox OBE – BAFTA-winning actor with numerous film and theatre credits including The Day of the Jackal and The Go-Between
  • Ivan Hewett – Chief Music Critic of The Daily Telegraph and one of Britain’s leading classical music commentators
  • Chris Moulton – Head of Keyboard Technical Services at the Royal College
  • Jane Ryan – Royal College of Music alumni and a pioneer of the early music revival, playing both the cello and viola de gamba.
  • Ruth West – long-standing supporter of the Royal College, allowing five gifted students from across the world the opportunity to study there.

Fellowship of The Royal College of Music:
  • John Anderson – Professor of Woodwind at the Royal College and internationally acclaimed oboe player
  • Janis Kelly – Vocal professor at the Royal College and acclaimed soprano, having sung over 30 lead roles with the English National Opera
  • Richard Price – Former Chair of the Royal College’s Audit Committee, sitting on the RCM Council between 2004 and 2014
  • Toby Spence – Award-winning British tenor, winning the Royal Philharmonic Society Singer of the Year award in 2011
  • Professor Robin Stowell – author, editor, examiner, adjudicator and consultant who has enjoyed success as both scholar and performer.
  • Nigel Woolner – consultant and former Senior Partner of architects Chapman Taylor. He served on the RCM Council for ten years, during which time he chaired the Estates Committee and oversaw the refurbishment of the Parry Rooms, the Concert Hall and redevelopment of the College’s student accommodation.

HonDMus Award:

Recipient: Vladimir Askenazy

Vladimir has had a successful career as both a pianist and conductor. First coming to prominence in 1956, he won the Queen Elisabeth Competition in Brussels and has since then built an extraordinary career as one of the most outstanding pianists of the 20th century. He is a staunch advocate of young musicians and collaborated with RCM students in 2013.

Recipient: Dame Kiri Te Kanawa

One of the world’s most celebrated singers, Dame Kiri made her debut as the Countess in Le Nozze di Figaro at the Royal Opera House in 1971. She is a much sought-after singer in a wide variety of musical contexts, and a familiar figure in the leading opera houses of the world, from Covent Garden to La Scala.

She was created a Dame Commander of the British Empire in 1982 and awarded the prestigious Order of New Zealand in the 1995 Queen’s Birthday Honours List. Dame Kiri is also founder of The Kiri Te Kanawa Foundation, which has provided major scholarships to RCM students for many years.

Image Credit: Diliff

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