RPS Honorary Membership
Honorary Membership of the Royal Philharmonic Society is presented in recognition of services to music.
Recipients have included composers, conductors, performers, music commentators, patrons, programmers, publishers and educationalists.
The first recipient in 1826 was the composer Carl Maria von Weber. Among the many celebrated names on the list are Felix Mendelssohn (1829), Gioachino Rossini (1839), Hector Berlioz (1859), Richard Wagner (1860), Johannes Brahms (1882), Clara Schumann (1887), Igor Stravinsky (1921), Aaron Copland (1970), Paul Sacher (1991) and Evelyn Barbirolli (2001).
Honorary Membership has recently been awarded to mezzo soprano Dame Sarah Connolly, composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheim, opera director Sir David Pountney, composers Sir George Benjamin and Judith Weir, pianists Stephen Hough and Graham Johnson, and conductors Marin Alsop and Sir Mark Elder.
In 2013, to celebrate the RPS Bicentenary, five special presentations were made to recipients who have all put music at the heart of some of the most challenged communities in the world and made a profound difference to diversity in music-making: Ricardo Castro, Armand Diangienda, Aaron P. Dworkin, Rosemary Nalden and Ahmad Sarmast (pictured above).
The RPS welcomes nominations for Honorary Membership year-round from RPS Members and colleagues across the music profession. Those eligible to nominate can email us with details of your nominee, ideally providing a short citation of up to 300 words outlining why you believe they are deserving of such an accolade. Wherever possible Honorary Membership is presented publicly, most often on the concert platform.