Antonio Pappano, Andris Nelsons and Mary Bevan among RPS Awards winners

Music director of the Royal Opera House, Antonio Pappano has been awarded the RPS Gold Medal, an honour which has previously been bestowed on musicians including pianist Mitsuko Uchida, singer Plácido Domingo and conductor Simon Rattle.

Antonio Pappano and John Gilhooly

Photo: Simon Jay Price

In a statement, the Royal Philharmonic Society said: “Sir Antonio Pappano possesses a very rare combination of peerless musicianship, communication skills and leadership… He’s superb with singers and has a particular passion for developing the talents of young performers.”

The RPS Awards recognise achievements in live classical music.

This year’s Conductor Award went to Andris Nelsons for his performances of music by Beethoven, Brahms and Strauss.

Baritone Christian Gerhaher took the Singer Award for his “selfless service to music, honesty of communication, purity of spirit, exceptional clarity and sheer vocal beauty.”

The Instrumentalist Award was presented to percussionist Colin Currie for his ‘Metal, Wood, Skin’ series at Southbank Centre. The Young Artist award went to soprano Mary Bevan who has performed with both The Royal Opera and English National Opera.

English National Opera – a company that has had a tricky few months – took the prize in the Opera and Music Theatre category and the RPS praised the company’s “consistently outstanding work”, highlighting recent productions of Handel’s Rodelinda and Puccini’s The Girl of the Golden West.

Elsewhere, in the Creative Communication category, The Royal Opera came out on-top, winning the prize for its project ‘The Opera Machine’, which allowed users to watch a performance from any angle they wished – including from the wings and backstage. “It paves the way for further online initiatives helping everyone to get inside the creative process of making music,” said the RPS judges.

The rest of the awards went to:

Audiences and Engagement: Philharmonic iOrchestra

Chamber Music and Song: Oxford Lieder Festival

Chamber-Scale Composition: Graham Fitkin’s Distil

Concert Series and Festivals: Barbican’s ‘Birtwistle at 80’

Ensemble: London Contemporary Orchestra

Large-Scale Composition: Hans Abrahamsen’s Let me tell you…

Learning and Participation: Britten’s War Requiem at Southbank Centre

Young Artist: Mary Bevan

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