Claudio Abbado

Claudio Abbado has been awarded the RPS Gold Medal. The presentation was made by Tony Fell (RPS chairman) and conductor David Lloyd-Jones, at the Culture and Convention Centre, Lucerne, in the presence of friends and colleagues from the Lucerne Festival Orchestra with whom he was preparing for the opening concert of the Festival on 14 August.

The Council’s citation read:

“Claudio Abbado, one of the truly great conductors of our age, who has been Music Director of some of the world’s greatest orchestras and opera houses, including the Berlin Philharmonic, the London Symphony Orchestra, Teatro alla Scala and the Vienna State Opera.

He is legendary for generosity to his colleagues and also for the time, energy and enthusiasm he has devoted to young musicians, in particular the European Chamber Orchestra and the Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester.

His operatic and concert programming has constantly been enriched both
by his passion for neglected works of the past and for the music of today.”

Read more about Claudio Abbado


Humphrey Burton, first head of Music and Arts, BBC; founder/presenter of Young Musician of the Year and joint founder of the RPS Music Awards in 1989.


Before there were traffic lights: coachmen delivering audience members to Philharmonic Society concerts at the Harmonic Institution were asked to ‘set down and take up with their horses’ heads facing Piccadilly’.