The Salomon Prize

To highlight the talent and dedication within UK orchestras, the Royal Philharmonic Society and Association of British Orchestras launched this annual award in 2012 to celebrate orchestral players - the unsung heroes that make our orchestras great.

Orchestral musicians are extraordinary. They dedicate years to perfecting their craft. They perform centuries of repertoire with fluency and verve. They travel extensively, their schedules as physically intensive as Olympic athletes. Their performances onstage are just part of what they do, most devoting themselves to teaching and inspiring others in countless settings.

Annually, the Royal Philharmonic Society and Association of British Orchestras unite to present the Salomon Prize in recognition of the extraordinary orchestral musicians working in Britain today. Each recipient has not only shone musically but made a remarkable contribution to the life of their orchestra, its audience and community. In this, they reflect the accomplishments of the prize’s dedicatee, violinist and a founder of the RPS, Johann Peter Salomon (1745 – 1815) who did much to enrich the impact and spirit of classical music in Britain. Click here to take a look at the previous recipients since 2012.

The 2019 Salomon Prize is kindly supported by musicalchairs, the world’s leading online recruitment resource for classical music professionals and students.

The Prize

The recipient of the Salomon Prize will receive £1,000 and the Salomon Prize trophy: a distinctive etching of Salomon by William Daniell, after George Dance made in 1810, to be held by the recipient for the duration of the year. They will be profiled on the RPS and ABO websites for the year.

In addition to choosing a winner, this year we are inviting the panel to make several ‘special commendations’ from those nominated. Their names will be announced alongside the winner and their accomplishments recorded on the RPS and ABO websites.

When can I nominate?

We usually welcome nominations for the Prize each autumn, with a December closing date. The closing date for the 2019 Prize has now passed and we will announce the outcomes later in 2019. We will then be welcoming applications for the 2020 Prize in Autumn 20219. Watch this space.

Who can be nominated?

The Salomon Prize is for musicians who play in any orchestra that is a member of the ABO. They can be a designated member or a guest engaged to perform regularly in the orchestra, and should be resident in the UK.

Nominees should have demonstrated commitment and creativity beyond the expected service asked by their orchestras in the last year. They may have undertaken a unique role, musically or organisationally; they may have devised, led or made an outstanding contribution to a new initiative; they may have complemented their orchestral playing with other exceptional feats beyond the concert hall platform. Please note, the prize is intended to reflect accomplishments specifically within the 2017-18 concert season and is not a lifetime achievement award or a record of long service. Duly, it has no age range.

Who can nominate?

Nominations are invited from any orchestra based in the UK that is a member of the ABO. One musician may be nominated per orchestra per year. Optimally, nominations should be kept confidential from the nominees throughout the process.

How can I nominate?

Please note the new terms: as each orchestra operates differently, they may govern for themselves who may be considered for nomination and the process by which they decide upon an eventual candidate. Each orchestra’s entry should then comprise the following:

  1. A supporting statement outlining the nominee’s accomplishments in the previous season.
  2. A simple written declaration signed by the Chief Executive / Orchestra Director and no less than three other players in the orchestra stating that they endorse the nomination.
  3. A current biography or CV for the nominee.
  4. Any useful supporting information, such as publicity or press coverage eg. interviews, featuring the nominee.

Please note entries are now closed and will re-open in Autumn 2019. Usually, entries should be submitted to Robin Sheffield, General Manager, Royal Philharmonic Society either by email to robin[at] (preferred) or by post to:

Robin Sheffield
General Manager
Royal Philharmonic Society
48 Great Marlborough Street

Applications will be judged on a merit by an independent jury brought together by the RPS and ABO. The jury’s decision is final. While the jury reserves the right to make additional enquiries about any of the nominations received, it cannot enter into any other discussion or correspondence, nor give reasons for its decisions. Unsuccessful nominees will not be excluded for consideration of their accomplishments in future years.

The recipient of the 2019 Salomon Prize will be announced and presented – wherever possible at a concert in which the winner is performing – by 31 December 2019.

Related Pages


Ricardo Castro: International pianist who established a flourishing youth music programme in Bahià, Brazil. Awarded RPS Honorary Membership in 2013.


The RPS sent Beethoven £100 in 1827 to help comfort him when he was ill and much in need of money.