Oliver Knussen

2002 Recipient: Oliver Knussen

Oliver Knussen has been made an Honorary Member of the Royal Philharmonic Society - an honour which was presented to him by Rosemary Johnson, General Administrator of the RPS on the platform during the London Sinfonietta Prom on 26 July 2002. Elliott Carter, in a congratulatory message to Oliver Knussen on his award, said:

“Olly, how to express our admiration and amazement not using the routine encomia which you so amply deserve? Your extraordinary ability to concentrate on details in musical scores and performances andto understand so deeply how they contribute to the large emotional and artistic totality is unparalleled.

This ability betrays a generosity of spirit and a love rarely found today, if ever. Then, too, the range of your musical vision is vast. Tonight the beautiful examples of your light hearted, engaging side, and at other concerts the deeply stirring side in works of your own and of others - all so convincing - make your devotion to music one of the wonders of our time”.


Chi-chi Nwanoku MBE, Founder, Artistic and Executive Director, Chineke! Foundation; Founder, principal Double Bass, OAE: As a musician it feels vital to be part of the RPS family, and its endeavours to go-all-out for the sake of music.


In 2002 the Society sold its historic archive of papers, letters and musical manuscripts to the British Library, where it is now open to the public from all over the world.