Mark Elder

Honorary Membership of the Royal Philharmonic Society was presented to Sir Mark Elder on 17 November 2011 at Bridgewater Hall, Manchester.

The presentation was made by RPS Chairman John Gilhooly, during a concert with the Halle conducted by Sir Mark. John Gilhooly read the citation of the RPS Council:

“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.”

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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’.