It was a great privilege to present the 2021 Royal Philharmonic Society Awards on 1 November at Wigmore Hall, recognising so much musical talent and achievement nationwide through the pandemic.
You can read about all this year’s winners in our news story here and watch the complete film of the event freely below: we warmly recommend taking the time to catch its sensational performances and some truly stirring, heartfelt speeches.
We're also pleased to share here a range of photos – courtesy of photographer Mark Allan – from a night to remember that proved something of a reunion for so many music-makers and music-lovers after being apart for so long.
RPS Inspiration Award nominees from Aldworth Philharmonic Orchestra arrive, brilliantly embracing the invitation to dress ‘celebratory’.
Star trombonist Peter Moore pictured with Dani Howard, winner of the Large-Scale Composition Award for the Trombone Concerto she wrote especially for him, and Instrumentalist Award-winning violinist Nicola Benedetti. As Principal Trombone of the London Symphony Orchestra, Peter also performed in Mark Simpson’s superb Violin Concerto written for Nicky, also shortlisted for the Large-Scale Composition Award.
Opening the show with tremendous verve, Instrumentalist Award nominee Abel Selaocoe set the tempo, performing his own sensational composition Ka Bohaleng.
Winner of the Storytelling Award for her revelatory book ‘House of Music’, Kadiatu Kanneh-Mason tells the audience about raising a truly remarkable musical family.
One to watch: outstanding young bassoonist Ashby Mayes performed, having been supported by the RPS firstly to buy his bassoon and now to pursue postgraduate studies with a leading teacher in Germany. As RPS Chief Executive James Murphy said, introducing his performance: ‘So many talents in the world – so many callings – will go unfulfilled if we don’t strive to address the economic barriers holding them back. With your help, we can help more people like Ashby.’
The Gamechanger Award for those who break new ground in classical music went to Bold Tendencies, the Peckham multi-storey car park reclaimed as an exciting arts destination, where classical performances have magnetised new audiences. Its founder Hannah Barry told the audience about the venture’s extraordinary progress.
The star-studded audience included members of the Kanneh-Mason family.
Young Artist Award-winners The Hermes Experiment closed the show with their own exhilarating, original rendition of Piazzolla’s Concert d’aujourd’hui.
RPS Chairman John Gilhooly who presented the evening’s trophies, with co-hosts Katie Derham from BBC Radio 3, and RPS Chief Executive James Murphy.
Among the celebrity guests, BBC TV and radio host Jeremy Vine and his wife Rachel. He later tweeted how much they had enjoyed the celebration, and specially commended Impact Award-winner ENO Breathe for its remarkable achievement helping long-Covid sufferers nationwide address their anxiety and breathing.
Conductor Award-winner Ryan Bancroft – saluted for a sensational first year with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales plus guest debuts with numerous other UK orchestras – taking a moment to capture a selfie with his family.
RPS Award-winner Nicola Benedetti and RPS beneficiary Ashby Mayes reconnecting at the post-show reception, having worked together earlier this year on the Virtual Benedetti Sessions.