The Gold Medal was presented to András Schiff on 21 December 2013 by the Duke of Kent. The presentation followed a Wigmore Hall recital of Bach’s Goldberg Variations and Beethoven’s Diabelli Variations by Schiff, the culmination of his all-Bach recital series at the hall during November and December.
John Gilhooly OBE, Director of Wigmore Hall and Chairman of the Royal Philharmonic Society, read the citation:
András Schiff is one of the most widely admired pianists of his generation and has made a pre-eminent contribution to the international musical life of Great Britain. He is one of the foremost ambassadors, throughout the world, of the music of Mozart, Schubert, Schumann and Beethoven. And his revelatory readings of J S Bach have helped to liberate his keyboard music from the increasingly narrow confines of period instrument performance.
András (Schiff) is deeply committed to teaching and mentoring of young musicians. For over 30 years he has worked with IMS Prussia Cove, an organisation devoted to furthering the education of the world’s most exceptional young players, where he has shared his passion for the never ending process of getting closer to a great work. On every page he has a point to make, a light to shine, and a chord, a figuration or a piece of technique to illuminate and examine.
Audiences are spellbound by his ravishing and concentrated performances. His artistry is life-affirming - reflecting his questing mind, independent spirit and the depth of his compassion.
The RPS Gold Medal was initiated in 1870 to commemorate the centenary of Beethoven’s birth and bears the image of Beethoven. It is the Society’s highest honour and is awarded internationally for the most outstanding musicianship.
Two Gold Medals were awarded in 2013, the RPS Bicentenary year - the first was to György Kurtág, a former teacher of András Schiff.