RPS Gold Medal
The Royal Philharmonic Society Gold Medal is the Society’s highest honour and is awarded for the most outstanding musicianship and is presented to the finest musicians of any nationality.
It was initiated in 1870, the Centenary of Beethoven’s birth, to celebrate the close relationship between the Society and the composer. The medal bears the image of Beethoven depicted by Schaller in the iconic RPS bust, and has become one of the most privileged honours in the world of music.
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, Bernard Haitink, Mariss Jansons, György Kurtág, Jessye Norman, 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.
Joseph Straker, double bassist studying at the Guildhall School: likes classical, jazz and salsa and the RPS Sir John Barbirolli Foundation which helped buy his new bass.
DID YOU KNOW?
In early Philharmonic Society concerts, players often rotated within their orchestral section, reflecting the orchestra's wealth of performing talent as well as its democratic ethos: no ‘distinction of rank’.