Since 2012, the Royal Philharmonic Society and Association of British Orchestras have united to present an award in recognition of the extraordinary orchestral musicians working in Britain today.

Initially this was called the Salomon Prize in recognition of violinist Johann Peter Salomon (1745 – 1815) who did so much to enrich the impact and spirit of classical music in Britain, not least encouraging Haydn to come to Britain, and co-founding the RPS. We continue to present the award in dedication to him but, in 2022 - its tenth anniversary - we are renaming it the RPS ABO Orchestra Musician Award to make its purpose more immediately apparent and draw greater interest to this profession so deserving of such recognition.

2021: Jamie Hutchinson, Sub Principal Violinist, Oxford Philharmonic

Through the challenges of the pandemic, violinist Jamie Hutchinson brought boundless imagination and energy to her role, not only creating work for her fellow players when live concerts ground to a halt, but keeping the audience’s spirits bright when it was needed most. Read more

2021: Beth Higham-Edwards, percussionist, London Chamber Orchestra

Beth Higham-Edwards took the lead of LCO’s principal education project Music Junction, inspiring 10 partner schools in Greater London and Berkshire, including special educational needs schools. Throughout the pandemic, she devoted herself to keeping the initiative alive: being constantly present in weekly Zooms and opening it up for a much wider community. Read more

2020: Jane Mitchell, Principal Flute and Creative Director, Aurora Orchestra

Jane Mitchell was awarded the prestigious RPS ABO Salomon Prize. As a distinct creative force and catalyst at the heart of Aurora Orchestra’s programming, presentation and performance, she continually pushes the boundaries of the orchestra’s work, in the process developing a fresh artistic blueprint which has transformed the expectations of audiences and players. Read more

2019: Janet Fulton, Principal Percussionist, Manchester Camerata

Janet Fulton was awarded the prestigious Salomon Prize, presented by the Royal Philharmonic Society and Association of British Orchestras, for her outstanding vocation as a musician, demonstrating an enthusiasm for a really diverse range of work and epitomising the many ways that musicians contribute to society. Read more

Janet Fulton, pictured right

2018: David Rimbault, Violinist, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra

David Rimbault, a player in the second violins of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, awarded the RPS/ABO Salomon Prize for working "tirelessly and generously to promote positivity and cohesion, and to forge links between the orchestra and management with audience members and donors. As Orchestra committee chair, he has proved to be a passionate and motivational leader..."Read more

2017: Lennox Mackenzie, Violinist, London Symphony Orchestra

Lennox Mackenzie, sub leader of the LSO and longest serving chairman in the orchestra's history, was awarded the RPS/ABO Salomon Prize for his "innate ability, his love of music, and his generosity of spirit. Lennox has commanded the highest respect and authority with his colleagues in the orchestra, and with conductors and soloists. He is much respected and loved by the LSO’s wider family of supporters...”Read more.

2016: Graham Hall, Timpanist/Orchestrator, Sinfonia Viva

Graham Hall, a founding member and former Principal Timpanist of Derby-based Sinfonia Viva, was awarded the RPS/ABO Salomon Prize, for his “hugely dedicated service to Sinfonia Viva over many years: as a timpanist, player and Musicians Union rep; and also as a highly skilled arranger who has supported the orchestra’s extensive outreach work...”Read more.

2015: John Cushing, Clarinet, Royal Scottish National Orchestra

John Cushing, who recently retired as Principal Clarinet of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra after more than three decades with the orchestra, was presented with the Salomon prize on stage at Usher Hall, Edinburgh on Friday 27 February 2015 during a concert of Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven conducted by Roger Norrington. John is the fourth recipient of the prize... Read more.

2014: Catherine Arlidge, Violin, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra

Catherine Arlidge, Sub Principal of the second violins, who has played with the CBSO for over 20 years, has become the third ever recipient of the Salomon Prize. Catherine was nominated by her fellow musicians and the CBSO’s management for her creativity, energy and “great skill for motivating and inspiring colleagues and for engaging with her audience”. She has been instrumental in devising projects... Read more.

2013: Roy Benson, Double Bass, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra

For the second year running, a double bass player has scooped the RPS/ABO Salomon Prize. Roy Benson was nominated by his fellow musicians and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra’s management for his unstinting service to the orchestra over three decades, and for a generosity of spirit and heart which has seen him, as co-principal of the double bass section, provide outstanding leadership and support. Read more

2012: Beatrice Schirmer, Double Bass, Hallé

Beatrice Schirmer was chosen from nominations received from orchestras across the UK. Beatrice was nominated by her fellow musicians and the Hallé’s management, not just for her considerable skills as a member of the orchestra’s double bass section, but for the extraordinary range of other activities which she has embraced and enriched in almost two decades with the orchestra. Read more.

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