The Royal Philharmonic Society’s (and one of classical music’s) highest honours, the RPS Gold Medal was presented to the Music Director of the Royal Opera House, conductor Sir Antonio Pappano, becoming the 100th RPS Gold Medallist since the honour was founded in 1870. In its citation, the Royal Philharmonic Society said:
“Sir Antonio Pappano possesses a very rare combination of peerless musicianship, communication skills and leadership. Music Director of the Royal Opera House since 2002 and of the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome since 2005, he is a musician who loves his job and knows it from the inside out. He’s superb with singers and has a particular passion for developing the talents of young performers. He takes an enormous pride in his orchestras, and has highly honed theatrical instincts. He also has a special gift for communication. He’s a storyteller - able to talk simply and convey his passion and knowledge with an exuberance that is irresistible - and which is equally engaging to operatic newcomers and aficionados alike. He’s endlessly energetic, a perfectionist with musicality at his very centre and he commands complete respect from his musicians and it is with great pleasure that we present him with the Gold Medal of the Royal Philharmonic Society”.
Pappano joins a distinguished list of current gold medallists including Dame Janet Baker, Daniel Barenboim, Pierre Boulez, Alfred Brendel, Placido Domingo, Bernard Haitink, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, György Kurtag,Thomas Quasthoff, Sir Simon Rattle, András Schiff, John Tomlinson and Mitsuko Uchida.
Watch the highlights of Pappano's speech upon receiving the Gold Medal: