RPS / ABO 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 – as we have palpably seen this year in their online offerings during lockdown – 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.

This year, we aim specifically to celebrate the extraordinary achievements of orchestral musicians in light of the pandemic.

The Prize

The recipient of the Salomon Prize will receive £1,000 and a certificate, and they will be profiled on the RPS and ABO websites and social media.

In addition to choosing a winner, this year we hope to showcase a number of achievements by those nominated, to tell a positive story of selfless, inventive and societal orchestral musicians at this time. All those who feature within this will be 'specially commended'.

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.

Please note, the prize is not a lifetime achievement award or a record of long service. Duly, it has no age range. It is intended to reflect accomplishments in the previous year. Given the exceptional events of 2020 and their impact on the performing arts, we are looking especially for candidates who have stepped up in remarkable ways since lockdown began in March and devoted themselves to inspiring their audience in bright, inventive and lateral ways. When nominating a player, we will ask you to account their achievements in this regard, providing weblinks that demonstrate what they have accomplished.

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?

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 statement outlining the nominee’s accomplishments in 2020 with detail (and links if applicable) on what they have singularly done in response to lockdown. This need not be extensive; up to one page will suffice.
  2. Any useful supporting information, particularly weblinks and images, plus any publicity/press coverage relating specifically to the nominee.
  3. A current biography or CV for the nominee.

      Nominations for the 2021 Salomon Prize have now closed and will reopen in 2022.

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