2019: Storytelling

For a compelling and imaginative entity which furthered the understanding of classical music in a lateral medium - most likely but not limited to written or spoken word, radio, television, film, digital, online. Nominated entities must have been made publicly available in the UK for the first time between January 2018 and June 2019.

Michael Tippett: The Biography - Oliver Soden

Panel citation: One of the very finest music biographies of a composer we ought to celebrate more. In lavish detail it palpably charts what it meant to be a musician, a conscientious objector and a gay man throughout the 20th Century. Lovingly written, and peopled with vivid characters, you feel like you are discovering a friend – and sense Oliver Soden’s joy in telling his story.

Also shortlisted:


This year's Storytelling Award was decided by an independent panel drawn from across the music profession comprising:

  • Katy Hamilton, writer and presenter
  • Marion Friend MBE, consultant
  • Simon Millward, Director, Premier Communications
  • Stephanie Childress, violinist, conductor
  • Tim Lihoreau, presenter and Creative Director, Classic FM

This year, we present this award in memory of Arthur Searle who was Honorary Librarian of the RPS from 1983 to 2019. In this role, he did much to tell the story of the RPS and ensured a lasting home for its treasures at the British Library.

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