The Royal Philharmonic Society Gold Medal is the Society’s highest honour and is awarded for the most outstanding musicianship.
It was initiated in 1870 to commemorate the Centenary of Beethoven’s birth to celebrate the close relationship between the Society and the composer. The medal bears the effigy of Beethoven and has become one of the most privileged honours in the world of music, presented to the finest musicians of any nationality.
Among the names on the list of honour are Brahms (1877), Fritz Kreisler (1904), Delius and Elgar (1925), Richard Strauss (1936), John Barbirolli (1950), Kathleen Ferrier (1953), Stravinsky (1954), Britten (1964) Horowitz (1974) Lutoslawski (1986) and Bernstein (1987)
Current Gold Medal recipients are: Martha Argerich, Janet Baker, Daniel Barenboim, Alfred Brendel, Placido Domingo, Charles Dutoit, Bernard Haitink, György Kurtág, Antonio Pappano, Thomas Quasthoff, Simon Rattle, András Schiff, John Tomlinson, and Mitsuko Uchida.
Where ever possible the medal is presented publicly on the concert platform.
Anna Meredith, Composer: Composer in the House enabled me to push myself in new directions and be bold with my writing. Composers are very lucky to have the RPS!
DID YOU KNOW?
The Schaller Bust of Beethoven, donated in 1871, has stood on the platform of every RPS concert since then as a symbol of excellence and support for the living composer.