Nikolaus Harnoncourt received the Royal Philharmonic Society Gold Medal from RPS Chairman John Gilhooly at the Barbican on Sunday 22 April 2012, to a standing ovation from the audience.
The on-stage presentation followed a performance of Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis by the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam, conducted by Harnoncourt.
In awarding the RPS Gold Medal to Nikolaus Harnoncourt, the citation of the society comments:
“Nikolaus Harnoncourt was a pioneer in the early period instrument revival, but much more besides. As a conductor his name is legendary with singers for his extraordinary vision into early, baroque, classical and even operetta. Performances with Harnoncourt are always unique and special.
Nearly 60 years ago he formed the Concentus Musicus Wien with period instruments, but he also works with most of the world’s main orchestras using modern instruments and was one of the earliest pioneers of this dual approach. His performances of the Monteverdi operas along with the Mozart cycle in Zurich stand as landmark events. He is a man who is dedicated to music and humanity.”
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.
Sally Cavender, Performance Music Director, Faber Music: Many of our composers have been honoured by RPS Awards. The RPS is uniquely placed to support the huge variety of new music today.
DID YOU KNOW?
Sing Up! won the RPS 2010 Education Award in for introducing high quality singing to millions of children in English primary schools.