JOHN STEPHENS (2012)
“John Stephens has been a pioneering figure in British music education for many decades. As Staff Inspector for Music at the ILEA, he oversaw the development of the London Schools Symphony Orchestra to great artistic heights and instigated many innovative educational initiatives in London schools, including the first schools educational projects of the Royal Opera House and the London Sinfonietta. He also chaired the National Curriculum Working Group for Music in the 1990s and ensured that the curriculum embodied innovative ideas about creativity in music, and a strong basis for learning core musical skills.
He brings to everything he does experience, astuteness, an incisive and clear mind, a respect for colleagues and, above all, a belief in the creative abilities of young people and in the power of music to enhance their lives.” Read more
MARK ELDER (2011)
“This award celebrates Mark Elder’s international recognition as one of the leading conductors of our day, but more particularly it is given in admiration of his cultural leadership. Over more than three decades he has carefully and systematically transformed the fortunes of two great British musical institutions. As musical director at English National Opera, and latterly with the Hallé, he has focused on fostering exceptional musical standards, creating pride at every level of these organisations and enthralling audiences with both the sheer impact of his music making and his passionate advocacy for music. As a spokesman for the music profession he has never been afraid to put his head above the parapet. He is a true leader and, of course, a truly great musician.” Read more.
TONY FELL (2011)
“We in classical music have been lucky that Tony Fell has chosen to direct his extraordinary enthusiasm and energy in our direction. At the helm of Boosey and Hawkes for over 25 years, he completely revived their strategy for new music for which he has an infectious passion and eager curiosity. He has always been a true and generous friend to composers and musicians of all ages, offering wise and pragmatic advice and, often as not, quietly rolling up his sleeves and sorting out solutions.
He was appointed Chairman of the Royal Philharmonic Society in 1998 and, always one to relish a challenge, he both galvanised and re-shaped the Society into an organisation that responds imaginatively to the challenges of the 21st century. In 2002, he led the sale of the RPS archive to the British Library, which opened this important collection to music scholars and the public, and generated the funds to secure the future and to develop new projects to support classical music today.” Read more.
GEORGE BENJAMIN (2011)
“It is now 30 years since the 20 year-old George Benjamin blazed in to public view with a performance of his Ringed by the Flat Horizon at the BBC Proms. Since then he has won audiences over worldwide with his finely crafted and uncannily beautiful, expressive music. But George brings the same virtuosity, integrity, care and consideration to everything he does: whether as a pianist, teacher, spellbinding speaker, programmer or internationally acclaimed conductor.
He is a consummate musician and enriches our lives. The Royal Philharmonic Society is proud to make George Benjamin an Honorary Member.”
FANNY WATERMAN (2010)
“Both as a concert pianist, and later as a teacher, Fanny Waterman is led by her passion for music and rigorously high standards. Her status as a teacher is now legendary: she has inspired and instructed generations of musicians, both in person and through the millions of copies of her teaching books sold around the world.
Fifty years ago, together with Marion Thorpe, and her late husband, Dr. Geoffrey de Keyser, she founded the Leeds International Pianoforte Competition in her beloved Yorkshire, with which her name has become synonymous. She has nurtured it into one of the greatest international piano competitions in the world and launched the careers of such virtuosic young pianists as Radu Lupu, Murray Perahia, Mitsuko Uchida and Andràs Schiff.”
GRAHAM JOHNSON (2010)
“The award of Honorary Membership is made in recognition of Graham Johnson’s unstinting championing of Song and extraordinary achievements on the concert platform and in the recording studio. He founded the Songmakers’ Almanac in 1976 to explore neglected areas of piano-accompanied vocal music and to provide an alternative to the conventional song recital and has continued to illuminate this area of music with passion and erudition. His fine programme and sleeve notes have greatly added to the wider understanding and interest in Song over the last 30 years and a wonderful discography includes outstanding recordings of the complete songs of both Schubert and Schumann for Hyperion.” Read more.